Bunny Wailer, the reggae icon who found fame thanks to his highly successful run with The Wailers, has passed away, aged 73.
His manager, Maxine Stowe, confirmed his passing on Tuesday morning at Andrews Memorial Hospital in Kingston. His cause of death has not been revealed. However, Bunny had been dealing with the after-effects of a second stroke that he suffered last July, causing him to be in and out of hospital ever since. His first stroke was in 2018.
Born Neville O’Riley Livingston, Bunny founded reggae music’s most iconic group, which also featured fellow legends, Peter Tosh and Bob Marley. Together, they set an impeccable standard for the ska and reggae genres, with chart-toppers such as Simmer Down among the many they released together before they disbanded in the mid-70s, becoming Bob Marley and the Wailers after Bunny and Tosh left the group.
Wailer went on to have a distinguished solo career with songs such as Fig Tree, Dance Rock and Dreamland. Affectionately known as Jah B, Bunny Wailer went on to win the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album three times: Time Will Tell: A Tribute to Bob Marley in 1991, Crucial! Roots Classics in 1995 and Hall of Fame: A Tribute to Bob Marley’s 50th Anniversary in 1997.
Wailer received the Order of Jamaica in 2012 as well as the Order of Merit in 2017 for his vast contributions to the music industry.