May 6 (UPI) -- "My Boy Lollipop" singer Millie Small has died at age 72.
The Jamaican singer, who helped introduce ska music to the world, died Tuesday in London, Small's rep confirmed Wednesday.
Island Records said Small died "after having been taken ill" over the weekend.
"Millie opened the door for Jamaican music to the world," Island Records founder Chris Blackwell said in a statement. "It became a hit pretty much everywhere in the world."
"She was such a really sweet person, very funny, great sense of humor. She was really special," he added.
Small, the daughter of a sugar plantation overseer, was born in Jamaica in 1946. She started recording music as a teenager and was discovered by Blackwell, who became her manager.
Blackwell took Small to London, where the singer gained fame with her 1964 recording of Barbie Gaye's song "My Boy Lollipop." She released three albums during her career: My Boy Lollipop (1964), Sings Fats Domino (1965) and Time Will Tell (1970).
Island Records paid tribute to Small in a tweet Wednesday.
"We are incredibly saddened to learn of the passing of Millie Small. She was a true legend and an incredible human, She will be dearly missed. Our Thoughts are with her family and friends at this time," the label wrote.
Small is survived by her daughter, Jaelee, 36.