Late, great Reggae singer, John Holt got a fitting goodbye Monday as many of his former friends and colleagues within the music industry paid tribute the best way they knew how at on Monday; in song.
The artist’s funeral was held at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in downtown Kingston Monday afternoon as family and friends remembered the highly touted musician, who passed away at the age of 67 at a London hospital in October after a long battle with colon cancer. Prior to the service, several artists performed some of Holt’s classics, including U-Roy with his unique version of Wear You To The Ball as well as Karen Smith with Memories By The Score, Hezron with The Tide Is High, Tinga Stewart with The Tide is High, Luciano with Impossible and George Nooks with Left With a Broken Heart.
Holt’s sons, Junior and Richard, also performed for the packed congregation they sang their father’s hits, Stealing and A Love I Can Feel.
Other musicians, such as gospel legend, Carlene Davis and one of Holt’s closest friends, Ken Boothe also performed in honour of the singer.
During the service, Holt’s family and friends spoke glowingly of the artist, with his daughter, Debbie particularly emotional in her speech, saying, per the Jamaica Observer “My father enjoyed his life most when he was among the people, performing for the people.”
Opposition spokesperson on Culture, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange also spoke on Holt’s legacy and impact on the local music industry, saying, “He was no ordinary Jamaican. He was part of that set of Jamaicans who have distinguished themselves. We have such an impressive list that we often become nonchalant with how we treat these gifts. They deserve much more than compensation.”
Following the service, Holt’s former manager, Copeland Forbes said it was fantastic to see the unity and respect shown as they gave a great sendoff to one of Reggae’s greats, telling IRIEFM, “Today was really a special day…It was like a celebration of his works. It goes to show you the strength of the artists; the respect that people in Jamaica have for him.”
Other entertainers who came out to the funeral service included Derrick Harriott, Lloyd Parks, Ninja Man and Josey Wales.
Holt was interned at the Dovecot Memorial Park in St. Catherine. He was survived by his wife, Merl, a host of children and grandchildren, a great grandson, siblings and many other relatives.
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