The Mighty Diamonds

Episode this artist appeared in

Brief History

The Mighty Diamonds were a Jamaican harmony trio, recording roots reggae with a strong Rastafarian influence. The group was formed in 1969 and remained together as of 2012. They are best known for their 1976 debut album Right Time produced by Joseph Hoo Kim and the 1979 release Deeper Roots. On March 29, 2022, their lead singer, Donald "Tabby" Shaw, was shot dead in a drive-by shooting.On April 1, 2022, Fitzroy "Bunny" Simpson died.

Formed in 1969 in the Trenchtown area of Kingston, the group comprised lead vocalist Donald "Tabby" Shaw, and harmony vocalists Fitzroy "Bunny" Simpson and Lloyd "Judge" Ferguson.They had become friends at school in the mid-1960s, and were originally called The Limelight, adopting 'Mighty Diamonds' after Shaw's mother started referring to them as "the diamonds".[4][5] Their smooth harmonies and choreographed stage show were inspired by Motown vocal groups of the 1960s, with Shaw listing The Temptations, The Stylistics, The Impressions, and The Delfonics as influences as well as Jamaican rocksteady artists such as John Holt and Ken Boothe.

Virgin Records signed them and the group's début album, Right Time, was released in 1976, including most of their early Channel One hits.The album was an international success and for the follow-up, Virgin sent them to work with Allen Toussaint in New Orleans, with local musicians providing the backing. The resulting Ice on Fire album sold poorly, the production not appealing to reggae fans, and the album later described as "an attempt by New Orleans soul musicians to play reggae".