Since Clarence Reid died last Sunday from liver cancer and organ failure, the Miami legend's stage persona, Blowfly, has been eulogized in Rolling Stone and the New York Times. Celebrities from Ice-T to the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea to Run the Jewel's El-P have paid tribute to Reid on social media. But unfortunately, all the kind words do not pay for a funeral, burial, and headstone.
And so Blowfly's sister, Virginia B. Lawrence, and his manager and friend, Tom Bowker, have turned to Blowfly's fans to raise $14,000 needed for burial expenses. Lawrence posted the following message on a Youcaring.com fundraiser page.
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Hello, My name is Virginia B Lawrence. I am Clarence Reid's sister and spokesperson for his family. Together with Tom Bowker, Clarence's manager, we applied for a grant from a prominent music charity to cover Clarence's funeral expenses. Our award fell far short of the amount needed to give Clarence a dignified burial and funeral. Unfortunately, due to the the size of our grant, we are forced to ask fans of Clarence Reid and Blowfly once more for help.
Clarence was a musical giant who deserves to be honored. The funeral is in a week and we are on a tight deadline to pay for it and the burial.
God Bless you all. Your help is most appreciated.
The page also provides a Q&A section where Tom Bowker goes into greater detail on why the money is needed. He explains that Reid does not have any savings. "He was swindled out of his royalties in 2003 and permanently lost them in 2008. We have a movie that explains his financial woes. It's called The Weird World of Blowfly, and it's on Netflix."
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As of Sunday night, 319 supporters have contributed more than $12,000. Two years earlier, Blowfly was able to raise a similar amount of money in a successful fundraising campaign to pay the taxes owed on his house, where he spent his last years. That campaign gave donors incentives like T-shirts, LPs, and personalized Blowfly songs. This round offers no gifts. It is dependent on the generosity of people expecting nothing in return but giving a beloved entertainer a final resting space.