By Shereita Grizzle—
Dr Rita Marley and the Rita Marley Foundation (JA) will be honoring master vocalist, musical arranger, producer and drummer Astley ‘Grub’ Cooper for his contributions to Jamaica’s musical heritage.
Rosemary Duncan, manager at the Rita Marley Foundation (JA), praised Cooper for his contributions to the country’s growing musical heritage.
“Grub has undoubtedly made immeasurable contributions to Jamaica’s music and culture. For this reason, Dr Marley and the foundation find him most deserving of this inaugural award,” she said.
The award will be presented on February 17 during the foundation’s annual national high school Public Speaking Competition to be held at University of the West Indies, Mona, presented this year in collaboration with Stephen Marley’s Ghetto Youths Foundation. This major event is being held as part of the celebrations to recognize Bob Marley’s 72nd birthday.
An expert songwriter, Grub penned several international hits; including, Rita Marley’s One Draw, Harambe, That’s The Way, and Love Iyah. He also wrote All Night Party, which was recorded by Buster Point Dexter, as well as Fab 5’s Jamaican Woman, Mini Mini, Freeze and Yu Safe. As a member of the iconic band, Grub also played instruments on all the reggae tracks for Johnny Nash’s platinum album, I Can See Clearly Now.
Throughout his career, Grub also arranged and produced lead and backup vocals for the I-Threes, Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers, and The Grace Thrillers. He also provided background vocals for British musician, Boy George’s single, Believe In It All.
Adding to his impressive musical accomplishments, six of Grub’s musical arrangements for musicians Eric Donaldson and Roy Rayon won the National Popular Song Contest, formerly the Festival Song Contest.