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Music / Judge Dread

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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.


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