Singers Bunny (left) and Tabby Diamond of the trio The Mighty Diamonds(Photo: Joseph Wellington)

There are some new diamonds on the market; The Mighty Diamonds, that is.

One year after losing original members, Donald "Tabby" Shaw and Fitzroy "Bunny" Simpson, Lloyd "Judge Diamond" Ferguson has recruited replacements to "carry on the legacy".

Andrew Cassanova and Traci-Trae Baillie are the new members expected to go on a summer tour of Europe as well as record songs.

Ferguson told the Jamaica Observer that they were selected following auditions he conducted.

"We search an' search an' believe wi find di right people. I hear them an' know what they're capable of, an' wi looking forward to going out there again," he said.

Shaw, 67, and another man were killed by gunmen in front of his home in the Waterhouse community on March 29. Three days later, 71-year-old Simpson died, six years after suffering a massive stroke that effectively ended his career.

Simpson last performed with the Diamonds at Startime in St Andrew in January 2016. He was replaced by Capo Beniah, who has since parted ways with the group.

Cassanova has been lead singer for the Fab Five Band for several years and released songs as a solo act.

Baillie, wife of veteran drummer Junior "Bird" Baillie, has recorded a gospel album and done backing vocals for acts, including Papa San and Chevelle Franklin.

Last year, Ferguson announced his intention to carry on with The Mighty Diamonds which he, Bunny, and Tabby formed in Trench Town in 1969.

Tabby's unique tenor led the trio on classic songs like I Need A Roof, The Right Time, Africa, Pass The Kutchie, Heads of Government and Bodyguard.

Judge Diamond disclosed that he has had discussions with show promoters about returning to Europe, a fertile region for The Mighty Diamonds since the late 1970s.

Junior Baillie, keyboardist Earl Fitzsimmons, and bassist Trevor Thompson are expected to join the new-look Diamonds on tour.

One year after losing his friends of over 50 years, Judge Diamond said the pain lingers.

"Bwoy, mi don't even like discuss it. It drag mi down every time mi think 'bout it, but mi deal with it di best mi can," he shared.

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior writer

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