Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


John Bradbury dead: The Specials drummer dies at 62

Posted on

Joby Sessions/Getty Images

John Bradbury, the drummer for English band The Specials, has died, the group announced on their official Twitter account Tuesday. He was 62.

The Specials — also at times known as Special AKA — first formed in 1977, and Bradbury joined two years later in 1979. He stayed with them until 1984, when he launched another musical project titled J.B.’s Allstars.

He later rejoined The Specials in 2008 for a reunion tour, and continued touring with them up until recently.

“It is with deep regret that we say goodbye to our great friend, the world’s greatest drummer, our beloved Brad,” the band wrote on Twitter. “RIP.” See the post, featuring a photo of Bradbury with his drumset, below.

“Brad’s drumming was the powerhouse behind The Specials and it was seen as a key part to the Two Tone sound,” his family told the BBC in a statement. “He was much respected in the world of drumming and his style of reggae and ska was seen as genuinely ground-breaking when The Specials first hit the charts in 1979. He was an integral part of The Specials reforming in 2008 and toured with them extensively up to the present day. His contribution to the world of music can not be understated and he will much missed by family, friends and fans alike. It is the family’s sincerest wish that they are allowed the time to remember him privately.”

Bradbury’s death comes only three months after news broke that the band’s trombonist Rico Rodriguez died at age 80.