JAMAICAN reggae crooner Gregory Isaacs, at approximately 4:00 am yesterday (local time), gave up a long fight with cancer.
His widow, Linda Isaacs, told the BBC that her husband died peacefully at their home in London, succumbing to lung cancer. “He went peacefully, very peacefully; he had been pain-free for weeks and passed on surrounded by his family, including children and grandchildren,” she stated.
She continued: “We were expecting it, he hung on for over a week… he hasn’t suffered; Gregory has found peace finally, a peace he never had while on Earth,” she said.
She said that Gregory, also known as the ‘Cool Ruler’, was only diagnosed with cancer in August of this year. However, he had been ailing from problems with his knees and had difficulty walking.
When asked what was her lasting memory of her late husband, Mrs Isaacs said that there were too many, but said he was a wonderful person who was misjudged by many.
Yesterday, Jamaica’s Culture Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, in paying tribute to the late reggae artiste, said that the of death Gregory Isaacs was the latest in a series of painful losses to the Jamaican entertainment community in recent years.
Said Grange: “We have suffered the loss of some of the most creative and committed entertainers, including Alton Ellis, Roy Shirley, Byron Lee, Desmond Dekker, Brent Dowe and Joe Gibbs. These were truly gifted entertainers whose professionalism forced the world to take notice of our music, and created the environment in which our musicians and their heirs could gain the wide international acclaim and success that we enjoy today.”
“Gregory is one of the great pioneers of our entertainment industry, I thank him for the courage and confidence he passed on to his juniors, in terms of using their own initiative to overcome the hurdles of the industry,” said Grange.