Jamaican singer, songwriter and percussionist Bunny Wailer, founder member of Bob Marley’s group The Wailers, has died aged 73. He had been in and out of hospital in Kingston since suffering a second stroke in July 2020.
Born Neville O’Riley Livingston, he formed The Wailing Wailers in 1963 with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. He took lead vocals on “Pass It On” and “Hallelujah Time” from The Wailers’ 1973 album Burnin’, but left the band later that year after objecting to a tour of America.
Starting with influential 1976 solo debut Blackheart Man, Bunny Wailer went on to record around 30 albums in a roots reggae style, mostly for his own label Solomonic.
Jamaican prime minister Andrew Holness called Bunny’s death “a great loss for Jamaica and for reggae”.
“Oh man, god bless Bunny Wailer,” wrote Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers. “What a true rocker and noble man.”
(1/5) My deep condolences to the family, friends and fans of legendary Reggae artiste, Neville Livingston, also known as Bunny Wailer, JahB. pic.twitter.com/gPiMZOPEt0
— Andrew Holness (@AndrewHolnessJM) March 2, 2021
Oh man, god bless Bunny Wailer. What a true rocker and noble man. I love him. https://t.co/vlofHmY4ZO
— Flea (@flea333) March 2, 2021