Cherry Green - as she is better known- died of an heart attack in Miami Florida.
She was born Ermine Ortense Bramwell in Jamaica in August 1943. She died Sept. 24 as Ermine Dempsey-Barker in Palm Beach Gardens. But really, she was known as Cherry. Cherry Green. Sometimes Cherry Smith.
Cherry was one of the original members of Bob Marley and the Wailers.
"She was one of the backup singers who helped them create their signature sound," said Christopher John Farley, author of Before the Legend: The Rise of Bob Marley.
"Everyone knew her as Cherry because she was red," recalled "Sir Henry" Eccleston, a disc jockey at WBAI in New York City, who grew up with Cherry in Trench Town, Jamaica. It was a name by which even her mother called her.
As a girl, Cherry was singing, and so were many of her friends.
By the time she was a teenager, she was hanging with Marley and future band members Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh and Junior Braithwaite, as well as another backup singer, Beverly Kelso.
Everyone called her Cherry Green. After all, she told The Beat magazine founding editor Roger Steffens, her brother's last name was Green, so they figured hers was, too.
Later anthologies sometimes called her Cherry Smith or excluded her altogether. A Wikipedia entry states: "It is unknown if Smith is still alive." She was for many years.
Cherry left the band early and didn't care to set the record straight, said her husband of recent years, Thomas Barker.
"In the beginning, they were just teenagers trying to earn enough money to buy some cocoa," said author Farley.
By 1967, Cherry had a baby girl, and playing for a little change or a new dress, as she once recalled, wasn't enough, she told The Beat. She left the group.
Farley estimates she made 10 or 11 recordings, including originals of Simmer Down, Maga Dog (She's the One Barking), I Need Your Love and Lonesome Feeling.
The originals are becoming easier to find as bootlegged albums make their way into the mainstream, Farley said.
Cherry left Jamaica in 1969 and hit Miami, New York and Southern California. She was a mom and nurse before retiring to West Palm Beach, Barker said.
Cherry caught Marley only once in concert after she left: in 1976 at the Santa Monica Civic Center.
There, despite an invitation to go backstage, someone turned her away, she told a reporter. Marley found out later, she recalled.
"When Bob look at me, he said, 'Look at sister Cherry!' ... He was surprised, and he come and he hug me."
Thomas Barker gets teary-eyed remembering these stories.
"I still miss her," he said.
Farley, the Marley chronicler, will miss her, too.
"If the Wailers hadn't recorded Simmer Down, a lot of bands from the Police to No Doubt wouldn't have been what they are," he said.
Besides her husband, Ms. Dempsey-Barker is survived by a daughter, Audrey Hinton; a brother, Carlton Green; and a granddaughter.