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Reggae lovers, fanatics, friends and loved ones of Jimmy Riley have been rocked to their core, after confirmation came in earlier today that he had unfortunately passed away after a long battle with cancer.

“He was in New York at the time,he had been getting treatment for the cancer. The family is devastated,” a source close to the family told Loopjamaica.com.

Tarrus Riley posted an image with the expletive, “F… Cancer” in response to his father’s death.


Jimmy Riley was born Martin James Ziggy Norman Riley, 22 May 1954. He is best known as a solo act but had carved out a great reputation as a member of the Sensations and The Uniques.

He had several hits in the 1970s, including Tell The Youths The Truth, Nyah Bingi, and Clean up the Streets, and continued to be successful in the 1980s, working with Sly & Robbie’s Taxi productions. In 1983, Riley topped the UK reggae chart with his version of Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing. In the late 1980s, Riley moved to Miami, and put his career on hold, but returned to Jamaica in the early 1990s.

Riley’s son Tarrus followed him into music and the success of Tarrus gave a boost to Jimmy’s career. They have performed together several times, headlining a number of festivals including the Ocho Rios Seafood Festival in 2007.

In September 2013, he released the album Contradiction, that featured guest appearances from his son Tarrus, Sizzla, and Fantan Mojah.


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