Pluto Shervington, born Leighton Shervington, died after being admitted to hospital in Miami, Florida last Friday. He was 73.
Born Leighton Keith Shervington on 13 August 1950, in Kingston, Jamaica, Shervington was a gifted reggae musician, vocalist, engineer, and producer. He gained his first experience when he started singing with Tomorrow’s Children. In 1967, their debut single was a rocksteady version of Cher‘s 1966 hit Bang! Bang!
Pluto then embarked on a solo career in the early ’70s, when Tomorrow’s Children was disbanded.
He released the Lloyd Charmers produced Boogie Bump and Here And Now as well as renditions of The Heptones’ Book Of Rules and Al Green‘s Here I Am (Come And Take Me) with which he aimed at an international audience.
But before Pluto enjoyed his first taste of crossover success, he originally scored as a producer with the 1975 festival song winner, Roman Stewart’s Hooray Festival. The year before, he had scored a local hit with his single based on a traditional Jamaican folk song, Ram Goat Liver. The singer maintained his popularity with another chart-topper, I Man Born Ya. In the same recording session, he had also recorded Dat. The song became his biggest commercial break, hitting the No.6 spot on the UK pop chart in 1976. Further recordings from this period covered a diversity of subjects alongside a series of cover versions.
Although afterward little was heard of Pluto internationally, he continued recording locally and in 1982 returned to the global stage with a re-release of his single Your Honour, which peaked at No.19 in the UK pop chart. When Pluto moved to Miami, he performed regularly with his band, Pluto & Co. In addition to his work as a singer, he gained a reputation as a talented bass guitarist, producer, and as a recording engineer, notably engineering Little Roy’s 1974 album, Tafari Earth Uprising.
Tributes have been flowing across various social media platforms as news of Shervington’s death spread.
Oliver Mair, Jamaica’s Consul General to Miami, said Shervington was the headline act at the Consulate General’s ‘Love At Christmas’ show in Florida on December 19, 2023.
“Jamaica never left his heart. He will never leave the hearts of us Jamaicans. RIP my friend,” Mair said in a post to social media.
He is survived by four sons, two daughters and two grandchildren.