• January 31, 2023

Bunny Wailer, Iconic Reggae Singer, Has Died At Age 73 : NPR

Bunny Wailer was photographed in London in 1988. David Corio / Redferns / Getty Images hide the caption

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David Corio / Redferns / Getty Images

Bunny Wailer was photographed in London in 1988.

David Corio / Redferns / Getty Images

Reggae music icon, singer, songwriter and percussionist Bunny Wailer died Tuesday morning in Kingston, Jamaica. He was 73 years old. Wailer was a founding member of The Wailers alongside Bob Marley and Peter Tosh.

His death was originally reported from Jamaica observer Newspaper that said he has been feeling unwell since having a second stroke in July 2020.

It was Approved by Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, who said in a statement: “It is with deepest sadness that I announce the death of the patriarch, brother, friend and Jamaican music icon, the great Bunny Wailer … We mourn him Death of this outstanding singer, songwriter and drummer celebrates his life and many achievements. We continue to be grateful for the role that Bunny Wailer has played in the development and popularity of reggae music around the world. “

Wailer was born Neville O’Riley Livingston on April 10, 1947 grew up with Marley from early childhood: Marley’s mother and Wailer’s father joined households in Kingston and had a daughter together.

In 1963, Wailer and Marley founded The Wailing Wailers with boyfriend Peter Tosh. Singers Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso and Cherry Smith joined the group but dropped out within months to a few years.

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While The Wailers rose to international success on tour through England and the USA, Wailer also recorded independent singles and founded his own record label, as did Marley and Tosh.

By 1974, both Wailer and Tosh had left The Wailers, partly because the music industry appeared to be focused on making Marley a solo star. Wailer’s subsequent hits were “Cool Runnings” and “Ballroom Floor” as well as his 1976 album “Blackheart Man”.

Wailer won three Grammys in the early 1990s; In 2017 he was awarded the Jamaica Order of Merit, one of the highest honors in his country.

In an interview in New York in 2016 – during his first US tour in more than two decades – Wailer told NPR that he hoped “to just keep singing ska, rocksteady and reggae music. This is my legacy: to sing for you people and to teach you people what I have known from singing this music. “

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