Lord Creator, Original ‘Kingston Town’ Singer, Dead At 87

Lord Creator

Calypsonian, ska, and rocksteady artist Lord Creator, best known for his hit song Kingston Town, later covered by UB40, died today (June 30). Born Kenrick Patrick, he was 87.

“He died at 11 a.m, he hadn’t been feeling well for some time,” Mrs. Neseline Patrick, Lord Creator’s wife of 23 years, told DancehallMag.

“He had suffered two strokes, the last one in 2005, he had prostate problems, diabetes and high blood pressure , and he also had done surgery on his back in 2013. He was walking a bit until 2019 when he stopped walking altogether.”

Mrs. Patrick said that Lord Creator did not let his litany of ailments define the quality of his life. Until the end of his life, he remained a convivial, joyful soul.

“He didn’t let his illnesses bother him, he was humorous, he gave jokes, you wouldn’t believe he was a sick person, he was a real joy,” Mrs. Patrick said.

Lord Creator sired 15 kids, 8 of whom are still alive. He had been in a relationship with Neseline for 31 years, 23 of which they were legally married.

The singer, who resided with his wife in Golden Grove, received the Order of Distinction (Officer Rank) from the Jamaican Government, for his “contribution to the development of Jamaican music and community service,” on National Heroes Day in 2022.

“I will miss him,” she said.

Minister of Entertainment Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange said she was “saddened by his passing” and expressed her condolences to his widow and his relatives.

“We gave him a national honour last year,” the Minister added.

Hailed as one ska’s pioneers, he was known for hits such as Don’t Stay Out Late, Big Bamboo, Little Princess and Jamaica Farewell.

Lord Creator was born in San Fernando, Trinidad, on August 21, 1935.

He started as a calypso singer in Trinidad and recorded his first hits, “The Cockhead” and “Evening News”, in Trinidad in 1958 and 1959 respectively with Fitz Vaughan Bryan’s big band.

Lord Creator

He moved to Jamaica in late 1959 to perform and record and decided to settle on the island.

In 1962, he recorded “Independent Jamaica” with producer Vincent “Randy” Chin, which became the official song marking Jamaica’s independence from the British Empire on August 6, 1962. That song was also the first record on Chris Blackwell’s newly founded Island Records label in the United Kingdom. In 1963, “Don’t Stay Out Late”, produced by Chin, became a hit in Jamaica.

In 1964, he scored a further hit with “Big Bamboo”, produced by Coxsone Dodd with Tommy McCook on saxophone.

Creator had another big hit with “Kingston Town”, a tune he recorded for producer Clancy Eccles in 1970.

Lord Creator had also said Kingston Town was an interpolation of Babylon, which he had composed as a teenager in Trinidad and later recorded for Randys, back in 1963, on a Ska beat.

He explained said that while performing in Montego Bay at a club, enterprising producer Clancy Eccles, had asked him to record a song for him which resulted in the track Molly Is A Big Girl Now. Enamoured with his singing style, Eccles reportedly requested “a song on the flip side” and the result was Kingston Town.

Lord Creator, in interviews, said he inserted the words Kingston Town and removed the word “Babylon” and reworked the track.

That song would become his most enduring hit.

However, it became the subject of controversy between Lord Creator and Clancy Eccles over ownership of the song after UB-40’s version sold millions in Europe, “generating enormous royalties to the writer of the song.”

According to the author, Lord Creator, who was struggling financially in Jamaica, after 22 years had returned to his homeland,  Trinidad, “almost against his will in 1984”.

It was there that after suffering a stroke which saw him being hospitalised for 19 days, Creator got the news that UB-40, after being given permission by him to record Kingston Town, had “made it into a big hit all over Europe by 1989, and generated enormous royalties for the composer of the song”.

The following year, Lord Creator returned to Jamaica and built houses for himself and his children, “and out of goodwill”, gave Clancy $250,000 “but when he returned for more, I refused and contacted my lawyers,” the article stated.

According to the article, in an interview, the now-deceased Eccles had claimed that “fifty per cent of the record is owned by me, because I wrote some of the words. I made the music for this particular song, and I don’t get a penny royalty yet”, while Lord Creator had claimed he wrote the entire song, and that the publishers came to that decision after extensive investigations.

In March 2023, UB40’s cover version of the song was certified Platinum in the UK.

After UB40 recorded the cover version of Kingston Town in 1989, Lord Creator experienced a career revival, and he did several oldies shows in Jamaica and, later Japan.

He returned to Jamaica, living in Montego Bay and then later Hanover before moving to Golden Grove.