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A musical biography of the late JJ Rawlings!

See all music-related happenings he indulged in during his lifetime

Reminiscing on the good life of the Late Ex-president Flt Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, Ghanamusic.com presents to you certain notable musical affiliations he had during his lifespan.

Aside being a robust military official, JJ Rawlings was an embodiment of patriotism and the belief in the intellectual and material products of Ghanaians.

Although his constant curfews killed the nightlife and musical enthusiasm of the locals leading to the influx of foreign music, he still had love for it.

He loved the arts, entertainment and music and always never hesitated to throw a beam on artistic works that project the Ghanaian culture.

This is seen in a 2019 video of himself acknowledging the audiovisual of David Bolton’s ‘Odo Fofro’ which features the now NPP endorsed Samini.

As an effervescence of his life and charismatic nature, renowned rapper E.L did an entire song titled after JJ Rawlings which featured Nigeria’s Falz and Gemini Orleans.

Moreover, he mediated and resolve the first ever major music beef in the history of Ghanaian music that ensued between ace hiplife acts Chicago and Ex Doe.

This was achieved by threatening to demote the then MUSIGA president Alhaji Sidiku Buari, if he failed to call the two beefing acts to order.

He also descended in all humility to the level of musicians to the extent of attending certain music concerts such as Akosua Agyapong @25 celebration, held on May 30th 2015 at the Accra International Conference Center.

akosua and rawlings

On November 2, 1995, the Late Michael Jackson was awarded the “Diamond of Africa” award by then President of Ghana, J.J. Rawlings.

John Rawlings and Michael Jackson

In his heydays, he visited Tamale and made it a point to pay a courtesy call to Alhaji Afa Yusif Soalihu Ajura, founder of the Anbariyya Mosque and the Islamic Institute, both in in Tamale, Ghana.

Afa Ajura may well be the most famous non-political individual in the history of the very old Dagbamba culture.

Given the oppositional nature of many 21st-century Salafi preachers in Ghana towards music, the acknowledgement of Afa Ajura as both a composer and performer of songs may come as a surprise to a great many Dagbamba people and scholars.

Furthermore, in 2017 when a delegation from the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) and the family of the Late Paapa Yankson, paid a courtesy call on him at his residence to inform him of the death of the late musician, he urged them to join the fight against corruption by using their songs to crusade against it and other social ills in the country.

Rawlings urges musicians to join fight against corruption - Graphic Online

He said issues of sanitation and health should be of concern to musicians and other members of the Creative Arts Industry and urged them to use their skills and voices to drive social change.

IN commemoration of his 73rd birthday, he welcomed the Ghanaian music duo Keche into his residence as they presented him with a gold pendant.

Jerry John Rawlings is a former Ghanaian military leader and subsequent politician who ruled the country from 1981 to 2001 and also for a brief period in 1979.

Prior to this, on his 64th birthday, Just after the clock struck midnight Ghana time, President Rawlings surprised many at his hotel when the lone piano sitting in a corner of the lobby struck some soulful notes.

The now 64-year-old former Achimotan had not forgotten those difficult music lessons he endured at his Alma Mater. 

President Rawlings at 64

Hotel guests and other revelers turned to catch a rare glimpse of His Excellency Jerry John Rawlings strike his favorite Bright Lights, Big City lyrics by Jimmy Reed.

Davido wishes JJ Rawlings a peaceful rest. He made a tweet that read: “RIP JJ Rawlings” minutes after his death went viral. He joins a few top stars reacting to his death.

He led a military junta until 1992, and then served two terms as the democratically elected President of Ghana.

The former president just passed on, today, November 12, 2020, after a brief illness.

According to state-owned Daily Graphic, the former President had been on admission at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital for about a week for an undisclosed ailment. He was 73.

It will be recalled that Mr Rawlings recently lost and buried his mother last month.

Jerry John Rawlings was born in Accra on 22nd June 1947, to a Ghanaian mother from Dzelukope in Keta, Volta Region, and a Scottish father.

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Emmanuel Ghansah, Ghana Music

Singer, Songwriter, scriptwriter, blogger, lover of the creative arts, brands and communications expert.

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