KINGSTON, Jamaica— Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, said that with the death of Tyrone Downie, Jamaica has lost another of its great sons of music.
Minister Grange shared these sentiments while paying tribute to Downie, who died on Saturday, November 5 at the age of 66.
Downie caught the eye of Jamaica and the world when he joined Bob Marley and the Wailers as the group’s keyboard player. He was also an arranger and producer of music.
“I was so very sad to hear that Tyrone had passed. He was an even greater person than musician; a great human being,” Grange said.
“Tyrone was one of the musical stars that helped make the music around Bob Marley exceptional,” the minister added.
She disclosed that Downie also played with The Abyssinians, Black Uhuru, Burning Spear, Steel Pulse, Alpha Blondie and Sly and Robbie and for solo acts such as Buju Banton, Peter Tosh, Junior Reid, and Beenie Man.
Grange added that Downie’s musical contributions in his later years are also of note consisting of his “exploits in France” and the release of his solo album Organ D in 2001.
“Tyrone Downie will be remembered as one of the significant contributors to Reggae music. We echo the sentiments that were expressed by singer Grace Jones, Tyrone Downie was ‘Our Jamaican Guy’. We will miss the man and his music. I send words of comfort to his family, relatives, friends and associates and to the music fraternity,” the minister stated.