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Diet pill link to Devon’s death

Sunday, July 16, 2017
Ancil "Blaze" Isaac Jr with the late Devon Matthews at Saturday's Tribe Festival of Bands at St Mary's Grounds, Port-of-Spain. The two were emcees for the event. Matthews collapsed backstage after performing.

A close friend of Matthews yesterday told the T&T Guardian that Matthews had been using a variety of pills for a prolonged period.

The friend, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Matthews was warned many times about the abuse of these pills. He said the singer/songwriter would use a particular weight loss pill that was supposed to cause drastic weight loss over a short period of time.

He believes this practice may have well caused the rising star’s demise.

According to, in an article written by international health author Laura Ciocan, she warns about the health risks of diet pills. Ciocan said even the best diet pills could trigger a host of adverse effects. The symptoms of diet pill abuse can be uncomfortable and unpleasant causing (stomach pain, headache, vomiting) or potentially fatal (irregular heartbeat, seizures).

While social media reports stated Matthews died at the St Clair Medical Hospital while doctors tried to revive him, his friend told the T&T Guardian, Matthews died after collapsing at St Mary’s College Grounds backstage.

He said during Matthews’s emceeing of Tribe’s Carnival band launch he kept walking to the backstage area every now and then patting his chest and saying it was hurting him. He said Matthews was also sweating unusually.

“At one point he just could not make and he told (Ancil Issac Jr) Blaze something and came backstage and sit down and that was it,” the friend said.

Another friend Ismali Mckay said Mathews was complaining about having feelings of indigestion and was given water by McKay after which he collapsed. McKay said Matthews did not seem his usual high spirited and energetic self before his performance.

The 35-year-old was doing what he loved best—supporting local culture when tragedy struck. Matthews and Slam 100.5FM’s Blaze, were co-hosts of Saturday’s Tribe’s Festival of Bands launch. Mathews suffered a massive cardiac arrest shortly after performing his largest hit to date, D Journey, a collaboration with veteran calypsonian Ella Andall.

President of I95.5FM, Anthony Lee A Ping in an immediate release extended condolences on behalf of family stations Red96.7FM and W107.1FM/The Word, to the family and friends of Matthews saying “We are very saddened by the sudden passing of Devon Matthews and we extend condolences to his family, his friends and all who enjoyed the artistry of Devon.”

Lee A Ping said they treasured the years Matthews spent at the station and added he pivotal in making the urban frequency the country’s premiere urban radio station and for that the team was eternally grateful.

Tribe in a statement also extended condolences to the family, friends and fans of Matthews. The statement said Tribe joined the nation in mourning at the sudden passing of deejay, soca artiste and cultural advocate Devon Matthews. It stated the entertainment sector had lost a strong and versatile talent who was a star on the rise.

Social media was flooded by tributes to Matthews many questioning the reason for his sudden demise. An autopsy is expected to be done on his body today.

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Mathews came into the limelight when he recorded his first soca single in the late 90s, after meeting with producer Joe Miller, who worked with breakout artistes like Bunji Garlin and Benjai at the time. The tune, Chippin, a duet with radio personality Kevin Baker, was a hit for J’ouvert masqueraders that Carnival.

In a previous interview with the T&T Guardian Matthews noted his greatest accomplishment at that time, was performing alongside International acts, T–Pain, KC and The Sunshine Band, and Beres Hammond at St Kitts Music Festival.

In his career as a soca artiste, Matthews penned over 30 songs, among them, Dutty, Wine Down Low, La La Remix with Lord Nelson and Bumper, songs that got him into the semi and at times, finals of the International Soca Monarch competition over the years. This year he enjoyed the success of hard work when the Arima native placed second in the Young Kings Calypso competition, and third in the Soca Monarch Finals.


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