Roots singer Edi Fitzroy, best known for songs like The Gun and Princess Black, died Saturday at the May Pen Hospital in his native Clarendon.
He was 61-years-old.
"Edi was always a conscious artiste, he forced you to think with his lyrics. His song, Princess Black, was the She's Royal of the 1980s, that song raised major awareness about the role and importance of the black woman in the society," music promoter Michael Barnett said.
"So although Edi was not a career musician, he didn't become a full time singer until the 1990s, he did make a significant contribution to the music in the 1980s," Barnett said.
Born Fitzroy Edwards, Fitzroy broke through in 1978 with the song Miss Molly Colly. At the time, he was an accountant at the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation.
The song was produced by Michael Campbell, who hosted the Dread At The Controls show on JBC Radio.
Fitzroy had a number of hit songs in the 1980s with The Gun, Princess Black and his album, Check For You Once, topped Jamaican charts for four weeks.Fitzroy's lyrics led to him becoming renowned as one of Jamaica's most socially conscious singers, with themes including equality for women,[and he won a Rockers Award in 1984 for Most Conscious Performer for his "Princess Black" single which he wrote for his mother.
He performed at Reggae Sunsplash in 1984, returning in 1986, 1988, 1991, and 1993, and also performed at Sunsplash USA in 1988
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange has described the passing of roots singer Edi Fitzroy as a “significant loss” to an industry that has become riddled with similar styles.
“Edi Fitzroy’s passing represents a significant loss. In an entertainment industry where there is a lot of sameness, he was and will continue to be a stand out,” Grange said in a release this aftertnoon.