Tue | Mar 9, 2021

Veteran deejay Sister Charmaine ‘died in her sleep’

Published:Wednesday | January 6, 2021 | 12:16 AM
Lady Ann (left) and Sister Charmaine.
Lady Ann (left) and Sister Charmaine.

Veteran deejay Charmaine McKenzie, more popularly known as Sister Charmaine, has died. She was 53.

Her friend of many years, Lady Ann, said the deejay, who resided in the Bronx, United States, died in her sleep.

“I spoke to Charmaine on her birthday August 19 and I didn’t hear from her for the rest of the year. Then three days ago I called and she told me that she lost some of her numbers. Anyway, she told me that she got a job to look after a baby in upstate Boston, and I said ‘good’. I called her back today and her partner answered and told me that she died this morning. They said that she fed the baby and went to lie down and didn’t wake up,” a distraught Lady Ann explained.

Lady Ann, who was introduced to Sister Charmaine in the early ‘90s by DJ Squidley Ranks, remembered her as a kind, jovial person and “one of di baddest artiste bout di place”. She said that personally she did not like to perform on any stage show after Sister Charmaine. “When Charmaine on stage she in a different zone. It’s a pity the industry never give her that embrace that she really deserve, but I took her under my wings as a little sister and carry her with me to shows. Charmaine came here [the US] in 1993 and me come in ’95, but she always planned to go back home, but I always tell her to hold off a little until the kids and grandkids get a little older. She has one daughter and a granddaughter,” Lady Ann said.

It was in the mid-1980s that a teenaged McKenzie met producer Winston Riley at his Chancery Street record store in Kingston. Riley produced her first hit, the X-rated Glammity, and his Techniques label was instrumental in her success. Granny Advice, Strong Body Gal, and Man Look Nice were all produced by Riley.