The Specials drummer John Bradbury dies aged 62

 Influential two-tone ska band The Specials in a file photo.
Influential two-tone ska band The Specials in a file photo.PHOTO: TIMBRE ROCK AND ROOTS

LONDON (AFP) - John Bradbury, the drummer of British ska band The Specials, has died at the age of 62, his family said Tuesday.

Bradbury joined the group in 1979 and played on their biggest hits, Too Much Too Young (1980), Ghost Town (1981) and Free Nelson Mandela (1984).

Bradbury, like the band, was from Coventry in central England. His drumming was at the heart of the band's reggae rhythm sound.

"It is with deepest regret that we have to announce the very sad news that our much loved husband and father John 'Brad' Bradbury passed away on Monday," his family said in a statement.

He joined the re-versioned band, The Special AKA, after the official split in 1981, and stayed through to their dissolution in 1984.

He was on board when The Specials reformed in 2008.

"Brad's drumming was the powerhouse behind The Specials and it was seen as a key part to the Two Tone sound," his family said.

"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 will much missed by family, friends and fans alike."