Jamaican ska singer Millie Small has died after suffering a stroke in England. She was 73.
Millie was best known for her 1964 hit "My Boy Lollipop," which featured a little-known Rod Stewart playing the harmonica.
Millie's death was confirmed to the Jamaican Observer newspaper by her friend and former producer, Chris Blackwell.
He said of Millie, who he last saw 12 years ago: "I would say she's the person who took ska international because it was her first hit record reaching number 2 both in the U.K. Singles Chart and in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It became a hit pretty much everywhere in the world," he told the Jamaica Observer.
"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. She was such a sweet person, really a sweet person. Very funny, great sense of humor. She was really special."
"My Boy Lollipop", originally recorded by Barbie Gaye in late 1956, was a smash hit for 17-year-old Millie in 1964.
The song sold over seven million copies and it was played at the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony.
In a rare interview in the August, 2016, edition of Goldmine, Millie said she never received any royalties for the hit single.
Millie, who was born Millicent Dolly May Small, retired from singing in 1970, "because it was the end of the dream and it felt like the right time." In 1984 she welcomed her daughter, Jaelee, who is a singer/songwriter.