Official statement of Akae Beka‘s manager, Adrian Bluford: “It’s with a heavy heart that I make this official announcement on the passing of Vaughn Benjamin. Mr. Benjamin was a son, brother, father, life partner and a friend and inspiration to many. We ask for prayers and privacy at this time. Vaughn has given us so much through his creative forces. Through his legacy, we must continue to keep the fire burning. We love you, Vaughn. Your contributions are accounted for! We know you are standing next to the King! Egzierbeir Queddus Germawe Kidamawe Haile Selassie I
Your manager and friend, Adrian” (source: Facebook page of Akae Beka)
We will inform you as soon as we have more details. What is clear is that the loss of Vaughn Benjamin is a terrible one, as his words of consciousness, upliftment, concern, and hope were a pillar of truth and faith in the turmoils of our modern world.
Born and raised on the calm shores of St. Croix, the Virgin Islands, this exceptionally gifted man and his brother Ron Benjamin founded in 1989 what was to become one of the most influential modern Roots Reggae bands: Midnite. Following the release of their debut album Unpolished in 1997, and especially Ras Mek Peace in 1999, the artist’s clever use of words, deep insights into human and spiritual matters as well as the melodious flow of his fellow musicians soon cemented their reputation, and a growing fanbase followed their rise and celebrated their meditative live performances. 55+ releases gave people around the world a lot to think about: he treated every subject thoroughly, chanting about the oppressed, political, economic and social issues as well as love and the full-hearted dedication to Jah. This work was continued under the new name Akae Beka with 11 releases, the last one Mek A Menshun having just appeared in July this year (Zion High Productions).
Thank you for the teachings, Vaughn – continue to shine in Zion!