by Howard Campbell
[KINGSTON, Jamaica] – Fitzroy “Bunny Diamond” Simpson, a member of legendary harmony trio The Mighty Diamonds, died here April 1 at age 70.
His death came three days after fellow ‘Diamond’ Donald “Tabby” Shaw was murdered here. Shaw was 67.
Simpson, Shaw and Lloyd “Judge” Ferguson founded the group in Trench Town in 1969. Their hit songs include I Need A Roof, Africa, Have Mercy, Right Time and Pass The Kouchie.
The Mighty Diamonds hit their stride in the mid-1970s when roots-reggae and Rasta were the rage in Jamaica. Their most memorable songs, like I Need A Roof and Right Time, were recorded at Channel One in Kingston, then the hottest studio in reggae.
Simpson suffered a life-changing stroke in 2015. His last performance with The Mighty Diamonds was in January, 2016 at the Startime show in Kingston.
Michael Barnett promoted that successful series which ran for over 30 years. He remembers Bunny as the businessman of the group.
“He had things under control and was very easy to deal with. Bunny was very easy to deal with,” said Barnett.
Simpson’s place in the group was taken by Beniah, a mainstay of the South Florida reggae scene.
Fitzroy “Bunny Diamond” Simpson along with Ferguson and Shaw, was awarded the Order of Distinction, Jamaica’s sixth-highest honor, in 2021.
He is survived by six children and several grandchildren.