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2 members of reggae’s Mighty Diamonds die in Jamaica

April 4, 2022 GMT

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Fitzroy “Bunny Diamond” Simpson of reggae trio Mighty Diamonds has died just two days after the shooting death of lead singer Donald “Tabby Diamond” Shaw, according to associates.

Simpson died of a prolonged ailment at the Chest Hospital in the Jamaican capital Kingston on Friday after suffering a major stroke in 2015.

His band partner Shaw, 66, was one of two persons killed in a drive-by shooting in Kingston on March 30 that police said could be related to a gang feud involving his son.

The chairman of the Jamaican Association of Vintage Artistes and Affiliates, Frankie Campbell, told The Associated Press on Monday that Simpson had been partially immobile and unable to perform with the group.

“He got a major stroke in 2015 and subsequently he got other strokes, so he couldn’t really work with the group anymore. Obviously he couldn’t travel. For the past five or six years, unfortunately, he couldn’t really move so he didn’t go on the road much.”

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He said Simpson and Shaw “were very close all their lives as childhood friends and coming up through the ranks.”

Formed in 1969, the Mighty Diamonds are known for hits like “I Need a Roof” and “Pass the Kutchie,” which found great success in the United Kingdom and across Europe.

Shaw was the group’s lead vocalist, with Simpson and “Lloyd” Judge Ferguson providing harmony vocals.

Last October, the group received the order of distinction at Jamaica’s National Honors and Awards Ceremony.