Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange said she is "saddened" by the passing of veteran sound system operator Gladstone 'Gladdy' Parker.
Gladdy died on Saturday at the Consie Walters Hospice, where he was a patient, Frankie Campbell, frontman for Fab 5 band, confirmed to The Gleaner.
"Gladdy took a turn for the worse and was admitted to the Consie Walters Hospice in late January. But because of the whole COVID thing, he was only allowed two visitors — the caregiver and one family member. But he did not have COVID; it was just their protocols. So, we, his friends, did not get a chance to visit him or anything, and that was sad," Campbell explained.
Offering condolences to Gladdy's family and friends, Grange said Gladdy was "an iconic figure who entertained generations for nearly 60 years with what has come to be known as vintage music".
She added that his "contribution to sound system culture is immeasurable".
Gladdy founded the Wild Bunch Disco in 1963 with George Phillpotts and Charles Kennedy. Wild Bunch has enjoyed a reputation for consistent musical excellence in Jamaica and internationally.
Gladdy has been honoured by various organisations for his contribution to the Jamaican music scene.
In July last year, a fundraiser, dubbed 'Rally for Gladdy', was staged by Carivibez Internet radio in association with Stone Love and Merritone Disco. Gladdy, who was diabetic, was diagnosed with cancer in December 2020 and had been undergoing treatment. He had received chemotherapy, after which there were rounds of radiation as well as an operation.