Reggae legend Bunny Wailer passed away from natural causes in a hospital in Kingston, Jamaica on Tuesday, March 2, his manager, Maxine Stowe, confirmed to the Jamaica Observer newspaper. He was 73.
The musician struggled with speech impediments following his first minor stroke in 2018. He suffered his second stroke in July 2020.
Born Neville O’Riley Livingston in Kingston, Bunny (in black tee) is best known as an original member of The Wailers, along with his childhood pal Bob Marley (in green jacket) and Peter Tosh (not pictured), in the early 1960s.
He sang on tracks like “Reincarnated Souls”, “Burnin'”, “Pass it On”, and “Hallelujah Time.” He went solo in 1973, following the success of the band’s major-label debut album Catch a Fire.
Bunny released singles including “Dreamland”, “Dancing Shoes”, “Searching For Love”, “Life Line” and “Bide Up”, while he also reworked a string of The Wailers’ hits for his 1980 project Bunny Wailer Sings the Wailers.
Bunny won three Grammy Awards (Best Reggae Album) for 1991’s Time Will Tell: A Tribute to Bob Marley, Crucial! Roots Classics in 1995, and 1997’s Hall of Fame: A Tribute to Bob Marley’s 50th Anniversary.
Bunny was considered a national treasure in his native Jamaica, and was awarded the Order of Jamaica in 2012, and the Order of Merit in 2017.