Dancehall Deejay, Merciless Found Dead in a Motel


by Howard Campbell

[KINGSTON, Jamaica] – Merciless,  a force in dancehall music during the 1990s, has died. The 51 year-old deejay’s body was discovered here by friends and staff at a motel on July 19.

Police confirmed he was found face down.  They have ruled out foul play. 

Friends recall seeing Merciless late the previous evening. They said he complained of feeling unwell and said he was going to rest.

Merciless,  whose real name was Leonard Bartley, hailed from rural Clarendon parish. He first hit the charts in 1995 with the comical Mavis, which was followed by hits like Old Gallis, Gal Gizada and Momma Cooking. 

He was a favorite at Sting,  a controversial dancehall show held on Boxing Day, known for verbal clashes between top artists.

At Sting 2000, Merciless trounced Beenie Man and Bounty Killer in what many consider his finest moment. The following year, he was involved in an ugly onstage exchange with both deejays at Reggae Sumfest resulting in him being banned him permanently from that show.



South Florida Caribbean News

The SFLCN.com Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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