LAUREL AITKEN, the "Godfather of Ska", has died of a heart attack. He was 78.

The ISLAND RECORDS protege, widely revered as a pioneer of Jamaican ska music in the UK, passed away on Sunday (17JUL05).

Born in Cuba, Aitken, real name OLIVER STEPHENS, moved to Jamaica with his family when he was 10, before emigrating to England in 1960 where he rocked the charts with bands such as THE SKATALITES.

Club Ska promoter MARK WYETH says, "Laurel was a great man and a good man, the Godfather of Ska and someone who was deeply loved."

20/07/2005 01:54