Leonard “Merciless” Bartley was found dead in a rental guesthouse late in the evening on July 19th at the Harlem Resort hotel. Friends and family members asked local police to check on the veteran deejay and dance hall artist when they could not get in touch with him as expected.
What Happened to Reggae Star Merciless?
The officers arrived, gained access to the guesthouse, and pronounced him dead at the scene. There was no evidence of foul play, but the police department did launch an investigation to determine the truth behind the horrible event.
Merciless had a long career as a dance hall deejay and music creator. He was reportedly working on a new album at the time of his death. He had scheduled gigs in area studios. Also, he had been actively planning and negotiating an upcoming event in which he would play a prominent performing role.
Sources say that he had at least one or two albums worth of unreleased music at the time.
The long-time music artiste was last seen around 1 PM that day at the guesthouse. He had been making tea and complaining about feeling ill. When the cops arrived on the scene later that evening, they did find evidence of heavy drinking in the room. The reports are inconclusive other than to say that there was no signs of foul play or anyone else being involved in the tragedy.
Remembering Meriless’ Life
As a music creator and deejay, Merciless found a lot of success in his life. He was most beloved in his native upper Clarnedon, Jamaica home, but his popularity did spread to other locations and around the world on a limited basis.
Some of his hits included a top reggae single ‘Mavis’ in 1995, ‘Mr. Whodini,’ ‘Mama Cooking,’ and ‘The Letter.’ This last song describes his 14-month prison sentence in Florida and his difficult relationship with his mother due to those legal troubles. Altogether, he put out three different albums between 1994 and 1997.
Despite his popularity in the Jamaican music scene, everything was not smooth sailing for this sometimes-volatile artiste. His prison sentence was just one extreme example. He also famously sparred with other musicians and entertainers both on stage and off.
Still, those difficult relationships and rivalries did not stop Merciless from collaborating with some other top names in the business.
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51-Year-Old Dancehall Star Leaves Behind Two Kids
His wife passed away in 2015, but two children remain from their marriage. They live in Canada and the United States and kept in contact with their father. Other family members including nieces and grandnieces were closer as well.
They expressed their sorrow and regret for their uncle’s passing and that they were heartbroken at the news.