If there were two things which Joseph Niles loved, it was music and Barbados.
Niles, the legendary gospel singer died this morning at the age of 75.
He leaves to mourn his wife Beverley and two daughters Pamela and Petra, both of whom reside in California, USA.
Beverley, who spent over 50 years together with the man regarded as the Godfather of Gospel Music, told Barbados TODAY that her husband lived his life for music, and had an undying love for his homeland Barbados.
“He really loved Barbados. Joseph didn’t want to live anywhere else. He would go to California to visit his daughters and then he would return home. He would travel all over the world, but he was always in a hurry to come back home,” she said.
“He also loved to sing. I was told that even when he was in primary school, on his way home he would be blowing a cone and singing. Sometimes, he would get up in the night all of a sudden to go and work on his music.”
She explained that even though Niles had been ailing for a while, she was still shocked at his death.
“It was still a shock to me. I didn’t expect him to pass so soon.”
Emmanuel Joseph, a close friend of Niles, said his passing was a “great loss to not only Barbados, but the Caribbean.”
Joseph, who visited his ailing friends two-weeks ago, also sang alongside Niles in the 1970’s and 1980’s as part of the
“Joseph Niles was a Caribbean man and his music reflected that. I had the privilege of working with him, and he even did a cover of one of my songs Still Have Jesus. The gospel industry has truly lost a great man today,” he said.