Farewell, Mighty Diamond
The pall-bearers walk with the casket following the funeral service for Donald “Tabby Diamond” Shaw at Ranny WilliamsEntertainment Centre in St Andrew on Friday.

“TABBY was a good man.” The words of Bob Marley’s iconic Johnny Was were adapted on Friday in tribute to Donald “Tabby Diamond” Shaw, lead singer of The Mighty Diamonds.

In his musical tribute at the thanksgiving service at Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in St Andrew, Deh Deh Blacks of The Heptones wailed the fitting Marley anthem for an audience which included family, politicians, and music industry colleagues.

The event was held one week after the burial of another member of the popular trio — Fitzroy “Bunny Diamond” Simpson who died three days after Shaw.

It was heavy for the sole surviving member, Lloyd “Judge Diamond” Ferguson.

“It is with great sorrow that I stand here today to pay respects to my dear departed brother. But I give thanks that I had the opportunity to travel all over the world with him for over 50 years. He was truly a good man. It was God who put the Diamonds together. Tabby with that great singing voice, me with the writing skills, and Bunny who was the people person... we were truly formed by God. So it was, so it is. See you when I see you,” he shared before launching into his musical tribute.

The funeral saw a number of performances, including by members of Shaw’s family. His brother Peter and sister Juanita showed that vocal talent is in their DNA as they offered tributes in song to their famous brother.

Tributes also came from Duane Stephenson, Dean Fraser, Leroy Sibbles, Dr Carlene Davis, Josey Wales, and Bongo Herman.

Music insider Copeland Forbes was brought to tears as he remembered Shaw whom he first met at All Saints School in downtown Kingston.

Forbes would later manage The Mighty Diamonds as they toured the world.

“We lived in Trench Town; he was just down the road from us. His wife here, Fannie, was like family. In 1976 I was sent to Jamaica to get this group called The Mighty Diamonds for a show in New York promoted by Ken Williams. When I came down I realised it was my schoolmates. I contracted them and took them to New York. They did something that, up to today, nobody can equal — they took reggae music from the club scene to the concert halls,” Forbes recalled. “I took them on their first tour of the UK as they were signed with Virgin Records. One thing I won’t forget, they played at the Reading Festival and the headliner was a punk rock band called Johnny Rotten and the Sex Pistols, so when they started I saw something coming through the air and I realised it was tomatoes and eggs. Tabby looked at me as to say ‘Come off or stay?’ We went through and eventually, they stopped. At the end of the show all the people who were throwing tomatoes and eggs came backstage and knelt down in front of Tabby and apologised.”

Shaw was one of two people killed in a drive-by shooting on McKinley Crescent in Kingston on March 29. Police report that the 67-year-old singer was among a group of people gathered in the community when gunmen opened fire from a passing motor vehicle. He was pronounced dead at hospital.

Shaw has left behind a host of family members and friends, including his widow Fannie, seven children, 15 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Copeland Forbes (centre) is withthe daughters of Donald “TabbyDiamond” Shaw, Samantha (right)and Josheina.
Dean Fraser (left) and Duane Stephenson pay tribute in music andsong.
The entertainment fraternity is well represented. Seen here(from left) are Josey Wales, Beres Hammond and AdmiralBailey.
Angela Shaw (left), sister of Donald “Tabby Diamond” Shaw, isa picture of grief as she is comforted by her daughter TamoneSaunders.
Nadine Sutherland is among thosepaying tribute to Shaw.
Richard Johnson

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