Marcia Smikle dies six months after U-Roy
Partner of 41 years said life wasn’t the same without legendary toaster
Six months after the passing of legendary toaster Ewart ‘U-Roy’ Beckford, his partner of more than 41 years, Marcia Smikle, has died. The 65-year-old Smikle succumbed to her illness last Sunday while a patient at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).
Smikle’s daughter – and only child – Susan Davis told The Gleaner that her mother was being treated for stomach-related issues and had been admitted to the hospital two Saturdays ago.
“She was sick and getting her medication, but then she had to go to the hospital,” Davis said, while trying to compose herself in-between a flurry of phone calls.
“I don’t even know what date today is, but I know that she was admitted Saturday. She was in the hospital for over a week. We don’t know the cause of death as yet; we have to wait on the autopsy. But she never have COVID. No, it wasn’t that,” she stressed.
It was on August 11 that Smikle called The Gleaner “by accident,” and during a conversation, she admitted that she was “not doing too good” and expressed how much she was missing the man who she met when she was 24 years old and with whom she had spent more than four decades.
“At first, it come in like him did just gone on tour and would soon come back home. But is not that at all. This time him not returning. Yeah, man, I really miss him. I am trying to keep up and keep my spirit up, but I am not doing so well at all,” Smikle said.
Although Smikle and Daddy U-Roy had no children together – he has 16 – he had raised her daughter, Susan, as his own. In an interview last February with dancehallmag.com, Smikle had stated, “I came there with one child, and when I realised that he had so many other kids, I didn’t want to join the bandwagon. Him did hot, so I just raised everyone; I didn’t bother to have anymore. We had some great years, ups and downs like everyone else, good times and bad times, but I stick with it through faith. There was a lot of love in our home.”
Susan’s only son, Rushawn Smith, is acknowledged as U-Roy’s grandson, and he spoke lovingly of both his grandparents. Smith remembered Smikle as “loving and well respectable”.
“My grandmother was a nice woman. She wasn’t strict with me; she allow you to do things up to a point. Everybody [knows] her as a kind woman, and everybody did respect her,” he said.
Daddy U-Roy, the DJ godfather and the originator of toasting, died on February 17 at the UHWI after undergoing surgery there. Tributes rang out on social and traditional media for days as artistes, producers, record labels and fans all paid homage to the pioneer who helped to change sound system culture in Jamaica and influence dancehall and early hip-hop.
Funeral arrangements for Smikle will be announced at a later date.