KINGSTON, Jamaica – Entertainment Minister Olivia Grange is mourning the passing of acclaimed Jamaican singer Karen Smith who died early Saturday following a battle with stage four colon cancer.
In a statement on Saturday afternoon, Grange said Karen Smith was “one of the queens of stage performance.”
“I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Karen Smith. A voice that reverberated among the cultural and entertainment icons is now muted and the silence echoes with her amazing personality, grace and love for her people.”
“Whether she was performing at national or international events or in little country churches, she was always engaging, entertaining and charming.”
The Entertainment minister added that “Karen has left an indelible imprint on the culture, arts and entertainment landscape of Jamaica. She was an active contributor to the cause of industry development. We will always remember Karen’s legendary voice, engaging personality, enduring warmth and her advocacy.
“I offer sincerest condolences to her husband Jackie Jackson, daughter Courtni, mother Barbara, and other relatives and friends. Jamaica’s quintessential songbird now sings in the choirs of New Jerusalem.
Walk good Karen into God’s eternal peace”.
Karen Smith, who celebrated her 61st birthday last Monday was a former president of the Jamaica Federation of Musicians and Affiliates Union.
She was of the most respected cabaret performers in Jamaica, and won nine Jamaica Music Industry Awards.
She also shared the stage with the likes of Natalie Cole, Seal, Air Supply, Anita Baker, Ray Charles and Harry Belafonte.
Smith was recognized with an Order of Distinction for her outstanding contribution to the music industry by the P.J. Patterson administration.