Millie Small, known for her 1964 hit single “My Boy Lollipop,” has died. She was 73.
The Jamaican singer’s cause of death was a stroke, according to the BBC.
Her song “My Boy Lollipop” charted at No. 2 on the U.S. and UK charts in 1964.
Island Records founder Chris Blackwell said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer that she was “a sweet person… really special.”
Small was born in Jamaica in 1946 to a family of seven brothers and five sisters. At age 12, she won a talent competition, and by the time she was a teenager, she was recording for Sir Coxone Dodd’s Studio One label in Kingston.
Blackwell who brought her to London in 1963, where he produced her version of “My Boy Lollipop.”
“I would say she’s the person who took ska international because it was her first hit record,” he told the Observer.
“It became a hit pretty much everywhere in the world. I went with her around the world because each of the territories wanted her to turn up and do TV shows and such, and it was just incredible how she handled it,” he added. “She was such a sweet person, really a sweet person. Very funny, great sense of humour. She was really special.”