One of Jamaica’s most distinguished singers, as a member of Black Uhuru Michael Rose was one of the foundation stones of the roots movement, before launching a successful career in the modern dancehalls. His work with Uhuru helped bring the group a Grammy, while his distinctive vocals launched an entire musical style — the Waterhouse sound. The Kingston neighborhood of Waterhouse is where Rose was born, on July 11, 1957. There, Rose grew up with a love of music, and began his career when barely into his teens competing in talent contests, and then working the North Coast hotel circuit. At 15, he returned to the capital and cut his first single, a DJ version of Andel Forgie’s “Woman a Gineal fe True” for producer Newton Simmons. That barely hinted at what was to come. Soon after, Rose linked up with childhood friend Sly Dunbar, who brought him to meet producer Niney Holness. The singer cut a number of songs for Holness during 1972: “Clap the Barber,” “Love Between Us,” “Freedom Over Me,” and best of all, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” Although, none of these songs fired the charts, Rose was already putting into place a sound and vision that would shake the music world. Through Holness, Rose also came to cut a song for Lee Perry, “Observe Life”; it too did little.