Reggae Producer Philip Burrell Dead at 57

Influential and prolific producer pushed for clean lyrics

December 12, 2011 8:45 AM ET
Philip 'Fatis' Burrell in Brixton
Philip 'Fatis' Burrell in Brixton
David Corio/Getty

Philip "Fatis" Burrell, one of Jamaica's most prolific music producers, died at the age of 57 on December 3rd in Kingston, Jamaica. The producer, best known for his work with reggae stars Sizzla, Luciano, Pinchers, Ini Kamoze and Sanchez, suffered a fatal heart attack.

Burrell was a very influential figure in contemporary Jamaican music, working on dozens of records over the past two decades. He was well-known for his high moral standards, insisting that his artists offer socially responsible messages in their lyrics. In the late Eighties, he founded Xterminator Records, which got its name from the producer's desire to eliminate "slackness" – Jamaican slang for sexually explicit lyrics – from the music.

Photos: Random Notes
Burrell also made a point of hiring musicians rather than relying too heavily on drum machines and computers, and he went out of his way to work with new talent instead of focusing on established acts.

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