The late William “Smokey” Burke. (Photo compliments the Barbados Advocate)

Minister of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports, John King, joined hundreds of Barbadians sent in to mourning at the news of the passing of local entertainer, William “Smokey” Burke. Mr. Burke, who had been ailing for some time, passed away this morning.

“I am saddened to learn of the passing of my dear friend, entertainer par excellence William “Smokey” Burke.  His distinct voice was heard in many bands across the island.  His career ranged from a stint with the Drifters to emerging as a force to be reckoned with on the calypso stage as a perennial competitor in the Pic-O-De Crop Competition,” Minister King said.

Minister King, who shared that Burke had been a big influence on him in his career as a calypsonian, admitted that even though he knew that “Smokey” was ill, he still very felt emotional to learn that his friend had passed. However, he maintained that “Smokey” had left behind a legacy, which was his music.

“He was an amazing talent, humorous, outspoken and passionate about the arts. I wish to convey my heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.  Smokey, we will miss you,” Minister King stated.

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