Derrick Lara, reggae singer of the Tamlins passed away February 13th, 2020. The singer endured a battle with lung cancer which we followed on his facebook page. He asked his fans to stop smoking in one facebook post where he posted “A nuh jus me one have cancer.. Cancer tek picni an adults no matter what colour yu is.. STOP DE SMOKING.. EAT RIGHT cause de pain, weakness and nausea is crip” .
There was a get well Derrick Lara challenge and the family had started a GoFundMe set up for the entertainer to assist in his medical expenses.
R.I.P. Derrick Lara, your contribution to the world through your music will forever be remembered and appreciated.
Derrick Lara, a member of Jamaican vocal group, The Tamlins, has died.
Lara, 61, died about 5 o’clock this morning at his daughter’s residence in Miami, Florida.
Carlton ‘Tamlin’ Smith, a member of the group, told The Gleaner that the singer had been experiencing bouts of illness for more than a year and had sought medical attention in Jamaica.
He said, two months ago, Lara discovered that he had cancer.
“It was in December that he found that he had stage four cancer,” Smith said.
He said doctors made the discovery while checking on some other problems linked to what was suspected to have been a stroke suffered in 2018 .
“He had been going to doctors and doing all kinds of tests, but it was when they did a CT scan that the doctors realised what was the real problem,” said Smith.
The cancer, he said, had spread to several organs, causing complications.
Smith was full of praise for Lara, who joined the group in 1983.
“He was a great drummer and singer. He had a falsetto that was amazing. He was a member of the group for 36 years and we travelled the world playing music,” Smith recalled.
Glory Music CEO, Tommy Cowan, told The Gleaner that he believed Lara was at peace.
“Carlene (Davis) and I spent some time with him in hospital in December and he gave his life to the Lord. He just cried and cried, and he was so happy,” Cowan said.
He remembered Lara as a wonderful, caring human being whose talent was beyond question.
Lara was a father of two.
Prior to joining The Tamlins, he recorded with artistes such as Beres Hammond, Everton Blender and Anthony B.
He also enjoyed a solo career, which saw the release of a number of albums, namely, Reality, Right on Time, Motherless Child and Just a Vibes (w Beres Hammond).
Derrick Lara Bio
Born 1961, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. As a youth Lara loved to emulate American R&B singers of the early 70s. He nurtured his vocal style in the local church choir, performing alongside his sister Jennifer Lara. A competent vocalist, he initially performed alongside Errol Lee in the Bare Essentials Band and then as a drummer in the Seventh Extension Band, playing to tourists on the north coast.
Derrick Lara was celebrated for his drumming skills until an impromptu appearance as a vocalist led to a change of direction. By 1972 his reputation as a singer reached Kingston where he was invited to record with Joe Gibbs. Gibbs’ production of ‘What We Need’ introduced Lara’s distinct falsetto to Jamaican ears. Further sessions with the producer led to Lara’s debut album and an appearance on the discomix, ‘Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough’ featuring DJ Trinity. In 1983, the vocal group the Tamlins enrolled Lara to perform with them, initially on recording sessions with Sly And Robbie.
Through the years Lara has remained with the group, although all members pursued concurrent solo careers. In 1994, the Tamlins re-recorded their classic ‘Baltimore’ with Richard ‘Bello’ Bell, who also enrolled Lara to join the Star Trail posse. With the crew he provided backing vocals to performers such as Beres Hammond (with whom he also recorded as a soloist), Everton Blender and Anthony B. Lara released a series of hit singles including ‘Gun Man’, ‘Me No Have It’ and ‘Man Fe Know’ for Bell, while with Tappa Zukie he released, ‘Love Is Calling’ and for K.C. White he updated Horace Andy’s ‘Money Money’ rhythm for the classic, ‘Bad Vibes’. Lara also released the maudlin Motherless Child drawing from his formative years and dedicated the title track to his mother, who had died in childbirth. The album established the singer as an exceptional soloist, particularly in the USA. In 1999, Lara released All About Life in collaboration with Sly And Robbie, Mafia And Fluxy, Danny Browne, Firehouse Crew and Culture Lee.