The death of Jamaican dancehall artiste and actor Leonard Ford, popularly known as Louie Rankin has sent shock waves and made headlines around the world. Rankin’s peers in the entertainment and film industries have since paid tribute to a “cultural icon.”
Entertainer and actor Spragga Benz, who starred alongside him in the movie Shottas, was in no mood to talk, but he told The Gleaner yesterday that he was feeling “total sorrow and mourning right now”. He had previously stated on Instagram, “Mi don’t even want to believe. S.W.A. King.”
Louie Rankin, who often referred to himself as the ‘Original Don Dada’’, had made a name for himself in the music world, and even won a Grammy award in 1992 for his popular song, Typewriter.
However, it was as an actor – Teddy Bruckshut (Shottas, 2002) and Ox (Belly, 1998) – that the man born Leonard Ford was best known and remembered. He also appeared in the Netflix Movie The Intent Two, in which dancehall star Popcaan made his acting debut.
The Ontario Provincial Police report that the sixty-six-year-old entertainer, who was living in Canada at the time, was killed when the vehicle he was driving in collided with a transport truck near Shelburne, Ontario, around 9:15 a.m. on Monday. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ky-Mani Marley ( Shottas), Nas ( Belly), Sizzla, Bounty Killer, Chi Ching Ching, Spice, Jahvinci, Popcaan, Gramps Morgan, Nas, Stefflon Don and DJ Khaled all paid tribute on social media. “Legends don’t die!!!! Rest up fada Louie. Your memories are forever!!!” Popcaan stated on Instagram. Mississauga rapper JD Era posted a lengthy tribute in which he said he “cried all yesterday at the news of ur loss.”