Bunny Wailer, a reggae lamp who was the last surviving member of the legendary group The Wailers, died on Tuesday in his native Jamaica, according to his boss. He was 73.
Wailer, a baritone singer born Neville Livingston, formed The Wailers in 1963 with late superstars Bob Marley and Peter Tosh living in a slum in the capital, Kingston. They catapulted to international fame with the album “Catch a Fire.” Wailers and other Rasta musicians popularized Rastafarian culture among the inferior Jamaicans of the 1970s.
Wailer’s death was mourned around the world when people shared photos, music and memories from the famous artist.
“The passing of Bunny Wailers, the last of the original Wailers, ends the most vivid period of Jamaica’s musical experience,” Jamaican politician Peter Phillips wrote in a Facebook post. “Bunny was a good, conscious Jamaican brothers.”
(1/5) My deepest condolences to the family, friends and fans of the legendary Reggae artist, Neville Livingston, also known as Bunny Wailer, JahB. pic.twitter.com/gPiMZOPEt0
– Andrew Holness (@AndrewHolnessJM) March 2, 2021
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness also praised Wailer, calling him “a respected senior statesman for the Jamaican music scene” in a series of tweets.
“This is a great loss for Jamaica and for Reggae, no doubt Bunny Wailer will always be remembered for his strong contribution to the music industry and Jamaica’s culture,” he wrote.
While Wailer toured the world, he was more at home in the mountains of Jamaica and he enjoyed farming while writing and recording songs on his label, Solomonic.
“I think I actually love the country a little more than the city,” Wailer told the Associated Press in 1989. “It has more to do with life, health and strength.” The city removes it sometimes. The country is good for meditation. It has fresh food and fresh atmosphere – which keeps you going. ″
A year earlier, in 1988, he had chartered a jet plane and flew to Jamaica with food to help those affected by Hurricane Gilbert.
″ Sometimes people pay less attention to these things (food), but they turn out to be the most important things. I’m a farmer, he told the AP.
The three-time Grammy winner died at Andrews Memorial Hospital in the Jamaican congregation of St Andrew, his boss, Maxine Stowe, told reporters. His cause of death was not immediately clear. Local newspapers had reported that he was in and out of the hospital after a stroke almost a year ago.