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Dancehall deejay Merciless passed away on July 19 at the age of 51

Merciless, whose given name is Leonard Bartley, was found dead in a guest house on Walker’s Avenue, off Beechwood Avenue, in St Andrew on Tuesday evening. He had checked in alone.

According to eyewitnesses, the Ole Gallis artiste was last seen the night before. Merciless, who was from Clarendon, was doing gigs at several Corporate Area studios, at the time of his death.

A screengrab of the Sting 2000 clash shows Merciless (r) and Ninjaman in a lyrical battle.
Here is a look back at the career of the artiste who burst onto the music scene in the 1990s.

1. ‘HOWDY!’ This was Merciless’ signature greeting at stage shows to fans, who were about to get ‘rowdy’ at his lyrical stylings.

2. Merciless exploded on the scene with ‘Len Out Mi Mercy’, which was unleashed in a Stone Love dance at the nightclub, House of Leo.

3. One of the Clarendon native’s biggest hits was the Robert Livingston-produced ‘Mavis’, which was the top Reggae single in Jamaica in 1995. Other standout songs include ‘Gal Dem Gizzada’, ‘Mama Cooking’ and ‘Mr Whodini’.

4. Merciless collaborated with Lady Saw for ‘Baby Mother’ and ‘Long Till It Bend’.

5. He recorded three albums: Mr Merciless (1994), VP Records; Len’ Out Mi Mercy (1995), Annex; and Mama’s Cooking (1997), Greensleeves Records.

6. In April 2015, Merciless’ wife was discovered dead in a house in Longville Park, Clarendon on a Friday morning. Investigators uncovered empty pill bottles close to the body.

7. Merciless is best known for a legendary clash which took place at Sting 2000 when he annihilated a mighty triumvirate of Ninjaman, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man, turning the tables when they tried to ambush him in a lyrical face-off at the Jamworld Entertainment Complex in Portmore, St Catherine.

8. One of Merciless’ best-known songs is ‘The Letter’, Merciless’ heartfelt recollection of his 14-month incarceration in a Florida prison, a reality song that struck a chord with the public. ‘The Letter’ is a statement to his mother, Ruby Ettle Bartley. He said he refused to call her by phone, fearing she could not cope with the news that the last of her seven children had been imprisoned.

9. Merciless was involved in an ugly onstage exchange with Beenie Man and Bounty Killer at Reggae Sumfest in 2001. As a result, promoters banned him permanently from that show.

10. In June last year, Merciless had vowed that he would be putting out an album titled, ‘Warhead Is Back’.

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