Music / Judge Dread

Judge Dread is the stage name of Alexander Minto Hughes (2 May 1945 13 March 1998), one of the first influential white reggae artists. Often, and sadly, dismissed as a pure novelty act, Judge Dread had 11 hit singles in the UK, and was the first white reggae singer to have a #1 hit in Jamaica. Judge Dread was famous for nearly ridiculously innuendo-laden lyrics. Hughes died on 13 March 1998 from a heart attack while stepping off stage at a concert in Canterbury. His last words were: "Let's hear it for the band!"

If you're looking for the crime-fighter from a dystopic future, see Judge Dredd.

Tropes that apply to the performer and his work:

  • Double Entendre: In pretty much all his work, but some songs, such as "She Is A Big Girl Now", "Up With The Cock" and "Dread Rock" are one big Double Entendre.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Seriously, "Minto"?
  • Fan Nickname: "The King of the Rude".
  • Hidden Depths: Wrote "A Child's Prayer" for Elvis Presley. Elvis died before the song was recorded. Judge Dread was also the first white reggae artist to have a #1 hit single in Jamaica, and the only white artist to ever knowingly be booked by the Apollo Theatre in New York.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Number of hit singles in the UK? 11. Number of songs banned from BBC Radio? 11.
  • Small Reference Pools: Judge Dread has nothing to do with the helmeted crime-fighter of Mega-City One. The name was taken from the title of a Prince Buster song, which was in turn named for a notorious Jamaican Hanging Judge.