KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaican Reggae artiste Frankie Paul died at the University Hospital of West Indies (UHWI) last night.Paul was born in 1965. He was 52 years old.
According to his sister, Trish Clarke, he died shortly after 10:00 pm. He had been suffering from kidney problems and was on dialysis two days per week.
Friends, including dance-hall artiste/producer Wayne Lonesome were assisting him in meeting a huge hospital bill of some $1.5 million when he died. He had been admitted to the hospital since April. Paul, who had moved to the African nation, The Gambia in 1994, was a major dance-hall/reggae star of the 1980s and 1190s with hits like “Worries In the Dance”, “Pass the Ku Shung Peng”, “Tidal Wave”, “Cassanova” and “Sarah”.
Born in Jamaica in 1965, Paul, whose real name was Paul Blake, was blind from birth and spent his early life at the Salvation Army School for the Blind. While there he met American Rn B singer Stevie Wonder, who was in Kingston for a show at the National Stadium in the 1970s. Wonder urged him to become a professional singer. Like Wonder, Paul also played a number of instruments including the keyboard.
“He will be sadly missed by us, his friends, his colleagues in the music business, his family and thousands of fans around the world who loved his music,” Lonesome told the OBSERVER ONLINE this morning.