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Toni Smith has died
Obituary

‘Funkin For Jamaica’ Soul Singer Toni Smith has died

James Gray

Owner/Editor at Busara Ltd
I am a published writer, journalist and photo-journalist. I have an MA in Creative Writing and Journalism from the University of Wales and my journalism has been published in a number of UK national newspapers including 'the Observer'. My photo-journalism has been represented by Agence France-Presse.
James Gray

Smith first became known when she joined the 50s style vocal group, The Crystals. This led to an auspicious meeting with jazz trumpeter Tom Browne and culminated in their classic hit ‘Funkin For Jamaica’.

This song became a global hit, topping the charts everywhere and both Toni and Tom music world stand-outs. They continued to work together over the next couple of years trying to relive the heady success of their first collaboration.

Apart from her success as a song-writer, Toni Smith also became a sought-after backing vocalist and ended up working with a who’s who of the top names in R&B  ranging from Stephanie Mills to James Ingram.

Over the years, Smith also recorded several singles as a solo singer, though these never achieved the popularity and success of ‘Funkin For Jamaica’.

She was revered by her peers and colleagues but hers was a career in the shadows and she never achieved much public acclamation for her work.