Reggae A&R giant killed

Joel Chin, who headed up the A&R department at the world’s largest reggae label VP Records, has been shot and killed after parking his car in the driveway of his home in the upmarket Stony Hill area of St Andrew, just outside Kingston, Jamaica, on Tuesday night. According to reports, he was shot in the head by gunmen and died instantly.

The 35-year-old music producer, who signed some of the greats of reggae and dancehall, had become a father for the first time just a few weeks ago. He had moved from New York to Jamaica in 2009 to spend more time on music production, songwriting and developing rising talent.

His uncle, Christopher Chin, was quoted in the New York Daily News as saying "Joel's only two passions in life were music and Jamaica. They consumed all his time and effort... he had just begun to live his life."

The reggae community is in mourning and tributes are coming in from stars around the world. An accomplished producer, Joel Chin signed SEAN PAUL, SIZZLA and BEENIE MAN, and played a major role in the development of some of the biggest reggae artists of the past two decades. He wrote hit songs for many artistes, such as ELEPHANT MAN and ETANA, and also helped create VP's successful compilation series Reggae Gold and Strictly The Best.

Joel was the grandson of Pat and Vincent Chin, founders of VP Records whose roster boasts artistes including Beres Hammond, Tarrus Riley and Etana. He was the son of pioneer reggae producer, Clive Chin, and the nephew of the owners of VP Records, Chris and Randy Chin.

Police are continuing to investigate. The cause was not immediately known.

Words by Reshma B -

Follow Clash: