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The Mighty Diamonds’ Lead Singer Tabby Diamond Killed in Drive-by Shooting

The Mighty Diamonds Lead Singer Tabby Diamond Killed in Drive-by Shooting
Tabby Diamond

by Howard Campbell

[KINGSTON, Jamaica] – Tabby Diamond, lead singer of The Mighty Diamonds for over 50 years, was shot and killed in Jamaica on March 29 in a drive-by incident. He was 66 years-old.

According to police reports, Tabby Diamond whose real name is Donald Shaw, was one of four persons shot in the tough Olympic Gardens area of the Jamaica capital. Another man died in the shooting.

Police are investigating the incident but have yet to make an arrest.

Tabby, along with Lloyd “Judge” Ferguson and Fitzroy “Bunny” Simpson formed The Mighty Diamonds in Trench Town in 1969. Their many hit songs include the roots-reggae anthems, I Need A Roof, Right Time, Africa and Have Mercy which were recorded at Channel One studio during the 1970s.

In 1982, the trio scored their biggest commercial success with Pass The Kouchie. A song about the Rastafarian ritual of sharing the marijuana pipe while smoking. It was a big hit in reggae circles in the United States and United Kingdom. It inspired Pass The Dutchie, an international hit for British reggae group Musical Youth that year.

Drummer Sly Dunbar, who played on many of The Diamonds’ biggest hits, said he heard of Tabby’s death while driving home.

“I prayed it wasn’t true when I hear he got shot but I started getting texts confirming it. Tabby was a great singer an’ a humble person,” he said.

The Mighty Diamonds were awarded the Order of Distinction, Jamaica’s sixth highest honor, in 2021 for their contribution to the development of Jamaican music.

 

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