Hopeton Lewis  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Hopeton Lewis (3 October 1947 – 4 September 2014) was a Jamaican singer. Lewis' rich baritone has had a profound impact on Jamaican music, and his mixture of gospel and soul elements helped set the template for early rocksteady.

Lewis began recording in the mid-1960s, and had one of the earliest rocksteady hits with "Take It Easy" in late 1966.


Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Lewis sang in church from an early age and started performing as a youth, forming a singing group called The Regals. By the mid-1960s, he began recording and had one of the earliest rocksteady hits with "Take It Easy" in late 1966. The track was recorded with Lynn Taitt and the Jets and is regarded as one of the first rocksteady singles. He had several more Jamaican hits in the late 1960s and early 1970s, including the first 'herb' song ever recorded in Jamaica, "Cool Collie". He worked for Duke Reid as an arranger and backing vocalist, and won the Festival Song Contest in 1970 with "Boom Shaka Lacka". He began working as a singer with Byron Lee & the Dragonaires, and in 1971 had a hit with "Grooving Out On Life".

Lewis continued to release records, but his success after the early 1970s was limited. Lewis released This Is Gospel in 1996 on his own label, Bay City Music, founded in the 1980s. Much of his recent work has been in the gospel genre, including Reaching Out to Jesus (2000).

He lived the later period of his life in Brooklyn, New York, where he presented a show on Grace Deliverance Radio.

Lewis died on 4 September 2014 at his home in Brooklyn, aged 66.


  • Take It Easy (1968), Island
  • Grooving Out On Life (1971), Dynamic Sounds/Trojan
  • Dynamic Hopeton Lewis (1974), Dragon
  • All Night Bubblin' (1985), Boss
  • Love, Life and Music (1997), Songs 4 Life
  • Reaching Out to Jesus (2000), Orchard
  • Caribbean Gospel Jubilee (2000), Rockstone
  • Inner Peace (2001), Songs 4 Life
  • A Holy Christmas (2002), Songs 4 Life
  • Love Life & Music (2007), Quartz
  • Hopeton Lewis Sings Home Coming Classics (2007), Songs 4 Life
  • Hymns (2007), Songs 4 Life
  • This Is Gospel (2008), Sun Moon & Stars
  • Worship (2008), Songs 4 Life
  • Lay Your Hands on Me Jesus (2008), Songs 4 Life
  • Love Ballads Vol. One (2008), Rockstone
  • Praise and Worship (2008), Songs 4 Life
  • The Inspirational Hopeton Lewis
  • Country Gospel (2008), Songs 4 Life
  • Healing: 42 Years of Music (2009), Songs 4 Life
  • All Island Gospel Revival, Songs 4 Life
  • Voice of Thanksgiving, Songs 4 Life
  • Song's of Faith (2013). Songs 4 Life/VP
  • De Word Through Music (2014), Songs 4 Life/VP
  • Classic Gold Collection (1998), Rockstone
  • Take It Easy: Rock Steady Reggae (1999), K&K/VP
  • 40 Years: Happy Birthday: Celebrating 40 Years of Music (2008), Songs 4 Life

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Hopeton Lewis" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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