Hip Hop News

Steve Sutherland “Champion Of Black British Music” Dies

MOBO Award-winning DJ and ‘Champion of Black British music’ Steve Sutherland has died days before his birthday.


Often referred to as a ‘Champion for Black British music’, Steve Sutherland died on July 10, with the cause not known at this time. With a career spanning more than two decades as a DJ, promoter and presenter, Steve Sutherland certainly pushed the development of Black British music. As a regular presenter on popular shows with Choice FM and Galaxy FM, Steve quickly gathered a large fanbase.

On his own show that ran every weekend on Galaxy, he would play the hottest urban songs to fans. The popularity of Steve’s show earned him the respect of the biggest music stars, all of who of course appeared. Some of the celebrities Steve interviewed include; Mariah Carey, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Kanye West, Alicia Keys and Janet Jackson. In addition, Mark Ronson and 50 Cent’s own DJ Whoo Kid were regular mix DJs on his show. Complimenting the brilliance of his shows, his personality always shone through. Even former BBC Radio 1 producer, Ivor Etienne, noticed his happy, vibrant personality dubbing him Steve “Smooth” Sutherland.

Most notably, he became a major force in the U.K. Hip Hop scene, enjoying success along the way. For example, in 2000, Steve won the “Best Club DJ” at the MOBO Awards in London. Reaction to the death of Sutherland has reached across the globe from peers in the music game. In response to the devastating news, MOBO said: “We are deeply saddened to hear the news of DJ Steve Sutherland’s passing. His contribution to the Black British Music scene will never be forgotten. #RIP.”

BBC Radio 1Xtra presenter Yasmin Evans said; “ I’m absolutely heartbroken to hear about the passing of Steve Sutherland. The first memories I have of music & wanting to be a DJ were because of him. I’d sit up close to my radio & record his Galaxy shows constantly. Steve ‘Smooth’ Sutherland, a pioneer!”

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Beverley Knight added her condolences, tweeting: ‘I am so gutted to hear of #SteveSutherland’s passing. The amount of times he’d get my to leave my house late in the evening to appear on his radio show. ‘It’s gotta be live Bev, no pre-record business!’ A BRILLIANT, well-loved DJ with an immense legacy. Gutted.’

More details surrounding Steve’s death are due to be released in the coming weeks.


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