Well-known Reggae artist Ijahman Levi has contracted SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, and his family is asking for prayers from his fans and supporters at this time. He is reportedly under medical supervision and is convalescing at a facility in France.
“Ijahman had performed at the ‘No Logo’ festival in France, and he did a COVID-19 test and returned a positive result. He deteriorated and we are asking the public for prayers for him to pull through. He is conscious now, and he has great family support and a team of dedicated medical professionals around him 24-7,” manager Cabel Stephenson told DancehallMag.
Ijahman Levi, who is 75 years old, is known for the reggae cult classic, Jah Heavy Load. He’s a top-tier touring reggae act who has been on the cutting edge of the music business for four decades. He did three shows recently in France including the No Logo Festival, where he was expected to record and film a live performance album. However, he was ailing and could only manage to perform at the show.
Born June 21, 1946, in Christiana, Manchester, Levi, whose real name is Trevor Sutherland, was mentored by musician and vocal teacher, Joe Higgs. He became Ijahman Levi after a religious conversion to Rastafari when he was in prison between 1972 and 1974.
In 1975, Levi recorded Jah Heavy Load for the Concrete Jungle subsidiary of Dip Records. Levi was signed to a recording contract by Island Record’s label’s owner Chris Blackwell. His two albums on Island — Haile I Hymn, released in 1978, and, Are We A Warrior, released in 1979 — were produced by late Jamaican producer Geoffrey Chung.
In 1985, Levi released I Do, a duet he recorded with his second wife, Madge which became his best internationally known hit as it performed well on the British reggae charts, hitting number one for several weeks.
Levi has continued to influence Reggae and Ska vocalists with his eclectic approach and songs of spirituality, love and humanity. In the reggae world, Ijahman’s most famous composition is the aforementioned Jah Heavy Load.