Kenny J: Beloved Singer Kenwrick Joseph Dies of COVID-19

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Kenny J, the Trinidadian singer whose real name was Kenwrick Joseph, died on January 2, 2022, after a battle with COVID-19, according to Trinidad Express.

The news site, which described him as a “calypsonian,” said that his daughter, Jesselle Joseph, confirmed that he had been fully vaccinated against the virus. He was 69 years old.

Kenny J was active on Facebook into mid-December 2021 and on December 5 shared a photo honoring DJ Phil D Trill, whose real name is Phillip Simmons, “for being the first person who embraced the hit song PAINT BRUSH” when it was released in 1993. The following day Kenny J shared a video of himself awarding Simmons a $16,000 check and performing “Paint Brush.”

Here’s what you need to know:


Kenny J Fought COVID-19 for 2 Weeks

According to Trinidad Express, Kenny J fought COVID-19 for two weeks and ended up in the intensive care unit.

Loop reported that Joseph said the doctors took good care of her father. She spoke to him two days before his death and “he was trying to be strong and in good spirits,” the site reported.

Joseph told Newsday, “My dad was always here for me and here for us. He will be missed dearly. The doctors were in contact with me every day, updating me, and letting me know of his progress. They were taking very good care of him and I’m very grateful for that. I’m very grateful for all that they would have done to try and keep him around as long as possible.”

Tributes flowed on social media. Itz Rome wrote on Facebook, “I am in tears while I type this …He always had a stale joke to give me, always laughing, always joking around. Grew up listening to his music and admired the skill in his writing. I took a lot of notes from him and he was always there to give me advice. To one of my mentors and my dear friend Kenny J…we will miss you bro but just know that your music will live on forever. My deepest condolences to his family, and to the entire Parang fraternity we lost a legend😔. Fly high Kenny 🕊 Rest In Peace my friend 🙏”


Kenny J Recently Filmed Commercials About Vaccination

According to Loop, Kenny J was a retired police officer and his “name became synonymous with Christmas.”

“He contributed to the art form in a great way because, if you remember, he has one of the most popular songs. He was with us when we marched for 50 per cent local airplay,” public relations officer of the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO) Sherma Orr-Watkins told Newsday.

“He was a great asset to the calypso fraternity and a prolific (song) writer.”

Soca parang singer Marcia Miranda told Newsday: “I am deeply shocked because he called me the day he found out his status and I have been keeping in touch with him. I was trying my best to give him advice and telling him to be strong and positive because he was a strong person.”

He had recently filmed television commercials reminding people to get vaccinated, the site said.

In the public service announcements, Kenny J played his guitar and sang, “Doh hesitate, just vaccinate. Yuh want to go in the mall, yuh want tings get back normal. Yuh want to see Kenny sing,” according to the Trinidad Express. Shortly before his illness he had also performed at multiple Christmas events, “where he reminded audiences to get vaccinated and to always be careful,” the outlet reported.

His songs included “Alexander,” “Paintbrush” and “Hush Yuh Mouth.”

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