Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Edi Fitzroy dies during third hospital stay - Son's death 15 years ago stayed with singer

Published:Monday | March 6, 2017 | 3:00 AMCecilia Campbell-Livingston
An upbeat Edi Fitzroy in 2005.
Edi Fitzroy in 2007.
Edi Fitzroy
Edi Fitzroy in earlier years.
Edi Fitzroy performing at Rebel Salute 2014 in Priory, St Ann.
Horseman, who put on Errol Dunkley's Birthday Bash in January, one of the last major shows Edi Fitzroy performed on.
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Reggae singer Edi Fitzroy, who died on Saturday, March 4, at the May Pen Hospital in Clarendon, had been has been "in and out of the hospital" over the past three months, his nephew Ali Edwards told The Gleaner.

He died after being admitted for the third time.

While not revealing the cause of the singer's death, Ali said as far as he knows, his uncle (whose given name is Fitzroy Edwards) did not have any chronic illnesses.

Reflecting on their relationship, Edwards said he first knew Edi Fitzroy at 12 years old as his father (and Fitzroy's sole brother) is Linval Edwards. The siblings were separated when Fitzroy's mother moved to Kingston.

"Growing up, I found out I was related to him and wanted to meet him," Edwards said. An adult took him to Fitzroy's workplace, the then Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew. A close bond developed between the two, Fitzroy later referring to Edwards as his son.

 

SON'S DEATH

 

Fitzroy, who is the father of six children - five girls and a son - lost his sole boy, Rory, in an accident over 15 years ago, while the youngster was in his last year at Calabar High School.

According to Ali, Rory, along with friends, went out on a trip and died. Many who knew Fitzroy, such as promoter Horseman and artiste Patrick Buddoo, said he spoke about Rory's death on many occasions, stating how much it had rocked his world.

Buddoo, Fitzroy's friend for over 15 years, said the usually cheerful singer's life took a downturn when his son died. "It was like the heart and soul went out of him. He took it terribly. His son was his life," he said.

One of Fitzroy's last major performances was at Errol Dunkley's Birthday Bash, held at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, Hope Road, St Andrew, in January. "That still stands out in my memory, as he totally 'mashed up' the place and he almost never got to perform," Horseman, who promoted the event, said.

What made it stood out even more for Horseman is that the police came to shut down the concert as they had gone over the alloted time and when they discovered Fitzroy was next to perform they allowed an extra 10 minutes as they, too, wanted to see him.

"He made use of the time and the 'place done'. Trust me, he was in his element," said Horseman.