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» BREAKING NEWS, GUEST RUNDOWNS » REMEMBERING JACOB “JAKES” MILLER, MAY 4, 1952 – MARCH 23, 1980!

REMEMBERING JACOB “JAKES” MILLER, MAY 4, 1952 – MARCH 23, 1980!

By Brian Bonitto —

 Jacob Miller—-

NEARLY four decades after his death, Jacob ‘Jakes’ Miller’s legacy is alive and well, according to Inner Circle founding member Roger Lewis.

Miller, who died in a auto accident, would have celebrated his 64th birthday today.

Lewis, guitarist for the Grammy-winning band, spoke about the singer’s legacy.

“During his lifetime, Jakes’s contribution to Jamaica’s music was instrumental. As a singer/songwriter/social commentator, his music reflected the mood of the society,” Lewis told the Jamaica Observer from his Florida base yesterday.

Jacob Miller

Jacob Miller

“He was one of the headliners at the One Love Peace Concert in Kingston in ’78. He contributed to the growth of Rastafari and was one of the advocates for marijuana legalization in his song Tired Fi Li Weed Inna Bush… He was the people’s singer,” he continued.Miller’s music has won a new generation of artists. Chronixx put his spin on Tenement Yard, while American rapper/actor J Boog added his flavor to I’ve Got The Handle.

Lewis has a hectic touring schedule with Inner Circle. They perform at major events including Rototom Sunsplash in Spain, Retro Festival in Norway, Sea Splash in Croatia, and Serwood Festival in Italy. He said Miller has a global following.

Inner Circle with Jacob Miller

Inner Circle with Jacob Miller

“A section of the audience comes to our concerts for that. His music has a following in Europe, America and in the Caribbean.”

The Manchester-born Miller had a prolific solo career and also as lead singer of Inner Circle. He also starred in the 1978 movie Rockers. Miller is also known for songs like Peace Treaty, Forward Ever, Backward Never, Chapter A Day, and Natty Christmas.

“Like Bob Marley, Jakes never had an opportunity to fulfil his potential. We only saw about 15 per cent of him. He could have contributed much more. He and Bob became close friends before his death. I’m sorry he wasn’t around about 20 more years,” said Lewis.

Jacob Miller & Bob Marley

Jacob Miller & Bob Marley

Lewis said plans are in the works for a tribute concert in Manchester next year.

Formed in 1968, Inner Circle achieved success with Miller during the 1970s. After his death they disbanded and the Lewis brothers migrated to Florida. The band reformed in 1986 and is known globally for the hit songs Bad Boys and Sweat (A La La La La Long).

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