Mackie Conscious mourns death of Ibo Cooper of Third World Band

by Oct 13, 2023News

Mackie Conscious mourns death of Ibo Cooper of Third World Band

Well-known conscious reggae singer/producer Mackie Conscious is mourning, like thousands of Jamaicans, the death of Michael “Ibo” Cooper, founding member of the iconic Third World Band.

Cooper, a keyboard player, songwriter, and vocalist, died after a brief illness on Thursday. October 12, 2023. He was 71 years old.

His death follows that of his wife Joy, who died just two weeks ago and that of his son, Arif, in March of this year. Arif was a veteran radio broadcaster at RJR Gleaner Communications Group.

In an interview with Reggae-Vibes, Mackie Conscious hails Cooper as an outstanding musician and teacher who will be hard to replace in the music fraternity.

“I met Ibo some years ago when I was invited to perform at a concert at which Third World Band was playing in Montego Bay where I live. I recalled meeting Ibo, a giant in music who was so humble. He complimented me for my conscious music, having performed one of Bob Marley’s songs. And, up to this day, I cannot forget him as I grieve of his passing.”

Ibo Cooper

“I am now concerned about what the next generation of musicians will be offering hence we have to ensure that icons like Ibo’s legacy is passed on. We have been losing too much of our icons such as Gregory Isaacs. Peter Tosh, and Toots Hibbert of the famed group The Maytals.

Third World band made their entry into the music landscape in 1974 with their single titled “Railroad Track.” However, it was their massive recognition from the big album “96 Degrees In The Shade” that placed them on the world map.

“I can remember the group backing the Jackson Five siblings when they performed at the National Stadium in 1975.”

“Ibo contributed much to educating scores of young aspiring musicians as a Master Teacher at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. He will be greatly missed,” he added.

Mackie Conscious, born Dennis McKay, is celebrating the fast recognition of his latest project, a song titled “A Brighter Day,” a combination with Luciano. The video wrapped up 25,000 views within 24 hours of its release. The song is now on two charts in The United States.

(Photos contributed)