Beloved patriarch, zealous Rastafarian, global activist, musical prodigy and father of reggae dynasty Morgan Heritage, Ras Denroy Morgan was a man among men. The father of 30, grandfather of 104 and great-grandfather of 15 devoted his life to his legacy and his faith, all through his passion for music. Morgan is widely regarded as a conduit for bringing reggae to the mainstream market through his own solo works, his work with The Black Eagles and via his children’s three-time GRAMMY-Award winning roots and culture band, Morgan Heritage.
Ras Denroy Morgan fought a largely unknown battle with cancer and peacefully ascended to Zion on Thursday, March 3rd at his home in Lawrenceville, GA, surrounded by his prodigious family. The shocking loss sent waves though the world of reggae, as condolences from fellow musicians and fans poured in far and wide via social media — many of whom had no idea he was ill.
An official statement made by the Morgan Family on March 7th communicates:
“Although he is no longer with us in this realm, his soul will continue to guide and inspire us. He will live on in us, his grandchildren and his great grandchildren. His legacy will live on forever.” The statement continues, “We thank you for your continued prayers and just know that all the love you’ve shown him over the years he loved you back and we thank you”.
Born May 15th, 1945 in May Pen, Jamaica, the trailblazing Morgan relocated to Brooklyn in ‘65 at the age of 19 to pursue a career as a musician. He found moderate success with his band The Black Eagles, but topped the international and Billboard charts with his solo hit single “I Would Do Anything For You” in 1981. He soon after struck a record deal with RCA, becoming the first Jamaican artist signed to a major label.
Morgan recently finished an album called Divine Destiny, which was slated for an April 22nd premiere. While there’s no word on whether the release date will remain, you can listen to the newly released title single, “Slavery Offences”. In a quote from the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness: “He has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the world through his musical talent and genius. I therefore pay tribute to a veteran of music… May light perpetually shine on him”.
Editor’s Note: Our hearts at Top Shelf Music go out to the Morgan Family in this time of loss.