Laurel Aitken (April 22, 1927-July 17, 2005) was a singer who was known as one of the originators of Jamaican ska music in the late 1950s.
Aitken was born as Lorenzo Aitken in Cuba, and is the brother of singer Bobby Aitken. He moved to England in the 1960s, and had a loyal following among skinheads and other ska fans. He had massive hits in the 1950s through 1970s, while recording for Blue Beat Records, Pama Records and Trojan Records. In 1958, he released one of the earliest ska records, the double A-sided single Little Sheila/Boogie in my Bones. It was the first record on producer Chris Blackwell’s Island Records label.
Aitken, with the nicknames Godfather of Ska and Boss Skinhead, performed concerts almost until his death. He suffered from a serious illness following a heart attack about a year before he died. He died from another heart attack in Leicester, England on July 17, 2005.