UB40 lead tributes to Musical Youth’s Frederick Waite Jr following his death

UB40 are among those who have paid tribute to Musical Youth drummer Frederick Waite Jr following his death at the age of 55.

His Grammy-nominated reggae band announced the news on Thursday hailing Waite as a “musical legend who inspired many young musicians”.

They are best known for their hit track Pass The Dutchie which went to number one in 1982.

In a statement on Twitter, they wrote: “We are sad to announce the passing of Musical Youth’s drummer Frederick Waite Jr.

“Our thoughts go out to him and his family during this sad time.

“We have lost a musical legend, who inspired many young musicians over the last 40 years.

“Rest in Eternal Peace”.

Fellow Birmingham-bred reggae and pop band UB40 tweeted that they were “sad” to hear the news and sent their thoughts to his family and the group.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – Closing Ceremony
Musical Youth perform on stage during the Closing Ceremony for the 2022 Commonwealth Games (David Davies/PA)

Musical Youth, consisting of Dennis Seaton, Michael Grant, Kelvin Grant, Patrick Waite and Waite Jr, were formed in Birmingham in 1979.

They went on to release two albums, 1982’s The Youth Of Today and Different Style! in 1983, and received a Grammy nomination for the best new artist in 1984.

In 1985 they disbanded but Seaton and Grant reformed as a duo in 2001.

Pass The Dutchie has once again become a hit, with the band performing the song at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games closing ceremony on Monday.

It was also featured in season four of the hit Netflix series Stranger Things.