Reggae queen Marcia Griffiths was recently the victim of a fraudster, after being scammed out of nearly $5 million in a fake real estate deal, by the man, who was recently released from prison after he served nearly 12 years for fraud.
According to Radio Jamaica, the man was charged last week by the Fraud Squad and placed behind bars. Fraud Squad detectives say the defendant collected US$30,000 and J$250,000 from the Reggae singer as payment for a property.
He first approached the Fire, burning artist in June 2021 and offered him a “contract”, according to the report.
As part of the deal, the defendant said he and his partners could loan Griffiths $500,000 to buy property, but she would have to pay $30,000 plus J$250,000 for fees and duties stamp, according to court documents filed by police.
The 72-year-old songbird reportedly called the police after discovering she had been scammed by the man.
The man was later charged with obtaining money under false pretences and arraigned in St. Andrew’s Parish Court on Tuesday, where he was held until September 8.
Griffiths whose career spans over 50 years, began singing professionally as a singer in 1964, for the band Byron Lee and the Dragonaires and later joined Coxsone Dodd’s – Studio One, where she recorded his first Jamaican number one, want to jump.
While recording at Studio One, she teamed up with her dear friend Bob Andy on the track really togetherwhich was the first of many duets the two would record, including Young Gifted and Black and The Pied Piper.
Ten years after breaking into the music business, Marcia teamed up with Judy Mowatt and Rita Marley to form the I-Threes, who became an essential part of Bob Marley’s ensemble as backing vocalists.
After resuming a solo career, Marcia hit the Billboard charts with Electric Boogie, which helped popularize the dance dubbed Electric Slide.
electric boogie peaked at number 51 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and is the best-selling single in the United States for a Jamaican reggae artist.
The electric boogie was first recorded as a duet by Marcia and her childhood friend Bunny Wailer in 1983, then powered by music mogul Chris Blackwell of Island Records in 1989.
Bunny Wailer was also the original songwriter and producer, but later recorded a second version as a soloist. The vinyl record of Marcia’s original 1983 release lists her as vocalist and Bunny Wailer as producer, arranger and background vocalist.
Hailing from West Kingston, throughout her illustrious career Marcia has released songs spanning ska, reggae, rocksteady and even dancehall, while being part of Penthouse Records.
In 1986, she recorded Everywhere with Donovan Germain of Penthouse, who praised her for bringing “a lot of attention and credibility”, and leaving an immeasurable and indelible mark on the music industry.
Other songs she recorded at Penthouse included Fire Burning, versions of which featured Cutty Ranks and Tony Rebel; I will sing and Land of love. She also teamed up for tracks with Buju Banton and Beres Hammond at Penthouse in the 1990s.
Griffiths’ awards include the Prime Minister’s Achievement Award in 2002 and investiture into the Order of Distinction, Commander Class, in 2014. She also received the Gleaner Honor Lifetime Achievement Award for Entertainment in 2015 for her “outstanding , consistent, professional and excellent contribution to the development of Jamaican music over the years and being a strong pillar on which reggae music continues to stand internationally”. She was also one of three recipients of the 2020 Jamaica Reggae Icon Award.