The family of the founder of the National Democratic Congress confirmed the news on Thursday, November 12.
According to a statement signed by the daughter of Rawlings, Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, he passed away at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra after a short illness.
“It is with deep sadness that the family of His Excellency Jerry John Rawlings (Rtd), informs the general public that the former President of the Republic, passed away on Thursday morning after a short illness,” the statement said.
It added: “The family requests privacy at this difficult moment. Details of funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.”
Reacting to the news, rapper Sarkodie changed his Twitter avatar – something he wouldn’t do on a normal day – to one of the iconic photos of JJ Rawlings.
“RIP PAPA. Nyame nfa wo kra nsie yie … way3 bi ama wo man,” Sarkodie tweeted.
Afro-dancehall star Stonebwoy called him the ‘last hero’, adding that ‘old soldier never dies’.
“Rest In Peace. HE Ft. Lt. JJ Rawlings (rtd). The Last Hero… old soldier Never Dies,” he tweeted.
READ MORE: John Dumelo, Mzbel, Kofi Kinaata, others react to JJ Rawling’s death
Shatta Wale, on the other hand, called him his mentor in a tweet but went on Facebook to blast false prophets.
“Mi rule dem like Jerry John Rawlings. Bcus mi nuh take no nonsense’ Rest In Power, my mentor Papa J,” he tweeted.
Then, he wrote on Facebook: “I know one Prophet, he will come out and say that he said it on 31st Dec 2019 that a great Ghanaian Hero will die in 2020… He will come p3333!…. We are waiting for them.. Azaaaa asofo),”.
Rawlings has always been admired by Ghanaian celebrities due to his charismatic figure and free spirit. When he was alive, many celebrities paid homage to him.
Rapper E.L even recorded a song called “JJ Rawlings” on his “Leaks” EP to honour him. Stonebwoy, Shatta Wale and Sarkodie have also given him mentions in their records.