Reggae Artist Smiley Culture Dies During Police Raid

Smiley Culture
Smiley Culture

AOL Black Voices reports that British reggae singer Smiley Culture, whose lyrics highlighted tensions between young black men and police officers in his most popular songs, died yesterday during a police raid on his home:

Police said the singer, whose real name was David Emmanuel, killed himself when he plunged a knife into his own chest after police officers surrounded his home.

The sad irony is that Culture's best known song was named 'Police Officer' and rose to number 12 on the British music charts. The catchy tune based on his real-life experiences describes how Culture was caught with pot but escaped arrest after the police officer realized he was a popular singer.

Culture's other biggest hit was Cockney Translation, a lighthearted song that paid honor to black Britons who sought to express both their British and West Indian culture


Though little known in the States, Culture worked with better known singers like Maxi Priest and appeared in David Bowie's film 'Absolute Beginners' in 1986.

Read more at BV Blackspin.

In other news: Inducted Into Hall of Fame, Rocker Darlene Love Gets Long-Overdue Recognition.

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