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Singer Pat Kelly is dead

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Pat Kelly, whose Curtis Mayfield-inspired falsetto was one of the most identifiable voices in reggae, died here Tuesday from complications of kidney disease. He was believed to be in his early 70s.

Kelly’s friend, Anthony “Chips” Richards, told OBSERVER ONLINE that Jackie Kelly, the singer’s wife, informed him of his passing.

“Pat wasn’t just a great singer, he was a man of high discipline,” said Richards, who first met Kelly in the early 1970s in the United Kingdom. At the time, Kelly’s solo career was on a high thanks to the hit songs, Talk About Love and How Long.

During the late 1960s, the Kingston-born Kelly had great success as a member of rock-steady group, The Techniques. He sang lead on I Wish it Would Rain and Love is Not A Gamble, two of the trio’s biggest hit songs for producer Duke Reid.

Kelly started his career in the mid-1960s, recording his first songs for Bunny Lee, his childhood friend. Later, Lee produced several of his songs including How Long.

Kelly was also a trained audio engineer with a degree in audio electronics from the Massachusetts College of Technology. He worked on recording sessions for Gregory Isaacs, Delroy Wilson and Johnny Clarke.

Howard Campbell