The Dancehall fraternity has been plunged into mourning, following the sudden death of veteran deejay Merciless, one of the island’s most eminent clash artists.

The Gyal Dem Gizzada was found dead at a motel on Beechwood Avenue in St Andrew, 18 days after he celebrated his 51st birthday on July 1.

According to reports, the Clarendon native, whose given name is Leonard Bartley, usually stays at the motel in which he died, whenever he visits Kingston.   His driver told TVJ news that he returned to the hotel on Monday night but he did not hear from the artist all day.

According to the report, when hotel staff and his driver gained access Merciless was found lying face down on the bed.

Preliminary reports are that Merciless’ passing appears to be a case of sudden death, and no foul play is suspected.

This evening Gramps Morgan, in responding to the news described Merciless’ death, as a “big loss for Dancehall”.

“One of the best clash artist of all time you will be missed bredda,” he noted.

“R.I.P. ﹰLeonard ❤,” Tanya Stephens noted on her Instagram live feed where she also paid tribute to the artist.

Over on Merciless’ two Instagram pages, his fans flocked to pay tribute.  On one of the pages, Merciless last post was a happy birthday greeting to Bounty Killer made on June 12 while the other made two days ago, was a clip of his When Bad Man Phone Ring music video.

Merciless, who hailed from Chapleton in Clarendon, exploded onto the Dancehall scene in 1994, when he was propelled by Stone Love from a virtual unknown to one of Dancehall’s most revered sons, in just one night at the House of Leo nightclub in Kingston, via his hit song Len out Mi Mercy, which was initially voiced as a dub plate.

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