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Steely & Clevie

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Steely & Clevie
OriginKingston, Jamaica
Years active1973–2009
LabelsSteely & Clevie
MembersCleveland "Clevie" Browne
Past membersWycliffe "Steely" Johnson

Steely & Clevie was a Jamaican dancehall reggae production duo that was composed of members Wycliffe Johnson and Cleveland Browne.[2] The duo worked with artists such as the Specials, Gregory Peck ("Poco Man Jam," 1990), Bounty Killer, Elephant Man, and No Doubt.

Steely debuted as a keyboardist with Sugar Minott's Youth Promotion collective in the 1970s, playing the keyboards on Minott's 1978 album, Ghetto-ology.[2] Clevie pioneered the use of drum machines in reggae. Steely and Clevie first played together at Lee "Scratch" Perry's Black Ark Studios during the late 1970s. In 1986, the duo was the house band at King Jammy's Studio, which became the center point of late-1980s reggae, by which time Steely & Clevie were established production leaders with an immense slew of 12-inch and dub singles. The duo formed the Steely & Clevie label in 1987, a year in which reggae riddims and dub-influenced hip-hop production by Ced Gee and KRS-One in the Bronx became prominent.[2]

In 1993, Steely and Clevie produced and co-wrote three tracks from Billy Ocean's eighth studio album Time to Move On, including the single "Pressure".[3] In 1994, Steely and Clevie produced a new version of the 1967 track "You Don't Love Me (No No No)" by Dawn Penn for the album Steely and Clevie Play Studio One Vintage. The track was released as a single that same year and became a Billboard Hot 100 hit in the US.[4]

In 2004, Steely was charged with dangerous driving after being involved in an accident in which high-school student Shakara Harris was fatally injured.[5] Steely was cleared of all charges in November 2005.[6]

On 1 September 2009, Steely died in a hospital in East Patchogue, New York. He had been suffering from pneumonia after having recovered from kidney complications in December 2008. He had surgery for a blood clot in the brain shortly before he died.[7] Clevie continues to produce and record.

In 2021, Steely’s estate and Clevie filed a lawsuit in California’s central district court against Universal Music Group and Warner-Chappell Publishing for ownership of over 1,800 reggaton songs. [1] The Fish Market riddim, produced by the duo in the 1980s, became the basis for reggaeton’s Dem Bow riddim, which has been used in over 1,800 tracks according to the suit. [2]


  1. ^ "Steely & Clevie Albums and Discography". AllMusic.
  2. ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (2003). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Eighties Music (Third ed.). Virgin Books. p. 442. ISBN 1-85227-969-9.
  3. ^ "Time to Move On - Billy Ocean | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  4. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (16 April 1994). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. 94–. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 7 May 2013. {{cite book}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  5. ^ "Going against the Norm." The Jamaica Star. Retrieved 16 April 2007.
  6. ^ "Steely Freed of Dangerous Driving—Victim Died" YardFlex
  7. ^ Kenner, Rob (6 September 2009). "Wycliffe Johnson, Boisterous Reggae Producer and Musician, Dies at 47". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 12 May 2023.

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