Booster Shot: Byron Lee loses his battle with cancer at 73

>> Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Jamaica's soca king, Byron Lee passed away this morning after a long battle with cancer. Last week several rumours were circulating that he had already passed. However, Lee's cancer battle continued quietly until today.

The 73 year old musician has been heavy in the business for the last 50 years with a cache of hits like Tiney Winey, Give Me Soca, and Jamaican Ska. He founded The Dragonaires when he was a student at St. George's College in the 1950's.

Coincidentally, if you believe in them things...Lee was conferred with the Order of Jamaica a little over a week ago. The award was bestowed upon him by Governor General Sir Kenneth Hall. Due to Lee's condition, the ceremony had to be held at the Tony Thwaites Wing of the University Hospital of the West Indies.

Lee was diagnosed with bladder cancer two years ago. He was undergoing treatment for transitional cell cancer in Miami until last Saturday when he returned to Jamaica via air ambulance.

This is truly a very sad day for Jamaica, West Indian music, and the entire Caribbean entertainment fraternity. I wish to send my sincere condolences to the entire Lee family, the Dragonaires and any reading this who has been touched by this loss.

Below is a photo of myself with Dragonaire's lead vocalist, Jumo Primo, three weeks ago at Broward Carnival.

Byron Lee is no stranger to (Nurse) Karen (Etc). Visit the links below for archived posts about Byron Lee and the Dragonaires

If you would like to leave your thoughts, comments or condolences below. I assure you they will be passed along to the Lee family. Tell us your memories of Byron Lee, the man, the musician and his legacy.

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