R.I.P. Smiley Culture (Saxon Posse)

REGGAE MUSICIAN Smiley Culture who scored two chart hits in the Eighties has died following an incident with police.

The Police Office singer, real name David Emmanuel, is believed to have ‘stabbed himself’ after officers raided his home in Warlingham, Surrey, earlier today.

He was due to face trial after being charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine in September last year alongside four others.

A spokesman for the Independent Police Complaints Commission confirmed they were now investigating a “death following police contact”.

The 47-year-old, born and raised in south London, rose to fame as a DJ with the Saxon Studio sound system.

He released his first single Cockney Translation in 1984 but was best known for Police Officer which was a Top Twenty hit and earned him two performances on BBC music show Top of the Pops.

Emmanuel had claimed the song, a light-hearted take on police attitudes to black people at the time, was based on his own experience of being let off by officers when caught with a spliff after recognising who he was.

The Tulse Hill schoolboy later signed to major record label Polydor but failed to match his earlier success.

Ricky Belgrave, chairman of the British Association of Static Systems (BASS), called Smiley’s death a “sad loss for British reggae”.

He said: “I worked with Smiley many times over the years, so news of his death is very sad to hear. Smiley was a lively personality and was in that first wave of homegrown British reggae talent.

“He was one of the first to cross over into the mainstream alongside people like Maxi Priest and enjoyed chart success. On behalf of Bass, we offer our condolences to his family at this tragic time.”

 

 

via The Voice

 

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