‘Pass the Dutchie’ drummer Frederick Waite Jr dies at age 55

·2 min read
Frederick Waite Jr of the band Musical Youth has died at age 55 (Musical Youth / PA)
Frederick Waite Jr of the band Musical Youth has died at age 55 (Musical Youth / PA)

Frederick Waite Jr, the drummer for reggae band Musical Youth, has died at age 55.

Waite was one-fifth of the British-Jamaican musical group, originally formed in Birmingham in 1979.

They are most famous for their 1982 song, “Pass The Dutchie”, which reached number one in the UK charts as well as several others across the world.

“We are sad to announce the passing of Musical Youth’s drummer Frederick Waite Jr,” the group’s statement, posted to social media on Thursday (11 August) read.

“Our thoughts go out to him and his family during this sad time. We have lost a musical legend, who inspired many young musicians over the last 40 years.”

They concluded the message with the phrase: “Rest in eternal peace.”

At the time of writing, the details surrounding Waite’s death are unknown. According to Birmingham City Council, he died on 20 July.

Musical Youth was made up of drummer Waite, his brother Patrick Waite, Dennis Seaton, Michael Grant and Kelvin Grant. (Patrick died in 1993 at age 24, due to a hereditary heart condition.)

At the time of the band’s formation, they were all still school pupils.

Though they enjoyed success with “Pass The Dutchie” and scored a Grammy nomination, Musical Youth disbanded in 1985 after experiencing legal, financial and personal problems.

Dennis Seaton and Michael Grant returned as a duo in 2001 and most recently performed at the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony in their home city of Birmingham.