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ERNIE SMITH KEEPS HIS PROMISE TO HELP FELLOW ARTISTS!

BY BRIAN BONITTO
Associate Editor —–

 Ernie Smith (left) embraces Frankie Campbell, chairman of Jamaica Association of Vintage Artistes and Affiliates, after presenting him a check for $60,000 at a concert dubbed Live United at the Karl Hendrickson Auditorium on the grounds of Jamaica College in St Andrew, last Saturday. The check is the yearly dues and insurance for five JAVAA members. (Photo: Aston Spaulding) —

MUSICIAN Ernie Smith kept good on his promise and donated a check valuing $60,000 to Jamaica Association of Vintage Artists and Affiliates (JAVAA) at a concert dubbed Live United held at the Karl Hendrickson Auditorium on the grounds of Jamaica College in St Andrew last Saturday evening.

Smith was the show’s headliner.

The check is the year’s dues and insurance for five JAVAA members, which amounts to $12,000 per person. Smith gave his assurance the gesture is the first of five.

Frankie Campbell, chairman of JAVAA, lauded Smith for his unselfish act.

“It’s absolutely fantastic that Ernie decided to give back to the industry… We want more entertainers to do this, not necessarily to JAVAA, but give back to an institution that helped you along the way,” he told Jamaica Observer.

“A lot of entertainers are in their twilight years… it’s great we have somebody like Ernie. We appreciate that. And just in case anyone should die, they could go with some dignity,” he continued.

Smith, who is celebrating 50 years in the music industry, made the commitment at a media launch in earlier this year.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith

Several entertainers have fallen on hard times. The families of some have sought Government assistance to foot funeral expenses.

At Frankie Paul’s funeral in June, Entertainment and Culture Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange urged members of the entertainment fraternity to “get their act together”.

Smith made his mark on Jamaican music during the 1970’s. His breakthrough song, I Can’t Take It Any More, was covered by Johnny Nash as Tears On My Pillow.

His other songs include Duppy Gunman, Hail The Man, Bend Down, Ride On Sammy, Pitta Patta, and One Dream.

In addition to the headliner, Live United saw performances of Singing Melody, Wayne Armond, Gem Myers, Chozenn, Symatic, Ikaya, Rondell Positive, Pag3y, Duane Stephenson and Samory I.

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