Ibo Cooper, co-founder of Third World, dies

Reggae icon and father of the late Arif Cooper was 71 years old

Reggae legend and co-founder of the iconic Third World band, Michael ‘Ibo’ Cooper, has died.

Cooper succumbed to a brief illness at his home in St. Andrew on Oct. 12, according to his family. In a statement, his family said, “Ibo’s contribution to music and culture was immeasurable. His children remember him as a remarkable human being with a magnanimous spirit and light.”

Before his passing, Cooper endured significant tragedy in his life this year. In March, he lost his son and acclaimed DJ, Arif Cooper, while his wife of many year, Joy, passed away in September.

Cooper was the brainchild behind Third World, one of the greatest reggae groups ever assembled. Alongside the late Bunny Rugs, Stephen “Cat” Coore, Carl Barovier, Milton “Prilly” Hamilton and Colin Leslie, Cooper was a keyboardist for the band, who dropped classics such as “96 Degrees (In The Shade)”, “Irie Ites,” “Committed” and countless others. He also played for the original incarnation of Inner Circle.

Additionally, Cooper lent his expertise to Edna Manley College, where he served as a long-time music teacher and was well respected by his students.


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Written by Jodee Brown

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