(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — Julie Sykes — executive assistant to late deejay/actor Louie Rankin and mother to three of his children — has set up a GoFundMe account to raise money to assist them.
GoFundMe is an American fund-raising platform where persons make donations to people or a cause. Up to press time, the account raised US$11,500 of its US$30,000 goal.
According to the GoFundMe account, Louie Rankin left behind one-year-old twin daughters; a three-year-old daughter and two step-children, ages eight and 11.
“Louie would want his children to continue a good life and have a good education. At this time we are asking for support with funeral expenses and for his youngest children’s future. Even if you just share to help keep his memory alive,” read a paragraph accompanying the account.
Louie Rankin, given name Leonard Ford, died on September 30 in a motor-vehicle crash on Highway 89 in Ontario, Canada. The 66-year-old St Thomas native lived in Toronto for several years.
He became a popular figure in dancehall music after the release of his song Typewriter in 1992.
Louie Rankin achieved even more fame in Belly, the 1998 low-budget movie directed by Hype Williams. He was cast alongside hip hop heavyweights DMX and NAS.
Belly was panned by critics in the United States, but brought in over US$9 million at the box office, earning a tidy profit on its US$3-million budget.
In 2002, Louie Rankin appeared in Shottas, another urban drama with a cast that included Spragga Benz and Ky-Mani Marley.
At the time of his death, he was filming a movie in Toronto, funded by iHouse Records.