Third World ADD

Rest In Power - Ibo Cooper


Rest In Power - Ibo Cooper

[January 14, 1952 - October 12, 2023]

"To say we are heartbroken is an understatement. It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Kingsley Michael "Ibo" Cooper.
A phenomenal man. A wonderful father. A man whose talents were extraordinary and pure genius. Ibo was humble and gave generously to everyone he encountered. We will miss him immensely, but we are grateful for all that he was and all that we are because of him. 

The love and support are welcomed, and we send you comfort as you also come to terms with the news of his passing. Thank you. Let us truly honour him by making the world better a place for all mankind and future generations because that was his mantra and he lived it to perfection.

"Walk Good Brother. God Bless your eternal soul K. Michael “Ibo” Cooper, OD JP. Your music is the soundtrack of our lives.

(former Third World drummer):
"My Brother Michael Ibo Cooper Passed Thursday Evening. I cannot even find the words to express Ibo's passing, his wife Joy and son Arif. It is so so so so sad. My deepest condolences and prayers goes to the children Arianne, Abean, Akiri and the grand children and to Joy's family I am asking God to take away all the deep pain and sorrow and lift them up Father . 

Brother Ibo I know that the Creator has welcomed you into the realms of Heaven along with Joy & Arif and that you will continue to make music along with Bunny & Carrot as we always say and speak of Dreamland with milk and Honey. My brother Thank you for your wonderful contribution of the gift of music that you gave and shared with the World. Jamaica has lost a Great son who has Given Back his knowledge and talent to the youth commiitted with a sense of pride and joy and dignity. A man who always remembered the importance of Africa, stood for Unity and was always willing to help uplift our minds, soul and spirit to a higher consciousness. Always willing to share, listen and enlighten .

My brother it was a great honour to have played music with you from Visions to Inner Circle and to Third World it has been a joy with memories I will never forget. Your keyboard playing was exceptional, your ear for music was creative and arrangements was unique. I say Gone too soon. As we called you "The Mad Scientist" who would Reggae De Funk and Rap/Dj without missing a beat a musician who could see the whole music before it was finished nothing short of genius, a musician, keybaord player musical arranger, a Human being who was sent in this world to make it a better place. May God Bless you and Family Abundantly and may your legacy live on through your children and generations to come. You will be greatly missed by all. May your memory be a blessing joy and inspiration to family, friends, world and universe. May you Rest In Eternal Peace. Your Musical Works Will Forever Live In our Minds, Hearts and Soul - Thank You , JAH BLESS- Shine Like A Blazing Fire. Your work has been well done you have earned your wings with honor Fly Away Home To Zion and Rest In The Power of The Almighty Selah"

Sad times, Mr Cooper taught so many of us at Edna Manley College fostering an environment for reggae musicians amongst the classical expectations at school. He pushed me to be a singer and not only a songwriter. I’ll never forget the memories and stories before and after classes. From Inner Circle to Third World to a Master teacher! He is a legend and am sure he will be missed and his legacy remembered. To his children and family my deepest condolences. may his soul rest in powa!"

"Our world stopped last evening when we learnt of the passing of our beloved Ibo

Kingsley Michael "Ibo" Cooper lived a life of service. Ibo acknowledged the impact he made on the world as a musician, vocalist, songwriter, band leader but perhaps for him, a man born in a family of teachers, teaching was a calling. He joined the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts as a part time teacher and started the popular music ensemble teaching students how to play as a band. He later came aboard as a full-time head of the Caribbean, Latin America, and Jazz Department, now Popular Music Studies. His students were his children and EDNA was his family. 

Ibo was committed to his life as a teacher, a serious teacher who was faithful to his students and his duties. We admired his sense of duty, his commitment to nationhood and his humble, easy-going nature that made him a household name at the college. 

Past Principal, Mr. Burchell Duhaney lauds his service to the college, "he has served the College for a long time in a myriad of ways, giving of his musical talent and inspiring many students across the College." 
We were privileged to have honored him at our graduation ceremony in 2022 and only a week ago decided to celebrate him in our upcoming graduation in November. Ibo has led the musical direction for graduation for over two decades, giving our students 'a alleluia of chorus' to leave with. 

Ibo was as wise as he was shrewd. He was a visionary and his last conversation with the current principal — Ms. Dorrett Campbell where he shared his concerns about succession demonstrated his thoughtfulness. We will miss him. We will miss his presence, his influence, his unmatchable contribution, especially to the School of Music, but we will never forget him. 

As we enter the final day of the Rex Nettleford Arts Conference, we hold each other up in his honour because Ibo never failed in his duties. We can only do our part in continuing the rich legacy he built through our own service to enriching the cultural and creative industries in the Caribbean through the highest quality education in the arts. 


"I am saddened to learn of the passing of one of Jamaica's iconic musicians Michael "Ibo" Cooper, former member of the Inner Circle Band and Founding member of the Third World Band. Only last month Ibo lost his wife Joy and in March, he lost his son Arif

I wish to express my condolences to his children Arianne, Akiri and Abean and to the local and international musical fraternity. Ibo was a strong and constant voice for the music industry and an exemplary music teacher. 

Generations of Jamaican musicians have been shaped by him, and our industry is better for having had him. I also benefitted from his advice as a member of the Entertainment Advisory Board (EAB). May his soul rest in perpetual peace."

"JaRIA joins the world in celebrating the life of our Legacy Director and former Chairman, Mr Michael Ibo Cooper who was indeed our true #ReggaeAmbassador! 

Ibo, was central to the group that gave global respectability to the name Third World, even as he proved that our music is as complex and intricate as that of Bach and Mozart. He brought this maxim to his role as lecturer at the Edna Manley College where he excelled as a true scholar of Jamaican music, history and philosophy, who fused all three into one harmonious example of a life lived to leave a legacy of love. 

He now joins his beloved wife Joy, who preceded him two weeks to the day, and we at JaRIA bid him farewell, as he joins a galaxy of musical stars, singing #sattamassagana in that #dreamland."

"I am deeply saddened at the news that one of Jamaica's most talented and prolific musicians, Michael 'Ibo' Cooper has passed. Ibo passed away at his home in St. Andrew this evening (October 12, 2023). He was 71 years old. Most Jamaicans were exposed to his prowess on the keyboards and his energetic performances with the Grammy nominated band Third World. He also played for the group Inner Circle.

Ibo was a true cultural Ambassador, taking reggae music and brand Jamaica to the farthest corners of the world. His music of love, upliftment and peace reflected the essence of reggae music. Indeed, he was part of the era which represented the epitomy of true reggae music of love, unity and peace. Later in life, Ibo would continue his excellence as a musician, going in the classroom, to teach music at the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts. Our students who encountered his talent and his many fans are the better for being exposed to to his immense passion for music, culture and the arts. Ibo has left a legacy of excellence buttressed by his talent, endearing personality and passion for his family, music and country.

The country has lost another musical icon. He was a true Reggae Ambassador. On behalf of the government and people of Jamaica I extend condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Ibo Cooper. May his soul rest in peace and light perpetual shine on him."

IBO COOPER HAS DIED [Jamaica Gleaner - October 12, 2023]
"Veteran musician and educator, Michael 'Ibo' Cooper, the founding member of reggae band Third World, has died. Cooper passed away tonight at his home in St Andrew. He was 71."

IBO COOPER DEAD AT 71 [Jamaica Gleaner - October 12, 2023]
"Founding member of reggae band Third World, Michael ’Ibo’ Cooper died on Thursday. He was 71. Sources told Observer Online that the iconic musician had been battling cancer for several years."

THIRD WORLD’S IBO COOPER HAS DIED [Loop News - October 12, 2023]
"Foundation member and one of the leading architects behind the global success of the Third World reggae band, Michael ‘Ibo’ Cooper died earlier tonight. He was 71years of age."

IBO COOPER’S PASSING ‘A SAD DAY’ [Jamaica Gleaner - October 14, 2023]
"Glowing tributes have been coming in fast and strong for Ibo Cooper, the musical genius and “phenomenal man” who co-founded Third World, the band of Reggae Ambassadors which is celebrating 50 glorious years in music." 

"Tributes continue to flood social media platforms for Third World founder Michael Ibo Cooper, who died at his home in St Andrew on Thursday (Oct 12)."

"Michael 'Ibo' Cooper, founding member of the reggae band Third World, has died. Close family friend, Colleen Douglas, confirmed his passing late Thursday evening..."