Jamaican Diva Barbara Jones Dies at the Age of 62

Jamaican Diva Barbara Jones died last Friday at the age of 62 in Kingston Jamaica. Her soul influenced reggae ballads propelled her to popularity in the seventies along with Judy Mowatt and Pam Hall.

Jones was born Barbara Nation in Kingston but grew up in Manchester, a rural parish located in central Jamaica. She began her musical career cutting a cover of American country singer Sue Thompson’s Sad Movies with the Soul Syndicate Band for Randy’s Records.

Most of her popular songs included, Evie Sands’ Angel in The Morning and Walk through This World with Me, originally done by Englebert Humperdinck and Dream Lover.

Jones toured with Jimmy Cliff as a backup singer, before giving up secular music in the early 1980s. She became a Christian and eventually recorded four gospel albums.

In May, Jones returned to her reggae roots by doing two shows in Brazil along with bassist/singer Lloyd Parks. They did shows in the cities of Teresina and Belem. Jones was shocked she had fans in Brazil, a vibrant market for so-called vintage reggae.

Lloyd Parks & Barbara Jones in Brazil

“I didn’t know my songs were so popular there. People always told me, I should go to Brazil as they love me there,” she told the Jamaica Observer during an interview after her return.

Barbara Jones is survived by her husband, three children and three grandchildren. The thanksgiving service for her life is scheduled for the Gregory Park Baptist Church on January 10. R.I.P Jamaican Diva Barbara Jones.

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