A master of love songs and roots material, Leroy ‘the Don’ Smart has
been on the reggae scene since the
early ’70s. Born in Jamaica and
orphaned as a young child, Leroy was sent to Maxfield Park children’s home and educated at the famed Alpha Boys School. He began recording in the early ’70s. Smart worked with such producers as Gussie Clarke, Joseph ‘Jo Jo’ Hoo Kim, and Bunny Lee and scored hits like
‘Pride & Ambition’, ‘Mother Liza’, and ‘Ballistic Affair’ while gaining fame for a flamboyant performance style, exceptionally anguished delivery, and penetrating vocal manner. Smart’s smashing voice often seemed about to collapse from anxiety and earnestness mid-song. He has continued to maintain his popularity, never scoring any crossover or international hits, but retaining his pull with the notoriously fickle Jamaican audience.