Levi Roots

Levi Roots (born as Keith Tanyue in Jamaica, 1959) is a reggae musician, chef and entrepreneur currently residing in Brixton, South London. He has performed with James Brown and Maxi Priest and was nominated for a MOBO award in 1998 [ [http://www.reggae-reggae.co.uk/index.cfm?objectid=82A567E4-3005-8785-B26F7DC9EB5960F4 MOBO Nomination] ] . He was a close friend of Bob Marley when he resided in the UK and performed "Happy Birthday Mr. President" for Nelson Mandela in 1992 on his trip to Brixton. He gained widespread fame after appearing on the UK television programme Dragons' Den looking for funding for his "Reggae Reggae Sauce".

Reggae Reggae Sauce is a jerk barbecue sauce made to his grandmother's "secret recipe". Roots and his family have been using the sauce in their food stall at the annual Notting Hill Carnival since 1991. In 2006, the sauce was available for sale at the carnival, with 4000 bottles sold.

He later took the sauce to a food trade show, where he was spotted by a BBC producer who approached him to appear on Dragons' Den. He appeared in the first episode of the fourth series, and offered a 20% stake of his business in return for £50,000. Despite erroneously claiming that he had an order for 2.5 million litres of the the sauce (when in fact the order was for 2,500 kilos), he was offered the £50,000 for a 40% stake in his business by Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh. Leading from his success of his spicy sauce Roots released an extended version of his song "reggae reggae sauce" that he performed during his pitch to the dragons. The music video features a cameo from dragon Peter Jones. All of the money raised went to Comic Relief.

Shortly after his appearance on the programme, Sainsbury's announced that they would be stocking the sauce in 600 of their stores. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6424021.stm?ls Dragons' Den chef tastes success] ]

The song which formed part of his pitch on Dragons' Den (and also sung by Levi himself in an appearance on Harry Hill's TV Burp) was also released as a download single. "Proper Tings (The Reggae Reggae Sauce Song)" received its first play on Allan Lake's breakfast show on Core (radio station).

To coincide with the release of his recipe book "Reggae Reggae Cookbook", Roots appeared on the June 3, 2008 edition of BBC's Ready Steady Cook as a celebrity. He achieved the second prize against Lesley Waters.

High Street sandwich chain Subway began selling Reggae Reggae Chicken Sub in its UK outlets, having signed a deal with Roots, enabling it to use his spicy sauce brand in its sandwiches. (Brandrepublic.com July 1 2008)

References

External links

* [http://www.reggae-reggae.co.uk/ Official Reggae Reggae Sauce website]
* [http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23384975-details/Reggae+singer's+sauce+is+hot+with+Sainsbury's/article.do Evening Standard - Reggae singers sauce is hot with sainsbury's]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/fivelive_aod.shtml?fivelive/levi_roots Listen to Levi Roots being interviewed and singing Reggae Reggae Sauce on BBC Radio Five Live]
* [http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2001320029-2007080419,00.html Reggae Sauce star is hot stuff] Article in The Sun about the single


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