John Holt, one of Jamaica's most well-loved vocalists, died early Sunday morning in London at the age of 67. His death was confirmed by his manager Copeland Forbes via the Jamaica Observer. Holt, who was initially known for his career with the Paragons in the rocksteady era of the 1960s, had 40 albums under his belt alongside his reputation for strong live performances.
As a pre-teen, Holt was tremendously successful at local talent competitions in his native Kingston, quickly drawing the attention of equally legendary Jamaican singer and songwriter Bob Andy. Andy had begun performing as a duo with Tyrone Evans just after independence in 1962. Deciding that the field was flooded with strong twosomes, Andy and Evans decided to reach out to some potential singers, including Holt, that would eventually become The Paragons. Holt's voice was "a velveted tone like Nat King Cole," Andy tells Rolling Stone, and was just the thing for the mimicking of American and English hits popular in Jamaica at the time.