Published Nov 28, 2011Barry Llewellyn, founding member of reggae vocal trio the Heptones, passed away last Wednesday (November 25) at a Kingston, Jamaica hospital of unknown causes.
Band member and friend Leroy Sibbles confirmed the news on his website on Friday (November 25), writing "Barry 'Hetpones' Llewellyn was both a friend and musical partner for over 45 years. The world has lost a bright light and inspiration. Rest in Peace Barry. You will be missed by all you have touched during your almost 64 years on earth."
According to an Associated Press report, Llewellyn was 64 at the time of his death.
Llewellyn started the group with Sibbles and Earl Morgan in the late '50s under the name the Hep Ones before switching to the Heptones and recorded a number of classic reggae cuts for the fabled Studio One label, including 1966 hit "Fattie Fattie," "Party Time" and a cover of Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds." "Party Time" was re-recorded in 1977 with Lee "Scratch" Perry.
While the original lineup splintered in the '70s, they got back together in 1995 to record the Pressure! album and just this past January had got together to play a gig in Toronto.
Llewellyn is survived by his wife, Monica, and several children.