Conman Told Queen Of Reggae Marcia Griffiths He Would Be Constructing “Museum” In Her Honour

The man who had conned Queen of Reggae Marcia Griffiths of J$4.5 million, had told her that the money would have been for the “construction of a museum in her honor,” it has been revealed.

According to a report in the Jamaica Star, Ms. Griffiths is to receive compensation from the man, Ray Morgan. He pleaded guilty to two counts of obtaining money by means of false pretense in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court three days ago.

Morgan who admitted that he has more than 10 previous convictions, has indicated that he was willing to repay the sum, and has since assured the court that he will have the funds available by October 13, when the matter is to be mentioned.

During the court hearing, Morgan reportedly said that a friend of his had offered $144,000 towards the $4.75 million that he is supposed to repay the Fire Burning singer.

According to the Star report, the former I-Threes singer was introduced to Morgan in June 2021 and was told that he was interested in purchasing properties, which were proposed to be used for the construction of a museum to preserve her legacy.   The property in question, supposedly cost US$2 million and Morgan stated that he, along with overseas colleagues, would finance the construction.

In July last year, Morgan had proposed that he would lend Griffiths US$500,000 to purchase the property for the museum’s construction, but that it would require a payment of US$30,000 in stamp duty and taxes.

After paying the US$30,000 and an additional $250,000, Marcia tried to contact Morgan who reportedly concocted stories about having delays.

Morgan, who was recently released from prison after serving nearly 12 years for fraud, was subsequently charged by the Fraud Squad with obtaining money by means of false pretence, and was placed behind bars.

Griffiths, whose career spans more than 50 years, began singing professionally as a vocalist in 1964, for the Byron Lee and the Dragonaires band, this after lead singer of the Blues Busters, Philip “Boasie” James, discovered that she could sing and took her to “the Dragon” and insisted that she be included on an upcoming talent show to be held at the Carib Theatre in her native Kingston.

The former Kingston Senior School student, later became affiliated with Coxsone Dodd’s- Studio One, where she recorded Feel Like Jumping, her first Jamaican number-one song.

While at Studio One, she collaborated with iconic singer/songwriter Bob Andy on the track Really Together, which was the first of many duets by the two, among the others being Young Gifted and Black and The Pied Piper.

A decade after entering the music business, Marcia teamed up with Judy Mowatt and Rita Marley to form the I-Threes, which became a critical part of Bob Marley’s ensemble.

After returning to a solo career, she made international charts with Electric Boogie.  Electric Boogie, which helped to popularise the dance dubbed the Electric Slide, peaked at number 51 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and has the distinction of being the highest-selling single in the US for a Jamaican female Reggae artiste.

Throughout her illustrious career, Marcia has released songs spanning ska, reggae, and rocksteady and even dancehall, while a part of Donovan Germain’s Penthouse Records.

In 1986, she recorded Everywhere at Penthouse and later in the 1990s, Fire Burning, versions of which featured Cutty Ranks and Tony Rebel; I Shall Sing and Land of Love.  She also collaborated on songs with Buju Banton and Beres Hammond while at Penthouse.

Griffiths has received many awards for her outstanding contribution to music and culture, among them the Prime Minister’s Award of Excellence in 2002.  She was also bestowed with the Order of Distinction, Commander Class, in 2014, as well as The Gleaner Honour Lifetime Achievement Award for Entertainment in 2015.  She was also one of three recipients of the 2020 Jamaica Reggae Icon Award.

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