News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Sept. 12, 2014: Relatives, friends and fans of late Jamaican singer Hopeton Lewis are set to gather this weekend in Brooklyn, NY to bid adieu to the renowned reggae singer.
Lewis died on 4 September 2014 at his home in Brooklyn after suffering kidney failure. He was 66.
The singer was born in Kingston, Jamaica and sang in church from an early age before starting out performing as a youth with the group, The Regals.
By the mid-1960s, he began recording and had one of the earliest rocksteady hits with “Take It Easy” in late 1966. The track was recorded with Lynn Taitt and the Jets and is regarded as one of the first rocksteady singles.
He had several more Jamaican hits in the late 1960s and early 1970s, including the first ‘herb’ song ever recorded in Jamaica, “Cool Collie.”
Lewis worked for Duke Reid as an arranger and backing vocalist, and won the Festival Song Contest in 1970 with “Boom Shaka Lacka.” He later began working as a singer with Byron Lee & the Dragonaires and in 1971 had a hit with “Grooving Out On Life”.
Lewis continued to release records, but his success after the early 1970s was limited. He released ‘This Is Gospel’ in 1996 on his own label, Bay City Music, founded in the 1980s. Much of his recent work has been in the gospel genre, including ‘Reaching Out to Jesus’ (2000).
He lived the later period of his life in Brooklyn, New York, where he presented a show on Grace Deliverance Radio.
A viewing is set for later this afternoon, Friday, September 12th, at the St Mark’s United Methodist Church, 2017 Beverley Road in Brooklyn, NY from 4 to 7 p.m. A service will follow the viewing at 7 to 9 p.m.
Lewis will be laid to rest tomorrow, Saturday, September 13th at St. Raymond’s Cemetery in the Bronx following a funeral aervice at 9 a.m. at St Mark’s Church in Brooklyn.