Keyboardist Wycliffe ‘Steely’ Johnson of the infamous production duo Steely and Clevie died on Tuesday from a heart failure. Steely who suffered from diabetes contracted pneumonia after removal of a benign tumour at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital in New York. He was also receiving treatment for kidney failure prior to going overseas for further treatment.

Steely who started his career as a studio musician worked with several producers and was known for creating some of the best 1980’s and 1990’s jams with Cleveland ‘Clevie’ Browne. As keyboard player with the Roots Radix Band Steely backed singers like Gregory Isaacs and Bunny Wailer. The duo began producing as a team in the 1980’s after playing on Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Confrontation album.  In 2002 they produced Sean Paul and Sasha’s I’m Still In Love which was a hit on the pop charts.

Steelie Bashment who copied the name hoping to one day emulate his greatness had this to say on Johnson passing;”I am deeply saddened by the passing of Wycliffe ‘Steely’ Johnson. Talk to anyone who grew up with me, and they’ll tell you that I idolized Steely from Silver Hawk Sound. I adopted the name ‘Steelie’ with the goal to one day have my own sound and be at the top of the game — like Steely. I met Steely about 10-12 years ago in Studio 2000. He said he had heard about me; I told him I named myself after him because I respected him and what he did with Silver Hawkt.  His contribution to Dancehall music is immeasurable. His impact on my life is unforgettable. Music without him is inconceivable.”


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