Singer Songwriter John Martyn Dies Aged 60

Singer Songwriter John Martyn dies aged 60.

Music legend John Martyn dead aged 60.

The music world was yesterday mourning the death of legendary singer songwriter John Martyn. Martyn, who was 60, was a true innovator who fused folk, blues, jazz and funk to create a unique style in a career that spanned five decades. He got an OBE in the 2009 New Year’s honours list.

The cause of death is unknown. Martyn’s website said simply: “With heavy heart and an unbearable sense of loss we must announce that John died this morning.”

Martyn emerged from the London folk scene of the 60s and his hulking good looks, virtuoso guitar skills and soulful voice led many to predict he was a future superstar. But his dogged refusal to bow to musical trends meant he was destined never to be a chart-topper. Nevertheless, albums such as Solid Air and One World are regarded as classics and Martyn has been cited as a major influence on stars as diverse as U2, Portishead and Eric Clapton.

He also performed with Pink Floyd’s Dave Gilmour, Ringo Starr and reggae producer Lee “Scratch” Perry.

His friend Phil Collins said yesterday: “John’s passing is terribly, terribly sad. He was uncompromising, which made him infuriating to some people. But he was unique. I loved him dearly.”

Gavin Martin
The Daily Mirror
30 January 2009