Millie Small, a Jamaican vocalist best know for ‘My Boy Lollipop’, her 1964 hit single, has passed on after suffering a stroke. She died on Tuesday at 73.
According to the Jamaica Observer, Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records, who co-produced Small’s 1960s song, on Wednesday, confirmed that the singer passed away in England.
“I would say she’s the person who took ska international because it was her first hit record,” the music producer said while paying tribute to the late Jamaican star.
He also recounted how his efforts alongside Ernie Ranglin, a guitarist, saw Small’s song become the first Jamaican hit to make number one and two respectively on British and American music charts.
“It became a hit pretty much everywhere in the world. I went with her around the world because each of the territories wanted her to turn up and do TV shows,” Blackwell said.
“It was just incredible how she handled it. She was such a sweet person, really a sweet person. Very funny, great sense of humour. She was really special.”
Small started her career after winning the Vere Johns Opportunity Hour talent contest at the age of twelve.
In 2011, the veteran singer was honoured with the order of distinction in the rank of commander by the Jamaican government in recognition of her contribution to the development of the Jamaican music industry.
Watch ‘My Boy Lollipop’ below:
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