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‘My Boy Lollipop’ Singer Millie Smalls Dies At 73

millie small - with lillipop - getty-624874

Millie Small: ‘My life seemed very normal to me – even though I was only 17, I took fame in its stride’ (Getty)

*Unfortunately, we have to report that singer Millie Small, who recorded the 1964 hit single “My Boy Lollipop,” passed away this week after suffering a stroke. She was 73.

“Millie opened the door for Jamaican music to the world. It became a hit pretty much everywhere in the world,” said Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, who co-produced the song. “I went with her around the world because each of the territories wanted her to turn up and do TV shows and such, and it was just incredible how she handled it. She was such a really sweet person, very funny, great sense of humour. She was really special.”

“My Boy Lollipop” became a huge hit and sold over six million records, taking ska to a worldwide audience. Regarding that, here’s what Blackwell told the Jamaica Observer:

“I would say she’s the person who took ska international because it was her first hit record.”

Small was born to parents who worked on a sugar plantation and entered a talent contest named “The Vere John’s Opportunity Hour” in Jamaica at the age of 12.

No, she didn’t win, but came second before forming a duo with reggae artist Roy Panton, with the pair recording the song “We’ll Meet.”

It was around then that Blackwell helped Small to further her singing career, with the songwriter traveling to London in 1963.

By that time she recorded “My Boy Lollipop” which became number two in the UK and number one in other parts of the world.

Millie Small

Millie Small (Circa 1964 – Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

“My Boy Lollipop” reached number 2 in the UK and US singles charts and sold over 7 million copies around the world.

She is survived by her beloved daughter Jaelee who Small devoted her life to when she was born in 1984.

Millie Small was a true original, a wonderful human being and will be dearly missed by everyone.

Her other hits were “Bloodshot Eyes,” “Sweet William” and “Oh Henry.”

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Comment by mr1stroke on May 19, 2020 at 3:35pm

Nice memory

Comment by trevor mullings on May 19, 2020 at 3:04pm

I remembered  a family member took me to a live free concert that was sponsored by her Millie Small, at the National Stadium in Kingston Jamaica, i think it was either 1965 or 1966.It was the first live concert for me and i have never forgotten it..May she rest in internal peace.

Comment by S. Young on May 7, 2020 at 1:30am
I loved that song so much when I was little I used to sing that sugar dandy part so hard, lol. Such a classic tune. Rest in Paradise Queen Millie.
Comment by mr1stroke on May 7, 2020 at 12:28am

Man she was talented that was one hot single that went from generation through generation, you will be missed, sleep well

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