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April 6 is the farewell ceremony for the reggae legend Jimmy Riley

The celebration of the life of reggae singer Jimmy Riley is slated for Webster Memorial United Church on Half-Way- Tree Road, St Andrew, on Wednesday, April 6.

Start time is 1:00 pm. Saxophonist and close family friend Dean Fraser said the occasion is “not a funeral”. “It’s a memorial, not a funeral... More of a celebration of his life.

People attending are encouraged to wear bright colours or white,” he told the Jamaica Observer yesterday. “There’ll be lots of musical tributes,” he continued.

Fraser said there’ll be no interment, as Riley will be cremated. The lovers’ rock singer lost his battle with cancer in New York, last Wednesday morning morning. He was 68.

Riley, whose given name is Martin James Ziggy Norman Riley, is the father of singer Tarrus Riley. He was diagnosed with bone cancer two years ago and had been receiving treatment in the United States.

Born in Jones Town, Riley grew up in Waterhouse. After recording with the Sensations and Uniques, he went solo and announced himself in 1979 with Love And Devotion and My Woman’s Love, both produced by Sly and Robbie.

Riley had several hits in the 1980s and 1990s, including Bang Bang, Black Mother Prays and It’s Gonna Get Rough. He had a hit with Tarrus, Pull Up Selector, in 2007. Contradiction, his last album was released in 2013.


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