Popular music and audio engineer Barry O’Hare passed away at the age of 56 yesterday, leaving behind his wife and two children. According to reports, he died at the University of the West Indies Hospital on Saturday just days after testing positive for COVID-19.
According to his friend of four decades and stage technician, Jeffrey Brown, O’Hare had underlying conditions.
He told the Observer that O’Hare came to Kingston for a regular check-up at Nuttall Hospital. He was then referred to the University of the West Indies Hospital by his doctor. O’Hare was tested for COVID-19 and found out his result Thursday.
Even then, Brown said his friend sounded upbeat. Brown was quoted saying, “I spoke to him yesterday [Friday], and he sounded upbeat. Last night, he told me that when the test came back positive, they moved him from the ward he was on,”. Brown continued, “I was planning to bring some stuff for him today, as he had asked me to get some stuff… It’s really, really sad.”
O’Hare has worked with many reggae and dancehall artistes such as Third World, Steel Pulse, Sean Paul, Diana King, Tanya Stephens, Beres Hammond, Burning Spear, and Shaggy.
Some of the artistes took to Instagram to mourn his passing.
Shaggy posted on his Instagram about the friendship that he and Barry O’Hare had, as well as what they achieved professionally. He said O’Hare toured with him and had an important role in Shaggy and Friends, a concert that raises funds for charity.
“He was instrumental in helping to establish shaggy and friends, especially on the technical side and engineered a lot of the shows, we toured together for years, he made us sound great night after nights,” Shaggy said.
Tanya Stephens posted a video of her and O’Hare at his job with the caption “Yeah, I heard. Stop telling me. Please.
Ce’Cile commented under the post, saying, “
Barry O’Hare was also the engineer for Burning Spear’s Grammy-winning album Calling Rastafari in 2000. He worked in film and television. O’Hare did work on Sebastian, a Disney film, and Going to Extremes, an ABC series that was shot in Jamaica.
He was also honoured in 2018 by the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) for his role in the development and growth of reggae music.