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UK Gospel Legend Linton Beckles passes away

Thu 07 May 2015
By Isaac Borquaye

Following the official family announcement, we are sad to hear about the passing of Linton Beckles, the former lead singer of famous R&B group Central Line. The GMIA which he was firmly involved in, add its expression of condolence as follows

It is with deep sadness  that the Executives of GMIA learnt of the death of one of its founding and senior Executives Linton Charles Beckles on Friday 1st April 2015.
From its inception (in 2004), launch (in 2011) and onward, it's very difficult to summarise Linton's contribution to the GMIA which now represents a voice for Gospel Music in Britain.
Linton was the GMIA's Legal and Business Affairs Executive and he held the Portfolio which covered GMIA's liaison with the Creative Industries.  It was his music industry

experience and expertise which provided the substance for the GMIA programme of building an online resource bank exclusively designed for the Gospel scene - which has since been developing at www.gmia.org.uk. It was his razor sharp clarity that gave GMIA its four pillars of delivery - to INFORM, RESOURCE, PROMOTE and UNITE. Equipping people with the essential tools for effectively operating in the music industry systems was his passion.
This became more critical when on the 11 March 2013 the Official Charts Company launched the first-ever Official Christian and Gospel Albums Chart. The GMIA Executive Board were aware that the UK Gospel scene had developed largely as a LIVE MUSIC scene and Linton, in particular, had the ability to engage us in a constructive campaign to inform and resource individuals who attended the workshops and webinars.
No-one else with so much experience, knowledge and expertise from a non-gospel background had made themselves available as Linton did. There are many established and new artists who will attest to his personal support and professional advice right across all the disciplines of the music industry.
Linton achieved many things in his thirty year music career: He is very much a part of British Music history as a member of Central Line, one of the pioneering Brit Funk Bands of the 1980s. Linton was their lead singer and percussionist. He co-wrote their Number One hit "Walking into Sunshine'" and other popular classics that found success on both sides of the Atlantic.
In the 1990s with other music colleagues he ran a record label, publishing enterprise, and an A&R artist management business. The London Community Gospel Choir experienced their first recordings at his recording studio. In more recent years his

independent business - Linton Charles Media - which "...specialise in music, media and arts business covering; copyright, legal and contractual and art management", was contracted by industry organisations like Musicians Union and the Federation of Entertainment Unions  to effectively train and inform their members. He also delivered lectures and courses in various college and adult learning centres.
Linton had an amazing memory for all aspects of the music industry, its workings and developments. His 'off the cuff' ability to recall individual contributors, whether music producers, executives, singers or musicians, place them in context and relate them in an animated verbal story to a listening audience was one of the 'wonders' of his personality. He was always approachable, friendly - and as a noted industry executive described him "a gent"
In the past six months Linton had amassed a collection of what he called 'MPK's' - Music Professional Kits - that he devised as "suited to every type of person in our industry"; he was also tasked with writing the new legal and business structure of GMIA and finally but not least of all he plotted the goals, aims and objectives of what the industry should look like from now until 2025! All this he had on his working agenda leading up to his unexpected departure from us.
So let it be known: Linton Beckles did not leave us (GMIA) empty handed. We have a working template with his unique imprint.
As an Executive Board, although our hearts are heavy, they are yet filled with the joy of having partnered with a unique individual. We worked, laughed and prayed with this seemingly limitless multi-faceted tool from the hand of God. Linton poured out his treasuries with immense liberality and unbridled passion. We love and miss him. We will never forget him. Our debt to him is incalculable. His contribution with live on through the foundation stones he has placed in GMIA. It will remain as part of our written and spoken past and future. We will always celebrate and honour the unforgettable memories of Linton Charles Beckles.
GMIA Executive Board Members: Juliet Fletcher, Caroline Hughes, Tani Omideyi, Millicent Stephenson. 

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