Sat | Feb 27, 2021

Family shocked as rediscovered songbird Yvonne Sterling dies

Published:Tuesday | January 19, 2021 | 12:14 AMAndre Williams/Staff Reporter
Good Samaritan entertainers Little Lenny (left) and Richie Stephens flank rediscovered songbird Yvonne Sterling.
Good Samaritan entertainers Little Lenny (left) and Richie Stephens flank rediscovered songbird Yvonne Sterling.

The family of evergreen singer Yvonne Sterling is still in disbelief and mourning following her shock passing on Monday after suffering a stroke two weeks ago.

Sterling, 64, had been undergoing treatment at Kingston Public Hospital (KPH).

Tamara Harrison, Sterling’s niece, confirmed the news shortly after the family was notified.

Harrison told The Gleaner that the family had been hopeful that the songbird would have recovered.

“She was in the hospital all this time. She couldn’t talk or eat, anything like that,” she said.

Entertainers Richie Stephens and Little Lenny, who had helped rally support locally and internationally after her down-in-luck story was published in The Gleaner last November, were among close friends and well-wishers who visited her at KPH.

“It’s really sad for the family. Just as she a get a little support and turnaround for her life, this happen,” Harrison lamented.

The family heaped gratitude on The Gleaner for highlighting Yvonne’s plight on November 11, 2020, when she was discovered in squalid, rain-soaked conditions in New Haven.

Sterling’s sister Lorna Buchanan Francis flew to Jamaica recently to see her but had reportedly been in quarantine and did not get to embrace her before her death.

Last month, Buchanan Francis, on a phone call from Canada, told The Gleaner how elated she was that things had finally started to look up for Sterling.

Sterling’s career began in the 1970s and she gained renown for songs such as If You Love Me and Oh Jah.

Fans as far as Brazil, led by broadcaster DJ Waldiney, raised funds to support Sterling’s cause when a Gleaner video went viral.

She recorded Thank You, Lord with Richie Stephens and Little Lenny in December.

andre.williams@gleanerjm.com