Entertainment & Arts

Rico Rodriguez : The Specials' trombonist dies aged 80

Rico Rodriguez Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Rodriguez was made an MBE in 2007 for services to music

The trombonist in ska band The Specials has died at the age of 80, the group has announced.

Rico Rodriguez was a ska and reggae musician who played with the band on songs including the 1979 hit A Message to You Rudy.

The Specials announced his death in a tweet on Friday.

It said: "Our dear friend Rico passed away today. We offer out deepest condolences to his family. His legacy will go on forever. RIP dear Rico"

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Media captionThe band performed A Message to You Rudy on Top of the Pops in 1979

Rodriguez was born in Cuba and grew up in Jamaica, before moving to England in the 1960s, according to the Jamaica Observer.

As well as playing with The Specials, Rodriguez performed as a solo artist, recording albums including Man from Wareika, Blow Your Horn and Brixton Cat with his band Rico and the Rudies.

He worked with many different musicians and producers during a lengthy career, including Prince Buster, Karl Pitterson and Jools Holland in his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra.

He was made an MBE in 2007 for services to music.

Among those paying tribute has been Elvis Costello, who tweeted: What a moment it was to hear him play on "Rudy".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Rico Rodriguez also performed as a solo artist and recorded albums including Man from Wareika

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