The Specials trombonist Rico Rodriguez dies, aged 80

The Specials trombonist Rico Rodriguez has died, aged 80.

The legendary ska group confirmed their bandmate’s passing in a message to their Twitter followers today (September 4).

“Our dear friend Rico passed away today. We offer our deepest condolences to his family. His legacy will go on forever and a day. RIP dear Rico,” they wrote.

Rico – also known as Reco and El Reco – was born Cuba but raised in Kingston, Jamaica. He would break into the mainstream music scene in the UK as part of various reggae bands in the early ’60s, before joining The Specials in 1979.

Rodriguez was a mainstay of the ska supergroup throughout the early 1980s, playing on their Too Much Too Young EP as well as the album More Specials.

He joined Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra in the 1990s, and was given an MBE at Buckingham Palace back in 2007.

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