According to local media, he died in a hospital in Lucea, in Jamaica’s northwestern region.
Perry is well renowned for his groundbreaking dub experiments, which transformed not only reggae, but also hip hop, dance, and other genres.
Andrew Holness, the Prime Minister of Jamaica, described him as “unforgettable” and complimented his “outstanding contribution” to music.
The Beastie Boys, who initially worked with Perry in 1996 when he opened for them in Japan before collaborating on the track Dr Lee PhD for the Hello Nasty album in 1998, praised his “pioneering attitude.”
In a tweet, the group wrote, “We are genuinely grateful to have been inspired by and partnered with this true legend.”
Lupe Fiasco, a rapper, also paid tribute to Perry, tweeting, “African blood flows through my veins, thus I and I shall never fade away.”
Perry was born in 1936 in rural Jamaica and migrated to Kingston in the early 1960s. He claimed in a 1984 interview with NME magazine: “My father drove a truck and my mother worked in the fields. We were in dire straits. I went to class… I didn’t learn anything at all. Nature has taught me everything I’ve learned. “
He began his music career as an assistant at a reggae music label in the 1950s, eventually rising to become a recording artist for the same label. Perry went on to collaborate with a number of other music giants over the next seven decades, including Bob Marley and the Beastie Boys.
He also won a Grammy in 2002, was nominated four more times – in 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2014 – and was awarded the Order of Distinction, a Jamaican national honour. Keith Richards referred to Perry as “the Salvador Dali of music” in a 2010 interview with Rolling Stone.
“He’s an enigma. His instrument is the entire globe. All you have to do now is listen, “according to Richards. “More than a producer, he understands how to stir the soul of an artist.