Entertainment fraternity hails Michael Sharpe
As news of Michael Sharpe's passing continues to sink in, a blanket of sadness has covered the local media landscape and the country. Tributes have been pouring in from all areas of the society for a man many saw as more than just a news anchor. Describing him as an iconic voice, members of the entertainment industry told THE STAR how impactful Sharpe was, while also sending condolences to his family.
Ity Ellis, comedian: "I remember he used to host a Tuesday night forum ( Your Issues Live), kind of a town hall meeting, and it was the first of its kind. In our early days of the Ity and Fancy Cat Show, we used to mimic and parody it. I woke up to celebrate my cousin's birthday (Rozah Rose) and my father, who was born on this day, and I was conflicted because the truth is we want to celebrate life, but there is this sadness. We can take this as an opportunity for us in the media and the government to recognise him. He dedicated all of his life to media and the practice of journalism, so he needs to be saluted and recognised and remembered."
Alaine Laughton, singer and actress: "It really is just so sad. I met him on a few occasions, and like many of us, I grew up watching him, listening to him and just really appreciating his voice. I give thanks for the contributions that he made to our country, and this is just really a huge loss for all of us. I think it's very important to give people their flowers while they are alive, and I just hope that the people who were impacted by the life he lived would have told him that and will continue the legacy he has left."
Heavy D, artiste manager and event planner: "Michael Sharpe was a great man who I worked with over the years through the media business. He was a man who played an integral role in a lot of things and gave full service to whatever task he was executing. We have to lift our hats to him because he was a man who stood up for truth and justice and advocated for the rights of the people. You couldn't beat him when it came on to speaking about certain issues and holding people accountable. His work sometimes made people uncomfortable, but everyone respected him at the end of the day. Jamaica will miss him."
His natural passion
Chino McGregor, artiste: I didn't know him personally, but his natural passion for his craft made you feel like he was directly reporting in your living rooms. He was a part of our homes, and he will definitely be remembered as one of the best to ever do it.
Debbie Bissoon, TV and podcast host: "When I just started in media, he was one of the few senior people in the media space that said to me, 'Debbie, there is a unique quality about you, something in your energy that makes me see you love your work.' He also told me that the space can be very unforgiving and very ungrateful, so hold your head up, work hard, and allow your work to go before you and speak for itself. I never forgot that, and I try to move and operate from that space. He has been such a great supporter of my craft, and when I speak to my colleagues, they all share the same sentiments. He was very serious about his craft, very true to it. People trusted his word. If Michael Sharpe said it, it was the truth, and that's what made him iconic. There will never be another Michael Sharpe."
Jeremy Harding, music producer: "Michael Sharpe was more than just a journalist and media professional. We turned on our television sets not only to hear the news but to invite him into our living rooms, and into our homes. He was there not only to share, inform, lament or grieve, but other times to discover, praise, applaud and celebrate all that mattered to us as Jamaicans in our little corner of the world and from where we sat as global citizens. More than just a member of our community, Michael was a member of our extended family, to each and every one of us. Whilst he can never be replaced, his legacy will surely inspire many to take up the mantle and walk in his footsteps. Walk good, brother Michael, and thank you for your service to us all."