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Thank You Lord: Brighter day for reggae singer who fell on hard times

Weeks ago Yvonne Sterling was living in abject poverty, but things are now looking up for the reggae songbird thanks in part to the assistance of two of her fellow artistes.

Sterling gained a measure of popularity in the 1970s when her voice led and accompanied some of the leadings lights of reggae, including the 'crown prince' Dennis Brown. Sterling and Brown grew up in the same tenement which still stands at 135 Orange Street in downtown, Kingston.

Sterling fell from the spotlight and on hard times. She resided in the flood prone community of New Haven in the Corporate Area. After flood waters rushed into the humble abode, destroyed all her earthly possessions and almost claimed her life, her story hit social media.

It came to the attention of veteran dancehall artiste Little Lenny who embarked on a quest to find Sterling and see how he could assist. The artiste drove his vehicle through flood waters to find Sterling.

That meeting was the start of a worthy musical project.

Singer Richie Stephens also took interest and was further piqued when he realised that Sterling was revered in Brazil after travelling there for an engagement a few years ago.

Little Lenny and Stephens combined their efforts and decided to offer real assistance to Sterling, whose rendition of Olivia Newton John’s 'If You Love Me' brought her under the spotlight.

The result is the single, 'Thank You Lord' which features Yvonne Sterling alongside Little Lenny and Richie Stephens. A video, which has also been shot for the project, has been receiving its fair share of rotation of most media platforms.

It was recorded at Stephens’ recording studio in Kingston on the singer’s December 5 birthday as a surprise to Sterling who was invited to a controlled birthday party for Stephens.

Interestingly, Little Lenny was born a day before on December 4.

“No one should have had to live like the way Miss Sterling was living. I did not do this to get any spotlight or fame as I have already paid my dues. I only hope things look up for her because she has not lost her touch and her voice is still intact. What no dead? No dash it way,” Little Lenny told Loop News.

A benefit concert was also held in Brazil to assist Sterling and, in addition to restarting her music career, the artiste has now relocated to a new home.

Sterling meanwhile is expressing gratitude to her fellow artistes for the support.

"Right as I met them (Little Lenny and Richie Stephens), things just started to turn," she said in a recent Onstage interview.

Thank you Lord.

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