Legendary dancehall lyricist Leonard Bartley, professionally known as Merciless, will receive his final send-off in a two-day celebration of life on September 15 and 17, which has been dubbed “The Finale.”
On July 19, Merciless was discovered unconscious inside a guest house off Beechwood Avenue in St. Andrew. His manager, Harvel ‘Gadaffie’ Hart, theorised that his passing was due to a broken heart stemming from the depression he experienced because of the lack of appreciation he received in the music industry. Hart later reiterated his assertions after the artiste’s autopsy was inconclusive.
According to the Jamaica Star, Hart had planned to give the dancehall veteran a send-off open to the public in Kingston, starting with a “set up” at the Dumbarton Avenue-based studio, Mixing Lab, on September 15. Also included in the manager’s plans was a procession on the streets of Kingston and a viewing of the artiste’s body at Mixing Lab on Friday, September 16.
However, Merciless’s family has planned a smaller, more intimate ceremony in Clarendon beginning on September 15, with a viewing at St. Gabriel’s Anglican Church Hall. A prayer meeting, tribute, reflection and a wake for the artiste are scheduled in Turners district that same day.
Merciless’s thanksgiving service will be on Saturday, September 17, at St Gabriel’s, starting at 10 a.m., followed by an interment at the family plot in the Turners district.
Hart has expressed that he will respect the family’s wishes but still has hope that they will allow him to proceed with a farewell in Kingston on the 16th, to allow mourners who are not able to make it to Clarendon to say their final goodbyes to the artiste.