As the memories of the legendary Leonard “Merciless” Bartley live on in the Dancehall fraternity and among family and friends, his works will be honoured at a Clarendon-based memorial in the coming weeks.
The event is scheduled for July 29, 2023, and it promises to be “a day of activities for the kids and a night of star studded performances by some of Jamaica’s most talented and revered artists!” The celebration commemorating the life of Mericless will come a year after his untimely passing, which shook the Dancehall community last year.
The deejay was found dead in a hotel room at the Harlem Resort & Tours Motel on Beechwood Avenue in St. Andrew, according to reports. The cause of death remains undisclosed, as the autopsy yielded inconclusive results.
However, a controversy surrounding a possible drug overdose arose after Bounty Killer made such claims. Speculations and conflicts also ignited within the Dancehall fraternity when notable veterans such as Beenie Man and Bounty Killer were absent from his funeral service.
Clarendon native Merciless made his recording debut in 1994 with the hit song Lend Out Mi Mercy, which garnered immense popularity in Jamaica. He followed up with a string of hits, including Mavis.
Late in the 1990s and early in the 2000s, Merciless got into a lot of high-profile on-stage clashes with other deejays, including Beenie Man, Ninjaman, and Bounty Killer.
The deejay, who reigned as Warhead, created an iconic moment in Dancehall history when he faced off against three giants of the genre (Ninjaman, Bounty Killer, and Beenie Man) in a Sting Clash in 2000. Merciless came out victorious, and the clash has since been cited as the greatest Sting clash in history.