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Mikey Dread

Mikey Dread

BiographyFrom an early age, Campbell showed a natural aptitude for engineering and electronics. In 1976, after he finished college, Campbell started out as an engineer with the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC). Campbell wasn't impressed that the JBC's playlists mainly consisted of bland, foreign pop music at a time when some of the most potent reggae was being recorded in Jamaica. He convinced his JBC bosses to give him his own radio program called Dread At The Controls, where he played nothing but reggae. Before long, Campbell (now using the DJ name Mikey Dread) had the most popular program on the JBC. Well known for its fun and adventurous sonic style, Dread At The Controls became a hit all over Jamaica. Inevitably, JBC's conservative management and Campbell clashed, and he quit in protest.Examples of Mikey Dread's distinctive radio chatter can be heard on the US release of the RAS label LP African Anthem Dubwise. Unlike its Jamaican counterpart Mikey Dread At The Controls Dubwise, his radio exclamations and chatter have been included and add quite a bit of atmosphere to the dubwise proceedings.By 1979-80, Campbell had earned a solid reputation as a singer and producer and began recording his own material. Distinctive albums such as Dread at the Controls, Evolutionary Rockers, and World War III all became favorites amongst reggae fans. His collaboration with producers King Tubby and Carlton Patterson stand out as some of the best work each party has done.Campbell's music attracted the attention of British punk rockers The Clash, who invited him over to England to produce some of their music. Although initially suspicious of the strangers, Campbell soon became the best of friends with the band, producing their famous "Bankrobber" single and performing on several songs on their 1980 album Sandinista!. Campbell also toured with The Clash across Britain, Europe, and the US, gaining many new fans along the way.He studied at the National Broadcasting School in London where he perfected his media production/radio broadcasting skills, graduating with special commendations in 1980.During the early 1980s he provided vocals with the reggae collective Singers And Players on Adrian Sherwood's On-U Sound record label.Dread produced ten dub tracks for UB40 and toured Europe and Scandinavia as their support artist.Some of his works in the United Kingdom include narrating reggae documentaries, hosting series such as Rockers Roadshow and the ever popular six-part Channel 4 reggae documentary series Deep Roots Music. He later recorded "The Source (Of Your Divorce)" for Warner Brothers Records US, which obtained regularly rotated video airplay.In 1991, Dread recorded Profile and African Anthem Revisited. He also toured in Europe and the US with Freddie McGregor, Lloyd Parks, We The People Band, and the Roots Radics Band.In 1992, he collaborated with former Guns N' Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin on a duet entitled "Can't Hear 'Em". He was nominated for a NAIRD award, an award from the Billboard Magazine, for his work on his 1990 compilation album Mikey Dread's Best Sellers.In 1993, Mikey Dread was involved in several projects, including his tour supporting the album Obsession and working in TV with the Caribbean Satellite Network (CSN) where he was Program Director and On Air personality as well as Producer of various shows.In 1994 he presented The Culture Award of Honor in the Martin’s International Reggae Music Awards in Chicago. In 1995, he worked as a Radio DJ for WAVS 1170 AM and WAXY-AM 790 in Miami, Florida. In 1996 he participated in the Essential Music Festival as a performer in Brighton, UK.Mikey furthered his knowledge of TV/Video Production at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, where he graduated in 1996 with Honors and at Lynn University in Boca Raton / Florida where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Communications, with Magna Cum Laude honors.He did live appearances with The Clash, UB40, Bob Dylan, Carlos Santana, Macka B, and many other bands and artists. He also produced artists such as Sugar Minott, Junior Murvin, Earl Sixteen, Wally Bucker, Sunshine, Jah Grundy and Rod Taylor. He also worked closely with producer Trevor Elliot to launch musical career of singer Edi Fitzroy. Mikey Dread was the featured artist on "Lips Like Sugar" with Seal for the soundtrack of the 2004 film, 50 First Dates.After many years working as a producer and singer, Campbell withdrew from the business and moved to Miami where he furthered his college education with courses in electronics and business. Disgusted with several unfair contracts with record companies, Campbell shrewdly waited until all of the existing contracts expired and then regained control over his entire catalogue. He began re-releasing much of it on his own Dread At The Controls record label.Dread, together with The Blizzard of 78, featured on The Sandinista! Project, a tribute to the 1980 Clash album Sandinista!, with the song "Silicone on Sapphire". The tribute album, recorded in 2004, was released on 15 May 2007 by the 00:02:59 Records (a label named after a lyric from the Sandinista! song "Hitsville UK").In October 2007, it was announced that Campbell was being treated for a brain tumour. He died on 15 March 2008, surrounded by his family, at the home of his sister in Stamford, Connecticut.

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