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The late Karl Augustus Young, founder of Jamaica’s first all-reggae radio station, IRIE FM, is to receive a national honour in recognition of his pioneering work in the media.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange, made the announcement at the thanksgiving service for Mr. Young held on Saturday (June 26) at the Ocho Rios cruise ship pier in St. Ann.
“We want to show Karl’s family that Jamaica loves him and we recognise his work and the Government wants to pay the highest tribute it can to Karl and his memory, and so Karl will receive a national honour in recognition of his work,” she stated.

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange, pays a floral tribute at the thanksgiving service for the late founder of Irie FM and Zip 103 FM, Karl Young. The service was held on Saturday (June 26) at the Ocho Rios cruise ship pier in St. Ann.

Minister Grange said that Mr. Young “has been one of the most significant contributors to wealth creation in the Jamaican economy over the last 20 years, for there is no doubt that IRIE has added enormous value to national entertainment, enriching many artistes, producers, songwriters, video directors and sound system operators.”
She said that Mr. Young was a humble man “but a cultural giant, whose clear purpose on earth was to amplify the voices and instruments of Jamaican musicians”. “He was indeed outstanding,” she added.
Minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Shahine Robinson, who brought greetings on behalf of Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding, said that Mr. Young was an ordinary man, who had accomplished extraordinary things in his lifetime.
“We have lost a good man, a good son and someone that we can truly say that we were indeed proud of and proud to have known. While we mourn, I want us to be comforted by his legacy.of decency, hard work, integrity and honesty,” Mrs. Robinson said, adding that he will be sadly missed.
Meanwhile, President for the Media Association of Jamaica (MAJ), Gary Allen, extended condolences to the bereaved family and pledged the continued support of the media fraternity.
“Karl Young is respected by all of us in the media. We respect him for changing the landscape in Jamaican media,” Mr. Allen said, noting that Mr. Young was committed to the MAJ and its work.
Mr. Young, who also founded the very popular Zip 103 FM, died in the United States on June 10 after ailing for some time. He is survived by children Rocky, Annie, Joni, Karla, Kim and Chad; grandchildren, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews, and a host of friends.
Wife of the Prime Minister, Mrs. Lorna Golding; and Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. James Robertson, were among the family, friends and well-wishers at the thanksgiving service.