The remains of Quincy B, Liberia’s young multi-talented singer, songwriter, rapper and producer who was creative in any genre of music, was on Saturday, March 25, laid to rest in Mount Barclay, outside Monrovia.
The funeral rites were celebrated by thousands of Liberians who converged from every corner of Monrovia and elsewhere across Liberia, at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium, and later conveyed the body to Mount Barclay to watch in sorrow and grief as the burial took place.
During Quincy B’s short musical career, he had a large fan base that consisted of those who followed his music, which they described as “out of this world.” But for his passing, no one would have known that Liberia had fallen so much in love with this young adult who gave up everything to make his dreams come true as a successful performer.
During the removal of his body from the Saint Moses Funeral Parlors on Somalia Drive last Friday, Liberian musicians came together and joined the family and thousands of sympathizers in “a walk of honor” to the Antoinette Tubman Stadium, where thousands more had the opportunity to view the body.
There was absolutely no room for anyone to stand, sit, crouch, bend over or even kneel as children, youth, teens, and middle age adults, dressed in self-made commemorative Quincy B t-shirts, gathered in harmony to sympathize with anyone who might have known or heard of Quincy B. Fans and supporters appeared at his viewing and wake just to see if the news of his death was actually real.
When Quincy’s body, dressed all in white – designed by the embalmer as though he was merely resting, not dead – was propped up for display and paraded to the stadium, a deep wail came out of the earth mixed with the wailing sounds of thousands of mourners.
During the wake keeping and funeral, the Liberia National Police amazed many with their handling of pedestrians and vehicular traffic, according to comments from the audience. The media presence and those of very popular people and politicians, including Quincy B’s relatives, who tried to hide behind scarfs tied around their mouths, were also overwhelming.
There was however some distortion during the wake keeping, for which police officers on duty used force to control the crowd, which caused a ruckus before the start of the wake.
“It’s not right the way the police people just beat us all around, we will pay our debt,” many said during the last hours before the wake was canceled due to a fight that broke out.
Meanwhile, Lonestar Cell MTN representatives were on stage as many paid their respects. They started throwing bottles of water into the audience to those who requested a drink. Many of those in the crowd, who did not know what was going on in front of the stage, started throwing glass bottles and drinks all over the place. Somewhere in between the chaos, fighting erupted and the LNP officers swung more batons, and the wake was canceled.
From 11p.m. till 5 a.m., thousands of people wandered around Broad Street, Miami Beach, Snapper Hill and Crown Hill to wait for the funeral to commence the next day. The late Quincy B’s mother, with great confidence, calmed the audience and those who might have had any bad impression about her because of her son’s untimely death. She admonished Liberian youth to be productive and always try to do the right thing to move Liberia forward. Many others paid tributes to Quincy’s memory. There was air to breathe as musician Sweetz did her last performance, of Quincy B’s song ‘My Pledge.’
Celebrities who attended the program included close confidante Young Classic, Feouls and Sweetz. Also in attendance were Benoni W. Urey, former Chairman of Lonestar Cell MTN and Political Leader of the All Liberian Party; former Maryland Senator John A. Ballout; as well as celebrities DenG, Takun J and Frank Artus.
According to Mr. Urey, Quincy was a humble person who inspired people through his music. “He was a prolific singer and songwriter who impacted my life and my family through his music. Quincy I love and miss you,” he said.
Assistant Minister for Culture at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Joyce KpenKpen, described the late artist’s death as “an irreplaceable loss to the music industry in Liberia.”
“Let me admit,” she said, “Quincy was among the few musicians who influenced the sound and trajectory of Liberian music greatly,” she said.
A spokesman for Lonestar Cell MTN, the company that hired Quincy B to be its brand ambassador, said he was a humble person who put smiles on everyone’s face. “The late R&B star’s death is not only a blow to the entertainment industry but the company as well,” the spokesman said.
Watching thousands of people lined up along the streets as the late Quincy B’s body was slowly taken to Mount Barclay, an eerie feeling came over the crowd, and the wailing that was silenced by the many speeches at the stadium later returned all the way to the grave. “Come back Quincy,” they cried.
*Robin Dopoe of LIB Life also contributed to this article.