Frederick “Freddie” Waite Jr, the original drummer for British-Jamaican reggae band Musical Youth, has passed away at age 55.
Pictured clockwise, from bottom left: Michael Grant, Freddie Waite Jr., Patrick Waite (1968 – 1993), Dennis Seaton and Kelvin Grant.
A rep for the band confirmed his death in a statement on social media Thursday. “We are sad to announce the passing of Musical Youth’s drummer Frederick Waite Jr. Our thoughts go out to him and his family during this sad time. We have lost a musical legend, who inspired many young musicians over the last 40 years. Rest in Eternal Peace.”
Musical Youth is best known for their international hit song “Pass the Dutchie” (1982). The song was No. 1 in 7 countries and went platinum in Canada. “Pass the Dutchie” peaked at No. 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Waite Jr. was just 12 years old when he formed the Musical Youth with his brother, Patrick Waite (bassist) who died in 1985. They recruited the Grant brothers, Kelvin on guitar and Michael on keyboards. Vocalist Dennis Seaton joined the band later as frontman.
Musical Youth found a new generation of fans when their classic single was featured on the US TV series Stranger Things season 4.
The group disbanded in 1985 and returned in 2001 as a duo.
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