Gregory Gondwe, Malawi Best Blogger 2014

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Gramps Morgan Mourned Lucky Dube

Not that today is the day that Lucky Phillip Dube was killed, no! Nor is it the day that he was born, he was born in August 1964, which three months ago; but at least this coming Wednesday October 18 is the date that became the red lettered day for reggae lovers.
Four years ago, the evening of October 18 in 2007, Lucky Dube was shot dead in the Johannesburg suburb of Rosettenville shortly after dropping two of his seven children off at their uncle's house.
Apparently the assailants were after Dube’s Chrysler 300C he was driving when dropping his children. Police reports suggest he was shot dead by carjackers.
As the world commemorate the fourth anniversary after the iconic African Reggae King was killed, I try to give a special mention on a track called ‘Always and Forever’ done by Grampa Morgan in his debut album  “Two sides of My heart Vol. One”
The feeling would: Grampa Morgan? Who the heck is he?
Well, he was born Roy Morgan, as one of the legendary Denroy Morgan’s seventeen sons and was affectionately given the name “Grampa” on the day of his birth by an aunt who noticed his uncanny resemblance to his grandfather.  
Then Roy ‘Grampa’ Morgan became Gramps a name that is said to have followed him throughout his youth hood before it became his showbiz name.
He is a member of the internationally renowned reggae group, Morgan Heritage; a band composed of five family members out of his 29 other siblings, some of whom have formed different musical groups like LMS.
I am not qualified to write an account that is Morgan Heritage, which at the tender age of nine, Gramps became part of. He recorded over ten albums with the band.
Together as Morgan Heritage they have sold millions before going into recess but as their father Denroy Morgan presaged that one day, each of the group members would travel own journey to achieve solo stardom. More than a decade later Gramps is now is just fulfilling it and already he has bagged numerous awards.
As a specialized vocalist with his husky and deep hiding voice, and a master on keyboard player as well as stage performer, Gramps released his first official single as a solo artist, “Wash the Tears”, under his own Dada Son Entertainment label which entered Italy’s Top 20 Singles Chart at number eight.
His debut first solo album, Two Sides of My Heart - Vol. 1 in 2009 earned him three awards for Best New Entertainer, Best Song (“Wash the Tears”) and Best Crossover Song (“Therapy” featuring India Arie) at the 2010 International Reggae and World Music Awards.
He also earned a nomination for Reggae Artist of the Year at the 2010 Soul Train Music Awards and went on to win Album of the Year at the 6th Annual Excellence in Music and Entertainment Awards. Gramps’ work and collaboration with reggae superstar Buju Banton on his album "Before the Dawn" won the award for Best Reggae Album at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards in 2011.
Gramps is currently recording his second studio album, which is presently untitled and scheduled to be released sometime in 2011.
He plans to release Two Sides of My Heart - Volume 2 in 2012, which will be an R&B and country inspired album with collaborations with Kenny Rodgers and others.
With such a record, Lucky Dube would not have needed any other tribute from no lesser a Person than Gramps.
In the track “Always and Forever” Gramps start by singing ‘Lucky Dube’  over and over before wondering:
“What could he have done so wrong? Did we even know he was one of the JAH prophets? Listen to his great songs, oh Jah, What a man we have lost so”He then sings that “We always will remember you now and forever for the works you have carried out and we will not forget all of the things you did.”
He then declares in the song that “this is a sign to show the times have changed” and repeats that “they have changed” over and over again.
Gramps then pledges that “Now that you're amongst the starts, We will make sure your work lives on, Crying tears will fall time to time… But memories of you, help us carry on sooo, We always will remember you now and forever for the words you have carried out and, We will not forget all of the things you did this is a sign to show that times have changed.”
The song says in the last stanza that “Some will come, some will go but the works you've done will still live on. Just like the prophets of old you were one, a chosen one some will come, some will go but the works you've done will still live on just like the prophets of old surely.”
Lucky Dube also amassed uncountable awards in his life time and performed before all kinds of people including Malawians. Gramps I think mourned him better!

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