“I AM lost, numb, broken,” reggae songstress, Marcia Griffiths, told The Sunday Gleaner in an interview from Florida, where she is being forced to sit out the coronavirus pandemic. Sister Marcia, as the Queen of Reggae ,is affectionately known, was reacting to the death of iconic reggae singer and songwriter, Bob Andy.
“What hurts me is that, owing to the calamities that the world is now experiencing, I didn’t get to reach him in Jamaica. I tried. I tried. But I just could not get to leave. He wanted to see me and I wanted to see him. I wanted to embrace him and generate that positive energy and life that always springs forth when we are together. I know it would have made a difference,” she said, on the verge of tears.
Bob Andy and Marcia Griffiths shared something special, musically. As a vocal duo in the ‘70s, Bob and Marcia became household names, appearing on Top of the Pops in Britain, having received wide acclaim with their 1970 cover of Nina Simone’s Young, Gifted and Black, which sold half of a million in the United Kingdom and Europe. They also had a #11 hit in 1971 with Pied Piper, and recorded two albums of the same titles. Interestingly, Really Together was the first of many duets that Bob and Marcia would record. They discontinued their partnership in the mid-1970s, both feeling that it was not bringing them adequate financial reward.
In paying tribute to Bob Andy, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, stated, “His collaborations with other artistes, particularly with Marcia Griffiths – an icon in her own right – will always remain standards.”
During an interview with The Gleaner last year, Marcia Griffiths expressed her gratitude to her lifelong friend, Bob Andy, who took her, as a young girl, under his wings, musically. “Bob looked out for me and made sure that everything went well, especially when we were overseas. I will forever be grateful to him for that,” she declared at the time. On Friday, her Instagram post simply said, “No words can express this feelings, RIP.”
Her parting words to The Sunday Gleaner were, “A major part of me has gone.”
Bob Andy passed away Friday morning at home in Stony Hill, St Andrew. His daughter, Bianka, was by his side, and the family reports that he made a peaceful transition. The reggae legend had been battling cancer for a number of years.