Bob Marley's first record label boss and music publisher Danny Sims has died aged 75 in Los Angeles of colon and intestinal problems.
Sims is seen as the first non-Jamaican to recognise the worldwide potential of the reggae legend and signed him to a record deal ahead of Chris Blackwell then securing him for Island Records.
The Mississippi-born, Chicago-raised executive started his music business career with the launch of Sapphire, Manhattan's first black club, while he formed a promotions company after being asked to do so by singer-songwriter Johnny Nash. The company Hemisphere handled many of the day's biggest black stars, including Sammy Davis Jr, Brook Benton, Ben E King, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding and he also worked with names such as Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X.
With Nash he formed the label JODA (later called JAD) in the 1960s and it was here he signed The Wailers and Bob Marley, as well as Gloria Gaynor, Lloyd Price and Betty Wright. Marley's contract was subsequently sold to Island and Blackwell in 1972 when Sims and Nash concluded they had taken the star as far as they could.
Sims also published Marley's songs from 1967 to 1977 and the star stayed with him for several months before his death from cancer in 1981.
In the 1980s Sims worked with the band Cameo, while subsequently worked on projects such as Spirit of Africa with Marcus Garvey and Haile Selassie's grandchildren. He also set up documenting the more than 300 tracks recorded by Marley before he signed to Island.
In later years he managed artists such as Mark Morrison, Brian Harvey and Wycliffe Jean, while he worked with Nash and Allan "Skill" Cole on a US bio-pic of his life with Marley. The JAD catalogue, meanwhile, was subject to a worldwide licensing deal signed with Universal in 2004.