Copeland Forbes, Holt’s manager of almost ten years, confirmed the singer’s death to the Jamaica Observer telling the publication “John died at 2:40 a.m. English time. His [John’s] nephew informed [us] of his death.”
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Holt’s first taste of fame came in the 1960’s while a member of The Paragons. It was during his time with the group that he wrote “The Tide Is High,” which would later go on to be a worldwide hit after being remade by rock group Blondie.
Holt left The Paragons to pursue a solo career in 1970. Soon thereafter, he ascended to becoming one of the biggest stars in reggae thanks to his timeless hit “Stick By Me,” which went on to be the biggest selling Jamaican record of 1972.
Jamaica and reggae fans across the world are mourning the death of man that Trojan Records calls a “huge talent and a true gentleman.”
Holt’s last album was 1993’s Peacemaker.