Dennis Emanuel Brown (February 1, 1957–July 1, 1999) was a Jamaican reggae singer. He recorded more than 75 albums and was one of the pioneers of lovers rock. Bob Marley dubbed him the “Crown Prince of Reggae”.
Brown’s first recording was “Lips of Wine” recorded for Derrick Harriott (The Musical Chariot), but this was not released initially. He then recorded for Coxsone Dodd at Studio One, and Dodd released Brown’s first single, “No Man is an Island”. Brown recorded two albums for Dodd, No Man is an Island and If I Follow my Heart (the title track penned by Alton Ellis). Around this time, Brown recorded material for Lloyd Daley (“Baby Don’t Do It” and “Things in Life”) and material for Derrick Hariott, which was eventually released as the Super Reggae and Soul Hits album. He also worked for Earl Hayles and the Charmaine label early in his career. He had a Top 10 hit in the United Kingdom in 1977. This led to his contract with A&M Records, and to the formation of his own label, DEB records, which produced several hits, including many by Junior Delgado.
His first big hit was “Money In My Pocket” on the Joe Gibbs label, and by the late 1970s, Brown had recorded and performed chart-toppers such as “Sitting & Watching”, “Wolves and Leopards”, “Here I Come” and “Revolution”; many featuring Sly And Robbie as the rhythm section. As the dancehall era of the 1980s arrived, Brown frequently recorded with King Jammy and Gussie Clark. His song “Revolution” is featured on the reggae radio station K-JAH Radio West in the 2004 video game Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. According to some sources, Brown became addicted to crack cocaine, which affected his career and may have lead to his premature death. Jamaican Prime Minister P. J. Patterson and opposition leader Edward Seaga of the Jamaica Labour Party both spoke at Brown’s funeral, which was held on July 17, 1999 in Kingston, Jamaica. The service, which lasted for three hours, also featured live performances by Maxi Priest, Shaggy, and five of Brown’s sons. Brown was then buried at Kingston’s National Heroes Park.