In 2011 the local entertainment industry lost a few of its members. Music, dance and theatre lost some bright stars through illness and even by violent means. The Year in Review recalls those no longer with us.
Demar ‘Copper Cat’ Graham, the adopted son of singer Richie Stephens, was shot and killed on Thursday, January 20. The young artiste was robbed of his BlackBerry before being shot and killed. Among the songs the 22-year-old recorded were Friend Killer and Wise Up.
Broadcaster and entertainment personality, Basil ‘Bagga’ Brown succumbed to bone cancer on Saturday, January 29. He was best known for his early work as an MC on various stage show and in later years the TV vox pop Weh Yuh Seh.
Up-and-coming dancehall artiste Lil Joe passed away on February 7. The night before, he performed at the popular east St Andrew event, Jamnesia. It was at this event that he complained of feeling ill after what was said to be a sensational performance. He died of a cerebral aneurysm at the University Hospital of the West Indies. Lil Joe’s last release was Tamarind Season.
ANTHONY tony lOCKE
This renowned stage manager, best known for his work with the National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC), passed away on February 14 after battling kidney disease. This year’s Easter Sunday morning of movement by the NDTC was dedicated to Locke. He had been associated with the NDTC since 1977.
Soprano Beverly Dexter died on Sunday, March 6. Over the years Dexter has been a part of several choral ensembles such as Y Chorale, Youth Fellowship Singers, Jamaica Folk Singers and Diocesan Festival Choir. She was 72 years old.
National Dance Theatre Company dancer and choreographer Sheila Barnett passed away on March 20 after a prolonged illness. The 83-year-old contributed more than 50 years to the development of dance in the Caribbean. Among her renowned works is The Rope and the Cross based on an Easton Lee narrative.
Original Skatalites drummer Lloyd Knibb died on May 12 after suffering from liver cancer. Knibb along with members of his group recorded for labels such as Treasure Isle, Studio One and Top Deck Records in the 1960s. He was 80 years old at the time of his death.
Michael ‘Risto Benji’ Benjamin was shot and killed on May 17 in Church Pen, St Catherine. The ’80s deejay recorded songs such as Gimmie Di Money and Peenie Pawnie.
Producer and a member of the VP Records family, Joel Chin was shot and killed on August 16 at his home. He was 35 years old and died leaving a four-week-old daughter.
Brother of Ginger Knight died on September 22. He has appeared in plays such as Part Time Love, Room For Rent and Higglers.
Leonard Dillon of the Ethiopians died on September 27 at age 68 after battling brain and lung cancer. The group recorded hit singles with the most popular being Everything Crash.
Sixty-four-year-old Heptones singer Barry Llewellyn died on November 23 in the Kingston Public Hospital. Llewellyn along with the group, has recorded song such as Party Time, Why Must I and Crying Over You.
Jamaican-born rapper Heavy D died on Tuesday, November 8 at age 44. Born, Dwight Myers he recorded a string of hits in the 90s including Now That We Found Love and Big Daddy. He also collaborated with local acts Frankie Paul and Super Cat on two memorable tracks.
PHILLIP FATIS BURRELL
Exterminator producer Phillip ‘Fattis’ Burrell died after suffering a stroke on Saturday, December 3. He was 57 years old. Fattis, as he is popularly called, has produced artistes such as Luciano, Sizzla and Nadine Sutherland.
Playwright Barry Reckord died on Tuesday, December 20. Among his many plays were Della and You in Your Small Corner.
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