BROOKLYN, NY – Jamaica is mourning the death of reggae legend Bunny Wailer who passed away on Tuesday morning at 73.
The three-time Grammy award winner, whose given name was Neville Livingston, died around 9 a.m. at Andrew’s Memorial Hospital here, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sport Olivia Grange confirmed.
Bunny Wailer, a founding member of iconic reggae group The Wailers, also included Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, had been ailing for several years.
He suffered a stroke in 2018 and another in July 2020 and had been hospitalized several times since.
“Today, the last surviving Wailer has passed. His son, Abijah, said to me this morning that ‘Bunny Wailer cannot die, he has transitioned,’” Minister Grange said in a statement.
“We mourn the passing of this outstanding singer, songwriter, and percussionist and celebrate his life and many accomplishments.”
In 2017, the Jamaican Government awarded him the Order of Merit, the country’s fourth-highest honor. In February 2019, the Government recognized his contribution to Jamaican music again with a Reggae Gold Award.
“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,” the Culture Minister said.
“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,” Grange added.