Reggae legend Bunny Wailer has died

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Bunny Wailer, one of the foremost legends of Jamaica’s reggae music and a founding member of The Wailer’s, has died at the age of 73.

The Trench Town native, whose given name is Neville Livingston, died at hospital this morning.

In 2017, the Jamaican Government of Jamaica awarded him the Order of Merit, the country’s fourth highest honour.

The government again recognised his contribution to Jamaican music in February 2019 with a Reggae Gold Award.

Bunny Wailer was the only surviving member of the iconic group which included Bob Marley and Peter Tosh.

His albums include Blackheart Man, released in 1976, and Rock ‘n’ Groove which came out five years later.

His hit songs include Cool Runnings, Ballroom Floor, Crucial and Bald Head Jesus.

Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, made the official statement on the passing of Bunny Wailer:

“At the request of the family, I announce with deepest sadness, the passing of the patriarch, brother, friend and Jamaican music icon, the great Bunny Wailer.

Bunny Wailer, whose given name is Neville O’Riley Livingstone, passed away at 9am today at Medical Associates Hospital in Kingston. He had been in hospital since December 2020.

We mourn the passing of this outstanding singer, songwriter and percussionist and celebrate his life and many accomplishments.

We remain grateful for the role that Bunny Wailer played in the development and popularity of Reggae music across the world.

We remember with great pride how Bunny, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, took Reggae music to the four corners of the earth.

Today, the last surviving Wailer has passed. His son Abijah said to me this morning that ‘Bunny Wailer cannot die, he has transitioned’.

What Bunny Wailer has done for Reggae, as one of the pioneers and standard-bearers of our country’s music, lives on.

Let us hold dear Bunny’s music, his memory and his family.

I ask that you remember his family, including his wider Reggae family, in your prayers at this time.”