Jamaican reggae artist Pluto Shervington, best known for his iconic 1976 hit 'I Man Born Ya,' passed away on Friday in Miami, Florida, at the age of 73. His departure leaves a void in the music world, and fans around the globe mourn the loss of a talented musician who played a significant role in shaping the reggae landscape.
Born Leighton Shervington on August 13, 1950, in Kingston, Jamaica, Pluto Shervington began his musical journey in the early 1970s as a member of the showband Tomorrow's Children. His early work was marked by the influence of fellow artists Ernie Smith and Tinga Stewart, setting the stage for his distinctive style and socially relevant lyrics.
'I Man Born Ya,' released in 1976, not only showcased Shervington's musical prowess but also captured the political tensions of the time. The song, recorded at Federal Records, owned by the Khouri family, alluded to Prime Minister Michael Manley's controversial "five flights to Miami" speech, a reflection of the political climate in Jamaica during that period.
Throughout his career, Shervington continued to produce a string of easy-listening hits such as 'Life Is Just For Living,' 'Duppy Gunman,' and 'Your Honour,' establishing himself as one of Federal Records' marquee acts alongside Ernie Smith.
In addition to his success as a singer, Pluto Shervington made a significant impact as a bass guitarist and recording engineer. His work extended beyond the stage, including overseeing the production of notable tracks like "Hooray Festival" by Roman Stewart and "Midnight Rider" by Paul Davidson, the latter reaching the top 10 on the UK Singles Chart in 1975.
In the early 1980s, Shervington made the move to Miami, Florida, where he continued to record and perform live. Despite being based in the U.S., he maintained strong ties to Jamaica, periodically returning for performances. Shervington's musical journey spanned decades, leaving an indelible mark on the reggae genre.
As news of his passing spread, fellow singer Ernie Smith, a friend of over 50 years, confirmed the sad news in an interview with Observer Online. The reggae community and fans alike are left reflecting on the impact Pluto Shervington had on their lives through his soulful music and meaningful lyrics.
Pluto Shervington's discography, including albums like 'Ramgoat,' 'Pluto,' and 'Play Mas,' as well as chart-topping singles like 'Dat' and 'Your Honour,' serves as a testament to his enduring legacy. His contributions to reggae music will continue to resonate, ensuring that his spirit lives on in the hearts of those who found solace and inspiration in his art.
In his memory, let us celebrate the life and legacy of Pluto Shervington, a true reggae icon, whose music will forever echo the rhythms of Jamaica and the indomitable spirit of its people.