Jamaican singer Millie Small has died at the age of 73 after suffering a stroke – best known for her hit song My Boy Lollipop, Millie Small was a Jamaican singer who ‘took ska international.’
The star was most famous for her hit single My Boy Lollipop, which reached number two in both the US and the UK in 1964. It still remains one of the biggest-selling ska songs of all time, with more than seven million sales.
Island Records founder Chris Blackwell announced her death and remembered her as “a sweet person… really special.” It was Blackwell who brought Small to London in 1963 and produced her version of My Boy Lollipop, showcasing her childlike, high-pitched vocals.
In 2011, Jamaica’s Governor-General made Small a Commander in the Order of Distinction for her contribution to the Jamaican music industry. The singer is survived by her daughter, Joan, who is also a musician based in London.
Tributes were led by actor Vas Blackwood, who said Small “lit the fuse for Jamaican ska music.”