Oscar Hibbert (born 25 August 1958), better known as Junior Delgado, was a reggae singer, famed for his roots style.
Originally from Kingston, Jamaica, he recorded with the group Time Unlimited in the early 1970s before Lee Perry produced his solo recordings. He recorded social comment song “Tition” in 1975 with singer Dennis Brown. Delgado’s debut solo album Taste of the Young Heart was released in 1978 and showcased his “raw moan” vocal style. He set up his own label Incredible Jux and was a regular visitor to Britain. In 1985 he attracted controversy by releasing “Broadwater Farm”, which predicted violence on the north London housing estate. When a riot broke out shortly afterwards, culminating in the murder of PC Keith Blakelock, the record was banned.
Junior continued to release records such as Dance a Dub and various compilations on his own label before a chance meeting with a young music entrepreneur, Jason Knight, who had grown up listening to his records meant a different path for him musically. He recognised Junior’s distinct raw style as one of the great voices of reggae and encouraged him to share it with a new generation.
As well as working on his own music, Junior was also involved with the development of new artists such as Spacek and Custom Blue as well as his own stable of emerging Reggae artists such as Yami Bolo and the White Mice.
Delgado was always open-minded and embracing of music and in 1998 released the album Fearless, featuring rapper Maxi Jazz from Faithless and Jerry Dammers of the Specials as well as lots of the new wave of UK electronica stars such as Spacek, Ballistic Brothers, Kid Loops and Naked Funk.
This album was followed in 2000 by Reasons which was produced by the On-U sound system’s Adrian Sherwood and featured performances by Doug Wimbish, Skip McDonald and Keith LeBlanc.
Delgado died 11 April 2005 in South London, England. His spokesman said the death had been unexpected but was believed to have been from natural causes. He was survived by his widow Janet, and seven children.
Delgado was the nephew of Alpha Boys School bandmaster and vibraphone player Lennie Hibbert.