Derrick “Duckie” Simpson the “Gong Gong Gullie” is the founder and leader for reggae’s BLACK UHURU. Although
going through numerous lead singers and musicians they have remained to be one of the most recognized and prolific
reggae bands for over 50 years.
The roots of BLACK UHURU were formed in Kingston Jamaica’s Waterhouse district also known as “Firehouse” in the
early 60′s. Though considered to be one of Jamaica’s toughest neighborhoods it’s home to several other reggae
singers and musicians. It was where Duckie Simpson grew up and learned to sing from boyhood friends Winston
“Pipe” Matthews and Lloyd “Bread” McDonald of Wailing Souls and Bob Marley. He recorded four tracks with Wailing
Souls before forming his own group.
BLACK UHURU released the albums Red, Chill Out, Sensemila and Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner and began to
tour the world bringing them to international audiences. It was during this period they started to gain rapid popularity.
They opened live shows for the Rolling Stones and the Police. They began to work with other well accomplished
producers and musicians. Keith Richards played guitar for the “Shine Eye Gal” track. Dennis Brown “The Crown
Prince of Reggae” produced the tracks “Rent Man” and Wood For My Fire”. The track” Spongi Reggae” appeared on
an episode of The Bill Cosby Show and “Party in Session” in the movie 1980′s North Shore. BLACK UHURU made
reggae history when they won the first ever Grammy Award for reggae music in 1984 for the album Anthem.
BLACK UHURU’s long success has allowed them to become ambassadors of reggae while earning several
achievements in the music industry. With 14 full length albums, 7 instrumental dub albums, and 4 live albums they
have the highest record sales in reggae music behind Bob Marley. The album Red was voted #23 for Rolling Stone’s
list of “100 Greatest Albums of the 1980′s. Aside from winning the first reggae grammy they have been nominated 5
more times. They are the only reggae group to have won the Diamond Awards of Excellence in 1994.
Despite all of BLACK UHURU’s change of different singers and musicians the one thing that has always remained is
Derrick “Duckie” Simpson. Much respect to a legendary figure for Reggae Music. In 2018, Black Uhuru released “As
The World Turns” featuring Duckie on lead. In December 2018 “As The World Turns” was nominated for the 61ST
Annual Grammy Awards.
In 2020 as the world shut down with the Covid Pandemic, Black Uhuru steadfastly worked on a brand new album titled
“New Day” released on LAW Records on Sat May 14, 2022.