Reggae Legend Bunny Wailer Dead At 73
Reggae legend Bunny Wailer, who was the last surviving founding member of the legendary group The Wailers, died at the age of 73 on Tuesday. He died in Jamaica.
Born as Neville Livingston, Bunny Wailer had founded The Wailers in 1963 with late superstars Bob Marley and Peter Tosh when they lived in a slum in the capital of Kingston. They rose to fame with the album titled ‘Catch a Fire’.
They also promoted Rastafarian culture as they grew in name and fame.
As soon as news of Bunny Wailer’s death spread, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Andrew Holness paid tribute to Wailer, calling him “a respected elder statesman of the Jamaican music scene,” among others.
Meanwhile, the other Wailers, Bob Marley died in 1981 of a brain tumor at 36 and Peter Tosh was fatally shot in Jamaica in 1987 at the age of 42.
Also, tributes have already poured in for the musician, with fans and fellow musicians describing him as a legend.
He and Marley became friends as toddlers and formed the Wailers in 1963, which settled into a core trio of the pair alongside Peter Tosh.
They released their debut album, The Wailing Wailers, in 1965, which included their Jamaican chart-topper Simmer Down, before going on hiatus when Marley moved to Delaware in the US. Wailer was convicted for marijuana possession in 1967 and served a 14-month sentence.
They reconvened after Marley’s return and Wailer’s release, teaming with producer Lee “Scratch” Perry and his group the Upsetters, and began recording tracks in the new, slower reggae style that had emerged out of ska.
Wailer penned a number of the group’s songs, including what would become his signature song, Dreamland.
The original trio split in 1974 when Wailer left alongside Tosh. He began a solo career, beginning with 1976’s acclaimed Blackheart Man, and maintained a steady release schedule for 40 years.
He won the Grammy award for best reggae album three times, in 1991, 1995, and 1997.