Fri | Apr 12, 2024

Music fraternity shocked at death of Peetah Morgan

Published:Monday | February 26, 2024 | 12:09 AMYasmine Peru/Senior Gleaner Writer
Peetah Morgan
Peetah Morgan
Peetah Morgan
Peetah Morgan
From left, Prime Minister Andrew Holness with Olivia Grange Minister of Sports, Youth and Culture after presenting  Morgan Heritage's Gramps, Peetah and Mr Mojo with the Icon Award  at the  Independence Grand Gala at National Stadium in Kingston on Sunday,
From left, Prime Minister Andrew Holness with Olivia Grange Minister of Sports, Youth and Culture after presenting Morgan Heritage's Gramps, Peetah and Mr Mojo with the Icon Award at the Independence Grand Gala at National Stadium in Kingston on Sunday, August 6, 2023.
Peetah Morgan performing at Reggae Sunsplash 2006.
Peetah Morgan performing at Reggae Sunsplash 2006.
Mr. Mojo, Gramps and Peetah Morgan representing for Africa and Jamaica.
Mr. Mojo, Gramps and Peetah Morgan representing for Africa and Jamaica.
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The music fraternity has been plunged into mourning following the sudden death of Morgan Heritage lead singer Peetah, who passed away on Sunday. Social media is awash with tributes and expressions of disbelief that the life of the 46-year-old singer has come to an end.

Soca Queen Allison Hinds led tributes from Barbados as she expressed her shock. “Noooo. This is heartbreaking. My deepest condolences go out to the entire family,” Hinds posted on Instagram.

Ziggy Marley stated: “Really saddened to hear the news today family Peetah move on from this sphere. Sending all our love and condolences to @morganheritage and family. Our community will miss him bad bad bad. JAH know. JAH love @peetahmusic.”

“Oh Jah!” shouted Warrior King.”My deepest condolences to the entire family ... this can’t be real. Wow this is very sad, strength and comfort.”

From producer Don Corleonie came crying emojis, prayer hands, and a simple “Jah know.”

Xana Romeo asked: “How??? Condolences to the family

Million Stylez commented: “This can’t be real!!??”

Promoter D’Bandit was in total shock. “What??????? Nah!!! Something really crazy is happening in this world. This is not happening again! I’m sorry for my disbelief. My condolences to the family. He was such a joy to work with,” was his instant reaction under a Morgan Heritage post. He then went over to his own page and posted a picture of himself with Peetah and made another comment. “Over the years we have had some special people grace our Redemption stage. Peetah is one of them. We are completely shocked by this loss! We will miss you brother.”

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Minister of Culture Olivia Grange and Leader of the Opposition Mark Golding have also expressed condolences via social media

Noting that his “heart is heavy to learn of the passing of Peetah Morgan”, Holness offered condolences to the family “as they grieve this tremendous loss, which is also a colossal loss for Jamaica and for reggae music”.

“Our country is grateful for his life and contribution and the sharing of his exceptional musical talent, which touched each of us,” the prime minister said.

Golding stated: “Today, we mourn the loss of Peter Anthony Morgan, known as “Peetah,” the lead singer of Morgan Heritage. Peetah, along with his siblings Una Morgan, Roy ‘Gramps’ Morgan, Nakhamyah ‘Lukes’ Morgan, and Memmalatel ‘Mr Mojo’ Morgan formed a musical powerhouse that resonated globally. Our heartfelt sympathies extend to Peetah’s family, friends, fans, and the entire musical fraternity. His legacy and contributions to reggae music will forever echo in our hearts.”

DEEPLY SADDENED

Sharing that she was “shocked and deeply saddened”, Minister Grange wrote: “It was not so long ago in 2022 that I was assisting with funeral arrangements for his father, Denroy Morgan, and now to lose Peetah, who was only 47, it’s really heartbreaking. Led by Peetah, Morgan Heritage won three Grammy Awards and the group has had major hits such as Don’t Haffi Dread (To Be Rasta), Down by the River, She’s Still Loving Me, and Reggae Bring Back Love. We honoured them at the 2023 Grand Gala at which they also performed,” Grange wrote

She offered condolences to Peetah’s widow, Marie, his siblings, the rest of the family, friends, and to the music fraternity.

In an interview with The Gleaner, Sean ‘Contractor’ Edwards, who works closely with Morgan Heritage, spoke of the impact of Morgan Heritage and Peetah Morgan.

“We have lost a very distinct and wonderful soul and voice in reggae music. Morgan Heritage inspired most of the reggae bands in America like Rebelution and Soja, who used to come to their sound check to learn. I was with them last year when they collected their award at the National Stadium and he seemed in good health and performed well, even comforting Gramps on stage, who was breaking down while talking about their father. They are a very close family, and my condolences go out to them. Peetah has a voice like Bunny Rugs, who was lead singer of Third World, that comes around once in a hundred years,” Edwards said.

International Reggae Day founder, Andrea Davis, stated that “his contribution to Jamaican music with his beautiful voice and loving spirit, made him an ambassador who will forever live in our hearts ... life well lived Bro Peetah walk good”.

Led by Peetah, Morgan Heritage won the Grammy Award in the Best Reggae Album category in 2016 for Strictly Roots. In 2017, they picked up a nomination for the album Avrakedabra.

On Independence Day last August, Morgan Heritage was honoured by the Government for outstanding contribution to the evolution and growth of Jamaican music and its worldwide popularity and was presented with the Jamaica Reggae Icon Award during the staging of the Grand Gala on at the National Stadium.

On Instagram, Peetah wrote: “Is ah unforgettable vibez and energy. We’ll never forget the teachings Papa. Jah seed has been planted in I n I. He’s our root, the source of our life. We are the branches, the leaves that have life. Out of many, one people! To say we’re grateful to @andrewholnessjm @hon.oliviagrange and the entire Government of Jamaica is an understatement. As icons we will carry on this Legacy and continue to make the nation proud. #TheHomeland #MorganHeritage #Legacy.”

yasmine.peru@gleanerjm.com