Lead singer of British reggae band Aswad was 62 – Deadline

Angus “Drummie Zeb” Gaye, who sang and played drums on “Don’t Turn Around”, “Shine” and other hits by British reggae band Aswad, died on September 2. He was 62 years old.

The band announced his death on their Instagram page but did not provide details. “It is with deep regret and deep loss that we must announce the passing of our brother Angus ‘Drummie’ Gaye,” the message read (see here). “Drummie was much loved and respected by family, friends and peers. [He] left us to join our ancestors and leaves a huge void both personally and professionally.

Gaye and bandmates Tony Robinson and Brinsley Dan Forde met at Holland Park School in London and released a number of singles that hit the UK charts before hitting it big with ‘Don’t Turn Around’ in 1988 (see the video below). The upbeat track written by Albert Hammond and Diane Warren reached No. 1 in Britain and New Zealand and reached the Top 10 in other countries including Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands, but failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States.

Buoyed by the international success of British reggae band UB40 at the time, the single was taken from Aswad’s 12th album, distant thunder, who reached 10th place in the UK and won gold there. The LP rocked the Billboard 200 in the United States.

Aswad – a proper name meaning “black” in Arabic – followed “Don’t Turn Around” with “Give a Little Love” later in 1988, reaching No. 11 in the UK, and had another Top 10 with “Shine” in 1994. This song also entered the Top 10 in Ireland.

The band released over 20 studio albums from their self-titled debut in 1976 through 2009. A block, 10 of them made the UK charts.

Born September 24, 1959, Gaye has also produced songs for bands such as Swedish band Ace of Base, whose 1994 version of “Don’t Turn Around” became an international hit. Taken from the band’s multi-platinum debut album, the remake charted top 5 in the US and UK and topped the Canadian singles chart. It also reached the Top 10 in several other countries, including Denmark, Germany, Finland, Scotland and Iceland.

Gaye has also produced tracks for Vanessa Mae, Carroll Thompson and others.

Here’s the video for Ace of Base’s version of “Don’t Turn Around”:

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About Eileen W. Sudduth

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