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The Selecter’s Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson has died: “A talented musician and an absolute gentlemen”

Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson, co-vocalist of 2-tone band The Selecter, has died.

His death was confirmed by co-vocalist Pauline Black via the social media pages of their label Two Tone Records. The statement said that he died after a short illness.

“The world has lost a 2-Tone original, a talented musician and an absolute gentlemen. We have lost our beloved friend and bandmate. RIP Gaps,” Black wrote.

Hendrickson had been a musician in his hometown of Coventry prior to the formation of The Selecter in 1979. The band went on to be a pivotal part of the 2-tone movement – which championed racial equality and harmony and was also profoundly anti-sexist – alongside acts like The Specials, Madness, The Beat, The Bodysnatchers and more.

They broke through with their 1980 debut album ‘Too Much Pressure’ and its follow-up ‘Celebrate The Bullet’.

Despite being one of the movement’s most successful bands, their original line-up only remained intact for a year, before they split up in 1982.

They later reformed in 1991 with a slightly different line-up led by original co-vocalist Black. Hendrickson performed periodically with them between 1994 and 1996. After going on hiatus in 2006, they reformed again in 2010 with Hendrickson now a more permanent member of the band.

“We are devastated to confirm that Selecter frontman Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson has died after a short illness. The world…

Posted by Two Tone Records on Tuesday, June 11, 2024

The Selecter have continued to regularly release music, with their most recent album ‘Human Algebra’ coming out last year.

Hendrickson’s last performance with The Selecter had taken place just two days ago in California. The band had also performed in the UK at Slam Dunk Festival just last month and had numerous other shows throughout the summer in the pipeline.

Slam Dunk paid tribute to Hendrickson on their social media, writing: “We are saddened to hear of the passing of 2-Tone and ska legend Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson.

“Our thoughts are with Pauline and the band, his loved ones and fans.”

Jools Holland commented on The Selecter’s original post: “Sending all love and condolences. Truly dear man.”

Devon-based promoters DMF added: “Deeply saddened to confirm that frontman Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson from @TheSelecter has died after a short illness. It’s been a privilege to work with Gaps over a number of years. He was a kind, gentle man with a formidable stage presence and boundless energy.”

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