They were the rave of the airwaves, and like their name, diamond, a very precious and rare voice in the reggae music world. Making hits songs that resonated around the world among reggae music lovers.
The Jamaican trio helped lead the wave of roots reggae arising from the streets of Kingston to international acclaim in the 1970s.
The ‘’Mighty Diamonds’’ band was formed in 1969 in Trenchtown, Jamaica. It comprised Donald “Tabby” Shaw who was the lead vocalist, harmony vocalists Fitzroy “Bunny” Simpson and Lloyd “Judge” Ferguson.
The 66 year old Tabby ‘Diamond’ Shaw, was shot and killed outside his home in Kingston on Tuesday, March 29. A Twitter user in Jamaica posted a video of very happy, fit and effervescent Tabby dancing and singing outside his house just before he was killed by a drive-by shooter. Police said it could be related to a gang feud involving his son.
Bunny Diamond, who was born Fitzroy Simpson, died on Friday, April 1, 2022,at the Chest Hospital in the Jamaican capital Kingston after suffering a major stroke in 2015. He has been ill for a long time.
According to the chairman of the Jamaican Association of Vintage Artistes and Affiliates, Frankie Campbell, Simpson had been partially immobile and unable to perform with the group.
“He got a major stroke in 2015 and subsequently he got other strokes, so he couldn’t really work with the group anymore. Obviously he couldn’t travel. For the past five or six years, unfortunately, he couldn’t really move so he didn’t go on the road much.” He was 70.
‘Right Time’ was one of their most popular songs that became a hit in Jamaica, the US and across the globe. It was released under Virgin Records in 1979.Right Time was a reggae classic and still is for reggae lovers even today. Regarded as one of the finest reggae LPs ever released.
Other very well-known songs by the group include ‘I need a roof ‘’ ‘‘Have mercy’ and ‘Pass the kutchie’.
The Mighty Diamonds had been the longest group together in the music world according to The Gleaner, a Kingston Jamaican based tabloid, established in 1834.
They recorded over 40 albums together.The group was preparing to record its 47th album and begin a tour before tragedy struck.
The Mighty Diamonds became famous for their “conscious” music infused with Rastafari beliefs, which often focused on social issues of the time
The group has collected numerous awards across the globe over the years
The Government of Jamaica conferred the National honours on them on Jamaica’s National Heroes day in 2021.
According to the Jamaica Gleaner, they were vested with the Order of Distinction (Officer Class) for their contribution to the development of Jamaican music
Tabby is survived by his wife, Evandey Henry; his daughters, Ishika Shaw, Samantha Shaw, Josheina Shaw, Dominique Martin, Naomi Campbell and Sapphire Campbell; his sons, Javion Shaw, JahMarley Shaw and Brad Campbell; and five grandchildren.
Bunny’s wife, Sylvia Simpson, died in 2017. He is survived by his sister, Lorna Howell; his brother, Lloyd Howell; his daughters, Ronece Simpson and Rosemarie Simpson; his sons, Allan Simpson and Omar Simpson; and six grandchildren.
Lloyd “Judge” Ferguson is the only surviving member of the reggae trio. It is indeed a very difficult situation where a once vibrant friends suddenly pass on,never to be seen again ,never to sing together again.