Is Ska dead
With her song "My Boy Lollipop", which became a world hit in the 1960s, Millie Small took Jamaican ska music out of its niche. She died peacefully in London on Tuesday after being ill, her former record company Island Records announced on Wednesday. Island Records founder Chris Blackwell had previously confirmed her death to the Jamaica Observer newspaper. Smalls was 73 years old. She leaves a daughter.
According to Blackwell, "My Boy Lollipop" was the first Jamaican song to hit the UK and American charts. In 1964, it landed at number two on the charts in Great Britain and the USA. With her hit, Millie Small introduced Ska music to a wide audience, the message said.
"Millie opened the door to Jamaican music all over the world," said Blackwell. "I traveled the world with her because everyone wanted her to appear, do TV shows and stuff," he said. "She was a very kind person, very funny and with a great sense of humor."
According to the Guardian, Small was born in Clarendon, Jamaica in 1946 and began her music career there as a teenager. It was already successful in Jamaica when Chris Blackwell discovered it and brought it to London for recordings. She never returned to Jamaica. In 1970 her career came to an end, she briefly moved to Singapore, but returned to London.
She never received royalties for "My Boy Lollipop," she said in an interview. In the eighties she is said to have lived impoverished with her young daughter in a youth hostel in London.
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