Mikey Dread  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
"Money in my pocket"

Michael Campbell (born January 1 1954 - died March 15, 2008), better known as Mikey Dread, was a Jamaican singer, producer and radio DJ, a one-time collaborator of Lee Perry and a member of Singers & Players.


Born in in Port Antonio, Jamaica, from an early age, Campbell showed a natural aptitude for engineering and electronics. After he finished college, Campbell started out as an engineer with the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC). Campbell wasn't impressed that the JBC's playlists mainly consisted of bland, foreign pop music at a time when some of the most potent reggae was being recorded in Jamaica. He convinced his JBC bosses to give him his own radio program called Dread At The Controls, where he played nothing but reggae. Before long, Campbell (now using the DJ name Mikey Dread) had the most popular program on the JBC. Well-known for its fun and adventurous sonic style, Dread At The Controls became a hit all over Jamaica. Inevitably, JBC's conservative management and Campbell clashed, and he quit in protest.

By that time, Campbell had earned a solid reputation as a singer and producer and began recording his own material. Distinctive albums such as Dread At The Controls, Evolutionary Rockers, and World War III all became favorites amongst reggae fans. His collaboration with producers King Tubby and Carlton Patterson stand out as some of the best work each party has done. Campbell's music attracted the attention of British punk rockers The Clash, who invited him over to England to produce some of their music. Although initially suspicious of the strangers, Campbell soon became the best of friends with the band, producing their famous "Bankrobber" single and performing on several songs on their 1980 album Sandinista!. Campbell also toured with The Clash across Britain, Europe, and the US, gaining many new fans along the way.

After many years working as a producer and singer, Campbell withdrew from the business and moved to Miami where he furthered his college education with courses in electronics and business. Disgusted with several unfair contracts with record companies, Campbell shrewdly waited until all of the existing contracts expired and then regained control over his entire catalogue. Since then, he has been re-releasing much of it on his own Dread At The Controls record label.

In October 2007, it was announced that Campbell was being treated for a brain tumour. He died on March 15, 2008, surrounded by his family, at the home of his sister in Connecticut, United States.



  • Dread at the Controls (1979, label DATC)
  • African Anthem (1979, label Cruise ; Auralux 2004)
  • Evolutionary Rockers (1979, label Dread At The Control)
  • Dread at the Controls (1979, label Trojan)
  • World War III (1981, labels Dread at the Control ; Heartbeat 1986 ; Big Cat)
  • S.W.A.L.K. (1982, labels Dread at The Control ; Heartbeat)
  • Dub Catalogue Volume 1 (1982, label DATC)
  • Dub Merchant (1982, label DATC)
  • Jungle Signal (1982, label DATC)
  • Pave the Way (1984, label Heartbeat)
  • Happy Family (1989, label RAS)
  • Best Sellers (1991, labels Rykodisc ; DATC) [Compilation 1979-89]
  • African Anthem Revisited (1991, RAS) [Dub album]
  • Profile (1991, label RAS)
  • Obsession (1992, label Rykodisc)
  • SWALK / ROCKERS VIBRATION (1994, label Heartbeat)
  • Dub Party (1995, label ROIR)
  • The Prime of Mikey Dread (1999, label Music Club) [Compilation 1978-92]
  • World Tour (2001, label DATC)
  • Rasta In Control (2002, label DATC)
  • Life is a stage (2007, label DATC)

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