Ernest Wilson
GoFundMe set up for singer Ernest Wilson's funeral

FAMILY members of late singer and musician Ernest Wilson have set up a GoFundMe account to assist with his funeral arrangements.

Wilson, 69, died in the Kingston Public Hospital on Tuesday. He had been ailing for some time.

According to his son, Michael Wilson, the family is experiencing financial challenges in their bid to give their father a respectable send-off. As a result, the account was set up yesterday and is aimed at raising Cdn$25,000.

“I wish I could deal with it (the funeral) myself, but we don't have the money. We have been promised some assistance but weren't given any specifics. This (the GoFundMe account) is out of my box... This is not something I'm used to, begging and asking. But I'm hoping people from all over that my father helped out and touched could give back, and help him being sent off properly,” Michael Wilson told the Jamaica Observer.

He has earmarked a family plot in Hayes, Clarendon, for his father's interment.

“His mom is buried there, as well as his brother Leonard Wilson, who was also a singer, is buried there,” Wilson added.

GoFundMe is an American for-profit crowdfunding platform that allows fund-raising for events ranging from celebrations and graduations to accidents and illnesses.

Ernest Wilson, who was from Clarendon, first came to prominence in the early 1960s as a member of ska duo The Clarendonians. The group's other member, Peter Austin, also hailed from that parish.

They, along with Freddie McGregor, travelled to Kingston in 1961 and ended up recording at Studio One for producer Clement “Coxson” Dodd.

The Clarendonians were one of the top ska groups. They are best known for hit songs including You Can't be Happy, Rudie Gone A Jail, Shu Be-Do, Rudie Bam Bam, and You Won't See Me.

As a solo act, Wilson was even more outstanding. His songs include Undying Love, Money Worries, Storybook Children, Let Love Be (Your Right On Man) and I Know Myself.

Ernest Wilson is survived by five children (four sons and a daughter). Two sons pre-deceased him.

BY BRIAN BONITTO Associate Editor — Auto & Entertainment bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

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