Entertainment & Arts

Prince Buster, ska pioneer, dies at 78

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Media captionPrince Buster performs Whine and Grine on Top of the Pops.

The ska pioneer Prince Buster, who shaped the course of Jamaican music, has died at the age of 78.

He died at home in Miami at 07:20 local time (11:20 GMT) on Thursday.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, as Cecil Bustamante Campbell, he became a legend of the burgeoning ska music genre in 1960s Jamaica under the stage name Prince Buster.

He was an influence on groups including Madness and The Specials in the British ska revival of the late 1970s.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption In 1967 when this picture was taken, Prince Buster had a UK Top Twenty hit with the song Al Capone

His decision to use a syncopated beat on tracks such as Little Honey, They Got to Go and Thirty Pieces of Silver is credited as pivotal in ska music's development and he gave himself the moniker "King of Ska".

A keen boxer in his youth, Prince Buster converted to Islam after meeting Muhammad Ali.

Prince Buster is survived by his wife Mola Ali and his children.

Image copyright @Robdabank
Image caption The British DJ and music festival founder Rob Da Bank was among those to tweet a tribute
Image copyright @RoughTrade
Image caption The music label Rough Trade also tweeted their condolences
Image copyright @GarryBushell
Image caption TV critic Garry Bushell quoted song lyrics by Madness that paid homage to Prince Buster
Image copyright @NevilleStaple
Image caption Neville Staple is from the British band The Specials, which was heavily influenced by Prince Buster
Image copyright @mjhucknall
Image caption Mick Hucknall from the band Simply Red praised Prince Buster and his country's music
Image copyright @rwilliams1947
Image caption Journalist for the Guardian newspaper, Richard Williams, called Prince Buster a "hero"

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