Smokey Burke (FILE)
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The entertainment fraternity has lost veteran William “Smokey” Burke.
The 69-year-old passed away today, two days after he was hospitalised. He leaves behind friends and family, including his daughters Sharon, Keara and Camille, and sisters Jacqueline and Delcia Burke.
Illness forced Smokey to forfeit his spot in the Pic-O-De-Crop Finals in August 2018.
Last year, the cancer survivor acknowledged he wasn’t back to 100 per cent, but said he was improving as the days went on.
On September 28, bandleader and manager of Glamorous Productions and Neu-Jenarashun, Susan Grogan, spearheaded an event in Toronto, Canada, where members of that community raised funds to go toward Smokey’s medical expenses totaling CAN$8 000.
Additionally, close friend and celebrated jockey Patrick Husbands contributed CAN$3 000 to the cause via Elius Fanus.
Smokey developed sepsis and suffered a stroke during the 2018 Crop over season. In August that year, entertainers came together to stage the concert, This One’s For Smokey. In December, several made a stop at his St Michael home to serenade him as part of the Love Day Celebrations.
Merle Niles told Nation News that the “entertainment fraternity has lost a member of its family. Smokey fought long and hard". (NS/SAT)