BY BRIAN BONITTO Associate Editor – Auto & Entertainment [email protected]
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Singer Anthony Cruz is using the tragic loss of his 15-year-old daughter to help victims of domestic violence. A celebration of her life is planned for the Kingston 10 venue (Hillview Avenue) in St Andrew on Sunday.
“I’ll also be using the occasion to launch Project Shanice, an awareness campaign against domestic violence. So it’s creating a platform for women and children to help them find assistance in the event it reaches them. A lot of people don’t know where to turn for help,” Cruz told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
Last year, 24 women were killed in Jamaica as a result of domestic violence.
“I want entertainers, musicians, fans … everyone to come out. It’s (domestic violence) going on in so many places. I saw it happening to my sisters and my stepmother and never really understood what it was. Now it has happened to me; its only fair to help others … I understand now,” said Anthony Cruz.
Shanice Smith and her mother Karen Lyle were shot and killed in their Florida apartment by Lyle’s spouse Kevin Nelson in February.
Nelson confessed to the crime and has been charged with two counts of premeditated murder.
The entertainer said it is a very difficult period.
“It’s a very, very, very painful situation… it’s rough. When I went to Shanice’s school, you could see the hurt on the children’s faces… I try to stay on the positive side by praying and exercising to lift my spirits… Only the Almighty knows,” he said.
Cruz, whose given name is Rowan Smith, hails from Manchester. He is the uncle of roots singer Garnet Silk, who died in 1995, and Aaron Silk, another vocalist.
Cruz is known for songs such as Half Way Tree and Tear It Up. In 2015 he released a six-track EP titled