VETERAN reggae singer and patriarch of the Grammy-winning Morgan Heritage clan Denroy Morgan died peacefully at his Atlanta home on Thursday after a brief illness. He was 76.
Mojo Morgan, the singer's son, confirmed his passing.
“He was home surrounded by his wife, his children, grandchildren, and his great grandchildren,” Morgan, 41, told the Jamaica Observer on Friday.
He said the family is trying to cope with his father's passing.
“We are holding firm and taking this time to comfort each other,” he added.
The Morgan family also shared a release on social media about the singer's transition.
“It is out of sincere love that we share that our beloved father and patriarch The Honorable Bishop Ras Denroy Morgan has ascended. Daddy has been our light, our source of love and joy all our lives,” the statement read.
“Our family thanks you in advance for your overwhelming love and support and we ask for your continued prayers as we go through this process. We also ask that you please respect our privacy during this time of healing,” it concluded.
The May Pen-born Morgan has lived in the United States since the mid-1960s. For most of the 1970s he was a member of the Black Eagles, a reggae band that played mainly clubs in Brooklyn.
He rose to superstar status in the 1980s with I'll Do Anything For You.
I'll Do Anything For You featured musical backing from the Black Eagles and peaked at number nine on the American soul chart. It also peaked at number seven on the dance charts.
In 1984, Morgan became the first reggae artiste signed to RCA Records. That deal led to the release of the reggae album Make My Day, which was also a hit.
Morgan, the father of 30 children, became a bishop in the Abrahamic Covenant Family Ministry, an arm of the Ethiopian Orthodox Coptic Church of North and South America and the International Gospel Helpers Church. He is also a member of the Twelve Tribes of Israel and the American Clergy Leadership Conference, with a Nyahbinghi Vibration and Bobo Shanti tradition.
In 2012 Morgan was fined US$25 and given a 90-day probation when he appeared in the US District Court in Manhattan after being charged with possession of 25 lb marijuana. His lawyer, Sabrina T Shroft, successfully argued that he had no intention to distribute the marijuana but planned to use it for spiritual purposes.
His albums include I'll Do Anything For You/Sweet Tender Love, Muzical Unity, and Salvation.