Born: June 27, 1935
Christiana, Manchester, Jamaica
Died: Nov 4, 2008
Byron Lee was a major figure of Caribbean popular music. As leader of the Dragonaires,(one of Jamaica’s top show bands, a 14-piece outfit whose line-up was always changing, touring throughout the Caribbean and into
North America,spreading the ska sound) he helped to build the careers of dozens of the island’s most talented vocalists.
He was also instrumental in raising the profile of Jamaican music and boosted the popularity of calypso on the island
by collaborating with other leading
stars. He went on to establish Dynamic
Sounds, one of the largest and best-equipped recording facilities in the Caribbean, where much of the most popular reggae was recorded, and
later concentrated on producing soca, the up-tempo successor to calypso. In 2007 Byron Lee was diagnosed with cancer,despite his cancer, Byron Lee continued to tour. In October 2008,
after receiving treatment for several weeks in Florida, Lee returned to
spend his final days in Jamaica.
In a ceremony at the University Hospital of the West Indies on October 26, 2008, he was awarded the Order of Jamaica. Lee died on the 4th of November 2008, aged 73.