Legendary reggae and dancehall producer Robert ‘Bobby Digital’ Dixon, revered especially for his trailblazing digital rhythms of the ‘80s, has died. The Jamaica-born music industry titan was 59.
JUST IN: Influential reggae and dancehall producer, Robert 'Bobby Digital' Dixon has died. Dixon was one of the first local producers to experiment with digital rhythms in the 1980s. He produced Sizzla's 1997 studio album, 'Black Woman and Child'. #GLNREnt pic.twitter.com/K5k06cHnuQ
— Jamaica Gleaner (@JamaicaGleaner) May 22, 2020
Carribean National Weekly reports that Dixon “succumbed to kidney-related illness” yesterday, May 21.
Dixon’s credits include Shabba Ranks’ “Dem Bow” — a crux in the evolution of dancehall, which paved the way to reggaetón. He also produced well as Sizzla’s 1997 album, Black Woman and Child. Dixon also produced Buju Banton’s “Till I’m Laid to Rest.”
His Digital B studio, based in his hometown of Kingston, was a no-frills structure, more like “any other modest family home in…the suburbs.” People who knew him describe him as passionate, genuine, and supremely kind.
Artists and other music industry folk are honoring Dixon today on socials.
Homegrown With G Cole presents, a reasoning. Bobby Digital Bobby Digital-b Dixon and Giark Digitalb VP Reggae VP Tash Vpal Dist
Posted by Gregory Cole on Friday, April 12, 2019
View this post on Instagram
R.I.P. #FlyAwayHome . Words cannot express what this beautiful humble #Rastafarian – yes! – soul means to Jamaican music! He is one of the greatest producers and engineers in Jamaican music history. He was the first producer we ever put on the cover of riddim Mag. The picture was taken by #PeterDeanRickards in the yard of the DIGITAL-B Recording Studio, 6 Ron's Road, Hughenden, Kingston. A place where Bobby Digital-b Dixon welcomed so many artists, musicians, journalists, friends – everybody with an honest interest in the music. He was the only producer who always got his copy of the magazine, which he loved to call book. It makes me so sad, that he is gone… He was one of the most honest and nicest persons we met in the business. #BobbyDigital will live forever in his children and in his music as well as their music! He put his heart and knowledge in every song he produced and/or engineered. The label Digital-B Records stands for quality and love! #MrDixon we will surely miss you! Thanks for the amount of great music you left us. You will never be forgotten! Condolences to the whole family, especially Giark Digitalb and Sheldon Calibud Stewart. . #BobbyDigital #BobbyDigitalDixon #DigitalB #legend #genius #shabbaranks #garnettsilk #sizzla #kingjammys #heatwave #robertbobbydigitaldixon
We have lost one of the important reggae dancehall producers ☹️
RIP Robert “Bobby Digital”Dixon
.#bobbydigital #producer #rhythm #digital #digitalb #label #jamaica #reggae #dancehall #rip pic.twitter.com/qVdTjPN8Rd
— Roots In Session (@rootsinsession) May 22, 2020
Dixon worked with artists through his studio and storied Digital-B record label as recently as last year.
In 2018, historic reggae label VP Records released a multi-disc, two-part anthology of Dixon’s most iconic works.
Looking back on his career at the time, South Florida Caribbean News reports, Dixon said, “I feel proud ’bout everything. Over the years yuh try to be better than before an’ maintain a sound what grow on people. Di greatest thing is when a man hear yuh song an’ can identify it same time…him jus’ sey ‘a Bobby song dat’.”