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Body of Late Roy Shirley Repatriated to Jamaica

Body of Late Roy Shirley Repatriated to Jamaica

Body of Late Roy Shirley Repatriated to Jamaica

By Maral Amiri on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - Comment

The body of King Roy Shirley returned to his native island, Jamaica, on September 1st for burial.

The body of Ainsworth Roy Rushton Shirley aka Roy Sirley has left London two days ago for Jamaica for burial. The veteran singer died in July at his home in Thamesmead, London, UK. The initiative to repatriate Shirley’s body comes from the Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange, with the support of the Jamaica Association of Vintage Artistes, with coordination in London by the Jamaican High Commission.

Roy Shirley was born in 1944. As many Jamaican artists, he started singing in the Church choir with his mother, he developed his musical talent by learning the guitar and progressed with the help of Jimmy Cliff, and band leaders Byron Lee and Sonny Bradshaw and the late Drum Bago, in the early sixties. He made his first recording in the mid-sixties, cutting ‘Shirley’ for Leslie Kong. Shirley founded The Uniques along with Slim Smith and Franklyn White. Following the break up of The Uniques, Shirley attended one-off sessions for Blondel Calnek and WIRL Records before cutting what was to be his first major hit, ‘Hold Them’ (aka ‘Feel Good’) for Joe Gibbs. He moved to Britain around 1973. During this period he had also established a reputation as a stage performer without equal in Jamaica, his live shows becoming celebrated events on the island. Roy opened a record shop in Dalston and over the years that followed remained active musically, recording new material and founding the British Universal Talent Development Association to help develop new young talent worldwide.

Note that Shirley’s foundation, the British Universal Talent Development Association will be holding a memorial ceremony for the King at The Forum at Greenwich, Trafalguar Rd, London on November 11th. For more info go to

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