*Via Chrissy Murray’s Home Girl Page on Facebook:
“Singer Melba Moore Shared With Us This Morning That Ms. TONNI SMITH Who Sang On Tom Browne’s “Funkin For Jamaica” Has Passed ?.
“This Song Means Everything To Me & Is Still My Hands Down, My Favorite Song From The Early 80’s, My Theme Song.
Here’s what Soul Tracks wrote about Tonni Smith:
The Bronx, New York native first came to the attention of the world when she joined a latter day version of the 50s vocal group The Crystals. This led her to meet popular trumpeter Tom Browne, and they began co-writing a song that would become a classic. “Funkin’ For Jamaica” became a smash around the world, topping the charts and elevating both Toni and Tom in the music world, as they both simply tore the song up. The two continued to work together on several songs over the next few years.
With her beautiful Chaka-meets-Cheryl Lynn style voice, Toni Smith also became a sought-after background vocalist, working with a who’s who of R&B stars ranging from Stephanie Mills to James Ingram. She also provided guest vocals on several contemporary jazz hits in the 80s and 90s.