A close ‘family friend’ of reggae artiste Coco Tea has dispelled rumours that the reggae legend has died.
“I saw the rumours on social media, his wife has said that he is alive and Jah know, mi feel better in my soul say the man not gone. But is like dem want the man drop flesh. Whoever is doing this better pray dem no get sick cause dem ah spread too many dangerous rumours,” the family friend told one876.
He has been battling an undisclosed illness for several years.
“Cocoa Tea’s wife , Malvia Scott, is asking for prayers at this time,” the family friend said.
Born in Rocky Point, Clarendon Parish, Jamaica, Cocoa Tea was popular in Jamaica from 1985, but has become successful worldwide since the 1990s.
One of his most famous songs is “Rikers Island”, which was later put into a ragga version by Nardo Ranks entitled “Me No Like Rikers Island” featured on Dancehall Reggaespanol which was released the same year as the original “Rikers Island”.
He also gained fame with the song “Young Lover”. He gained notoriety in March 2008 after releasing a song titled “Barack Obama” in support of the US Presidential candidate by the same name. Cocoa Tea’s song “Jah Made Them That Way” from his 1984 album Rocking Dolly interpolates “Human Nature” by Michael Jackson and “Answer Mi Question” by Dillinger.
He initiated the annual New Year’s Eve events Dancehall Jam Jam in 2003; It ran until 2009, with plans to resurrect it in 2015.
After recording for many of the top reggae labels including VP Records, Greensleeves Records and Ras Records, he started his own Roaring Lion label around 2000.