Music Legend Millicent ‘My Boy Lollipop’ Small Dies



Millicent ‘My Boy Lollipop’ Small

This year, 2020, has claimed yet another music legend, in the person of Jamaica’s legendary ska ambassador, singer, Millicent Small. Millie died on May 5, 2020, aged 72, after suffering a stroke.

The star was most famous for her hit single My Boy Lollipop, which reached number two in both the US and the UK in 1964.

It remains one of the biggest-selling ska songs of all time, with more than seven million sales.
Island Records founder Chris Blackwell announced her death and remembered her as “a sweet person… really special”.
“She was such a sweet person, really a sweet person. Very funny, great sense of humour. She was really special,” said Blackwell.
It was Blackwell who brought Small to London in 1963 and produced her version of My Boy Lollipop, showcasing her childlike, high-pitched vocals.
“I would say she’s the person who took ska international because it was her first hit record,” he told the Jamaica Observer .
Ska was one of the genres of music that the island of Jamaica gave to the world and was a major influence on the island’s now globally embraced reggae music and the Rastafarian-Nyabinghi culture. Indeed, Reggae icon, Robert Nesta Marley, popularly known as Bob Marley, started out his music career with sounds that bore distinct influences of ska.
At the age of 12, Millicent Small won a talent contest at the Palladium Theatre in Montego Bay; and by her teens, she was recording for Sir Coxone Dodd’s Studio One label in Kingston.
There, she teamed up with reggae singer Roy Panton and they became one of the island’s most prolific duos, scoring a major hit with We’ll Meet.
Blackwell took an interest in the singer after releasing some of those records in the UK on his fledgling record label, Island, and brought her to London in 1963.
Released in February 1964, My Boy Lollipop, made Millie an international star and helped popularise ska music around the world.

Ms. Millicent Small

In 2011, Jamaica’s Governor-General made Small a Commander in the Order of Distinction for her contribution to the Jamaican music industry.
The singer is survived by her daughter, Jaelee, who is also a musician based in London.
Adapted from the BBC.
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