Veteran reggae star Bunny Wailer dies aged 73

Veteran reggae star Bunny Wailer dies aged 73
Bunny Wailer smokes a pipe stuffed with marijuana during a “reasoning” session in a yard in Kingston, Jamaica. Wailer, a reggae luminary who was the last surviving member of the legendary group The Wailers, died on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in his native Jamaica, according to his manager. He was 73. (AP Photo/David McFadden, File)

Bunny Wailer, the reggae luminary who was the last surviving member of The Wailers, has died at the age of 73, his manager said.

Wailer, a baritone singer whose birth name was Neville Livingston, formed The Wailers in 1963 with late superstars Bob Marley and Peter Tosh.

They were catapulted to international fame with the album Catch a Fire.

In addition to their music, the Wailers and other musicians popularised Rastafarian culture among better-off Jamaicans starting in the 1970s.

Bunny Wailer performing in 2005 (Collin Reid/AP)

Wailer’s death in his native Jamaica was mourned worldwide as people shared pictures, music and memories of the renowned artist.

“The passing of Bunny Wailer, the last of the original Wailers, brings to a close the most vibrant period of Jamaica’s musical experience,” wrote Jamaica politician Peter Phillips in a Facebook post.

“Bunny was a good, conscious Jamaican brethren.”

The three-time Grammy winner died at the Andrews Memorial Hospital in the Jamaican parish of St Andrew, his manager Maxine Stowe told reporters.

The cause of death was not immediately clear. Local newspapers had reported he had been in and out of hospital after surviving a stroke nearly a year ago.

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