Legendary Jamaican reggae musician Michael ‘Ibo’ Cooper has passed away

Cooper died “peacefully” at his residence in Saint Andrew on Thursday evening after a “short illness”, his relatives said in a statement published by local media.

“‘Ibo’s’ contributions to music and culture were incalculable. His children will remember him as a wonderful person with a magnanimous spirit and light,” emphasized the family of the former member of the reggae group Inner Circle.

Cooper’s wife Joy died last September and his son Arif in March. Ibo was also the father of Arianne, Akiri and Abean.

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said he was “deeply saddened” by the artist’s death.

Holness defined Cooper as one of “Jamaica’s most talented and prolific musicians” and a founding member of one of the “highest quality” reggae bands.

“Many Jamaicans enjoyed Cooper’s keyboard talents and energetic performances in the Grammy-nominated band Third World. ‘Ibo’ was a true cultural ambassador, bringing reggae and the Jamaican brand to the farthest corners of the earth,” he said.

“His love for music, encouragement and peace reflected the essence of reggae music. Certainly, he was part of the era that represented the embodiment of what reggae music truly is: love, unity and peace,” he added.

Holness also recognized the educational work of Cooper, who taught music at the Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts.

“Ibo leaves behind a great legacy based on his talent, personality and passion for his family, music and his country. Jamaica loses another great musical icon,” he added.

For her part, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Olivia Grange, assured that Cooper he was a “strong, consistent voice for the music industry and an exemplary teacher.”

“Generations of Jamaican musicians have been trained by him and our industry has been surpassed by his great help,” he noted.

Source: El heraldo