Shabba Ranks mourns his mother, ‘Mama Christie’

Singer Shabba Ranks with the Grammy Award he won for “best reggae album” in Los Angeles Feb. 25, 1993.
REUTERS/Sam Mircovich CMC/PN

Two-time Grammy-winning dancehall artiste Shabba Ranks and the dancehall community in Jamaica are mourning the death of Shabba Ranks’s mother, Constance Christie, popularly known as “Mama Christie.”

According to CaribbeanNationalWeekly (CNW), Shabba Ranks’s mother died at 81, “but the circumstances which led to her death have not yet been publicly revealed.”

Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, was among those who sent condolences to Shabba Ranks and his family, CNW said.

“She was someone I knew very well. To hear of her passing is devastating,” said Grange in a statement.

Grange, along with Clifton “Specialist” Dillion, managed Shabba Ranks for many years and brought him to international stardom, CNW said.

“Shabba would talk about ‘Mama Christie’ at every opportunity he got,” Grange said. “She was a beautiful soul who supported her son in all his endeavours.

“She was his biggest cheerleader,” she added. “In fact, it was Shabba’s public display of love and affection that led to so many younger artistes singing about their mothers.”

Grange also noted that the deejay would never grace a stage without paying respect to his mom, according to CNW.

It said several dancehall artists also paid tribute to “Mama Christie,” including Bounty Killa, Beenie Man and Dexta Daps.

Daps, “who years ago had paid tribute to Mama Christie with his hit song, ‘Shabba Madda Pot,’” said he was heartbroken at the news, according to CNW.

“Christie was known as a ‘mother to all’ in the community of Seaview Gardens, Kingston, where Dexta Daps was raised,” CNW said.