By Kediesha Perry, Jamaica Observer
Bounty Killer said it is only fitting he assists veteran entertainer Junior Byles, who is battling mental illness and prostate cancer, because the singer inspired him.
“I was about four or five years old when I started to listen his music like Curly Locks, Fade Away an’ Beat Down Babylon. He is one of the persons that inspired me to become an artiste an’, for that reason, he is indeed worthy,” Bounty Killer told the Jamaica Observer.
Last Thursday, the 47-year-old deejay presented Byles with $150,000 from the Bounty Killer Foundation towards his medical treatment; a gift certificate from Fontana Pharmacy valued at $100,000; adult diapers and refreshments. The handover took place in Kingston, on popular television entertainment show, Onstage.
For two years, the Bounty Killer Foundation made donations to hospitals on Labour Day. Last year’s contribution came in the form of 80 gallons of paint, two air conditioning units, 20 cases of water, 10 cases of diapers, and 300 lunches for volunteers and staff at Kingston Public Hospital and Victoria Jubilee Hospital.
Bounty Killer (given name Rodney Price) also hailed 72-year-old Byles for his contribution to the music industry.
“He is a great artiste, an icon to the industry. I always have to give respect to the elders,” he said.
Byles, who has over 50 years in the music industry, received a Lifetime Achievement Award last February during a benefit concert at the Police Officers’ Club in Kingston.
His career started in the late 1960s but took off in the early 1970s with Curly Locks and Beat Down Babylon, both produced by Lee “Scratch” Perry.
Fade Away, written and produced by Earl “Chinna” Smith, is a dancehall anthem. It was released in 1975, when Byles’ psychological problems intensified.
In July 2018, Byles entered the Billboard charts for the first time when the reissue of his 1986 album, Rasta No Pickpocket, debuted at number 17 on the publication’s Reggae Album table.