Byron Lee alive and resting, say hospital
Published on Monday, November 3, 2008
KINGSTON, Jamaica: Contrary to earlier reports, well-known bandleader Byron Lee, who entertained the Caribbean for more than 50 years, was in fact alive and resting comfortably in the Tony Thwaites Wing of the University Hospital of the West Indies in Jamaica.

Byron Lee. Photo: Cayman Net News According to a statement by the hospital on Sunday night, Lee had received visits during the day from a multitude of family, friends and well-wishers.

The 73-year-old Lee has been fighting transitional cell cancer and was treated in Miami, Florida, for a few weeks. He was also diagnosed with bladder cancer two years ago and returned to Jamaica last weekend.

Lee is well-loved for his music throughout the region and also in the many overseas centres where the Caribbean Diaspora has settled.

The government of Jamaica last week bestowed the Order of Jamaica (OJ) on Lee.

However, hundreds of emails from fans of Byron Lee originating in Toronto started to circulate late Thursday night and Friday morning that the famous bandleader had passed, prompting the Kaieteur News of Guyana to report his passing, which was also picked up by Caribbean Net News.

Lee’s children subsequently wrote a letter to Kaieteur News, which was published in Monday's issue of the newspaper

It reads:

“Dear All: Our dad is very much alive. Since Tuesday afternoon, we have been bombarded with emails, calls, faxes etc, re: a rumour which started in Canada that my Dad passed way at 4 am. This news is also now being circulated in the USA, Jamaica and the Caribbean. Not true. Please circulate this mail to everyone that he is very much ALIVE and is bravely fighting. He has been bossing all of us around, and as usual, getting his own way (with our pleasure).

Please keep him in your prayers and continue to send him much love and hope. Don't give up on him.

Thanks again for your love and concern,

Deanna, Julianne, Danielle, Edward John, Byron Jr., Judy and Sheila.”

A similar email from Lee's children was also received by Caribbean Net News, which learnt on Sunday night from hospital sources that the 73 year old had received visits during the day from family and friends.

We apologise to the children, other relatives, friends and fans of the well-known musician for the misleading report.