When Mighty Diamonds singer Lloyd 'Judge' Ferguson steps forward on Thursday to deliver a musical tribute for the late Fitzroy 'Bunny Diamond' Simpson, a terrible realization will finally dawn on him: he is the sole surviving member of a band that has been together over 30 years.
"To lose two Diamonds in one week was heartbreaking, and it will be tough to be at the funeral but mi have to hold up, if me no hold up, it no mek sense. Mi just have to deal with it,” Ferguson told OBSERVER ONLINE.
Ferguson revealed that he will be singing 'Impossible', a cover of a Delroy Wilson’s classic, as a special tribute to his late friend during a service of thanksgiving service on May 12th at the Boulevard Baptist Church. The service will begin at 10 a.m.
"I am going to do a special song for Bunny. There will be tributes from Home T 4, Bongo Herman, as well as other tributes," Ferguson said.
Burial will be held at Meadowrest Memorial Gardens. The Mighty Diamonds is the oldest group in the history of reggae music, but a four day period that will live in infamy decimated the trio. Bunny Diamond passed away on April 1 after a long battle with diabetes, just four days after Tabby Diamond was tragically murdered in his St Andrew community.
The funeral service of Donald 'Tabby Diamond' Shaw will be held on Friday, May 20th at the Waltham Park New Testament Church of God at 10 a.m. He will also be interred at the Meadowrest Memorial Gardens.
Shaw was the group’s lead vocalist, with ‘Bunny’ and ‘Judge’ providing harmony vocals. The ‘Diamond’ was added to the names of the members of the group over the years.
"I was doing a new album with Tabby, we completed five tracks already and after the funeral, I am going to organise things. In truth, Tabby cannot be replaced, you're not going to find a replica like Tabby, he is irreplaceable," he said.
There are plans to continue to tour and perform as the Mighty Diamonds.
"Diamonds thing is at a certain level. We have to make sure that whenever we sing Diamonds, we have it like how dem (the fans) know it. It is not a big problem because 95 per cent of the songs I write and arrange. I know how Tabby moves and slur his words, I am going to preserve the Diamonds legacy," he said.
Ferguson hinted that he will be completing the album he started with Tabby Diamond.
"We're going to need people to do the work but my brothers cannot be replaced because when yu gone, yu gone, they can never be replaced," Ferguson said.
The Mighty Diamonds is a Jamaican harmony trio with a strong Rastafarian influence. The group was formed in 1969 and remained together until 2012. They are best known for their debut album Right Time.
Tabby, Bunny and Judge have released over forty albums in their long career. Their smooth harmonies and choreographed stage show were inspired by Motown vocal groups of the 1960s - The Temptations, The Impressions, as well as Jamaican rock steady artistes John Holt and Ken Boothe.
The Mighty Diamonds have received several local and international honours.
The group was bestowed the Order of Distinction in the Officer Class in 2021 on Jamaica’s 59th anniversary of independence.