Brown, whose posthumous award was accepted by his widow Yvonne, was recognised with the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander (CD) for his contribution to the Jamaican music industry. Speaking with the Observer following the ceremony, Brown noted that it was a fantastic day for the family. Responding to sentiments from certain quarters that her late husband should have received this honour a long time ago, a gracious Brown noted, “Nothing happens before the time and Dennis is still with us… in spirit.”
Brown, who died at 42 of respiratory ailments, rose to prominence during the 1970s wave of reggae singers that included Marley, whose music introduced the Jamaican genre to listeners worldwide. He released more than 50 albums and a long string of hits, beginning withÃ‚ No Man is anÃ‚ Island, which he recorded in 1969 at the age of 12.
Brown died in 1999 and is interred at National Heroes’ Park in Kingston.
Another giant of the local music industry, Millie Small, was also recognised at the event. She too received the CD for her contribution to the Jamaican music industry. Small, who lives in the United Kingdom, was unable to attend but requested that her award and insignia be received by former Prime Minister Edward Seaga.
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