Entertainment

Wayne 'Sleng Teng' Smith laid to rest

BY CECELIA CAMPBELL-LIVINGSTON Observer staff reporter livingstonc@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, March 10, 2014    

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WAYNE 'Sleng Teng' Smith made his transition in February, just days before he was scheduled to start a world tour.

The late singer's nephew, Aubrey Young, made the disclosure while giving the eulogy at Smith's thanksgiving service Saturday at the Faith United Brethren in Christ of God church in Washington Gardens.

Smith, known internationally for the historic 1984 song Under mi Sleng Teng, died at the Kingston Public Hospital on February 17. He was 48- years-old.

Smith, who left Jamaica in 1989 to live in the United States, returned home last year and established a recording studio in Mandeville.

Though the computerised Under mi Sleng Teng song assured him a place as a dancehall trailblazer, Smith kept a low profile.

"Despite the homage that was paid to him he was never greedy materialistic. Nothing changed him," said Young.

Singer Junior Reid, Macka Millie from Innocent Kru and producer Lloyd 'King Jammy's James, Smith's mentor who produced Under mi Sleng Teng, joined family and friends at the service.

For Tibel Smith, one of Smith's six children, his father's life was all about music.

"He was always eager to teach me about music. My father's life was music and the studio was his playground," he said.

A poignant moment was a sister's need to know that her brother's soul was alright.

Pastor Wendy Stephenson, Smith's sister, was emotional as she described the last days of his life.

"I heard a voice say, 'tell him to say the name of Jesus!'" Stephenson declared.

She recalled contacting her mother who was at the hospital and telling her of the revelation. Initially, Smith refused, but eventually relented and shouted 'Jesus!' twice.

Wayne 'Sleng Teng' Smith was interred at Meadowrest Memorial Gardens in St Catherine.

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