Reggae Legend Bunny Wailer Dies, @ 73

Neville O’Riley Livingston, real name Neville Livingstone, has died in Kingston, Jamaica. He was a founding member of The Wailers with childhood friend Bob Marley. Together, they achieved international fame with reggae classics like Simmer Down and Stir It Up. Flea pays tribute: “Oh man, god bless Bunny Wailer,” wrote Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist, Flea. The cause of death is unknown, but he had been in hospital since having a stroke in July 2020. The star had been the last surviving member of the group, following Marley’s death in 1981 and Peter Tosh’s murder in 1987. He won three Grammys and was given Jamaica’s Order Of Merit in 2017.

His death was confirmed by manager Maxine Stowe, and Jamaica’s Culture Minister, Olivia Grange. Jamaica politician Peter Phillips said: “Bunny was a good, conscious Jamaican brethren”. Livingstone was born on 20 April 1947, in the village of Nine Miles, near the town of Trenchtown. He met Marley when the pair were toddlers, making their first music together at school. Bob Marley and the Wailers were formed in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1963. Their first hit was Simmer Down, a song Marley wrote calling for peace in the ghettos.

They went on hiatus in 1965, but still released 28 singles between 1966 and 1970. Their international breakthrough came with Catch A Fire, their first album for Chris Blackwell’s Island Records. Singer Livingstone left the band in 1973 and went on to release several acclaimed albums. He won the Grammy award for best reggae album three times in the 1990s. The Wailing Wailers are still going strong today, with hits like Bunny Wailer Sings The Wailers and Rock ‘n’ Groove.  WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT. The following article includes some of the material on this article. . For more information on Bob Marley’s career, visit his official website.

Kobby Koomson
Author: Kobby Koomson


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