Following news of Belizian Garifuna musician Andy Palacio’s sudden illness, Fly is saddened and shocked to report his death
Musician and cultural activist Palacio, 47, died in hospital in Belize on 19 January at 9pm after falling seriously ill earlier in the week.
After being treated in hospital in Mobile Alabama for a massive stroke Palacio’s condition deteriorated and his family requested he be flown back to Belize so he might die in his homeland.
Friends Ian Duran and Jacob Edgar said in a press release earlier today: “In the Garifuna culture the death of a loved one is an opportunity to celebrate their memory and rejoice in having been blessed to have had them in your life. We feel so fortunate to have known this incredible individual and we mourn the loss of truly great man.”
Palacio achieved global recognition with his 2007 album Watina, which was nominated for a BBC3 World Music Award and was Songline’s number 1 album of the year. He will be remembered as the musician who brought the Garifuna to the spotlight of mainstream media.
A public service was held in Belize City and Palacio will be honoured with an official state funeral and a tribute concert is planned in Belize City on Friday, 25 January.
Friends and supporters have been invited to post messages in memory of Palacio to his MySpace page as well as to the blog of his international record label Cumbancha.