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Grange hails 'great Jamaican' Suzanne Couch

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange has expressed sorrow at the passing of well-known Jamaican singer, pianist, composer and producer, Suzanne Couch.

Couch, who is equally famous as a specialty caterer, died yesterday at a Mexican facility less than one month after her last public performance at the Hope in The Hills concert in Strawberry Hills, St Andrew.

She had been battling breast cancer since 2016 and was being treated at Clinica CIPAG, where she died. She was 56 years old.

Grange in a release from her ministry today recalled that Couch joined the band 'Native' as a keyboard player with her husband Peter and lyricist Brian Jobson in 1980. Together they wrote songs including 'Fortunes of Love,' which appeared on the soundtrack of Stephanie Black's documentary on Jamaica's economic problems 'Life and Debt'.

“Suzanne became a featured singer on several Jamaican record releases, including Steely & Clevie's version of the Carly Simon song 'Why', Monty Alexander's album 'Many Rivers to Cross' and singles with Maxi Priest, Toots Hibbert, Mutabaruka, among others,” Grange said.

“I was happy when Suzanne's debut album 'Lifeline' appeared in 2001. Its excellence was praised in Jamaica and across the world, with some reviews recommending it for the Reggae Grammy award.

“She continued singing, composing and playing the piano, with special solo performances at Red Bones Caf and, most recently, at a special benefit concert featuring Joss Stone at Strawberry Hills Hotel just a few weeks before her death,” the minister said.

Grange further added that Couch's “generous hospitality at her home studio introduced her friends to her tasty cuisine and they persuaded her to use this second talent profitably, so Suzanne grew into one of the best-known caterers for special events.”

“Suzanne Couch was more than a great Jamaican musician, songwriter and singer. She was a great Jamaican woman. I shall miss her, but Jamaica will be forever enriched by the music she left for us to enjoy,” said Grange.

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