Reggae legend Bunny Wailer dead at 73

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Reggae icon Bunny Wailer died early Tuesday in Kingston, Jamaica, at the age of 73, his manager confirmed.

“Yes. He died about 8:00 this morning. I’m still right here with him,” Maxine Stowe told the Jamaica Observer.

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Wailer’s cause of death has not been released, but he had been hospitalized repeatedly since suffering a second stroke in July 2020, BBC News reported.

Born Neville O’Riley Livingston in Trench Town, Wailer lent his stage name to the legendary reggae ensemble “The Wailers,” which included both Peter Tosh and childhood friend Bob Marley, the Observer reported.

Prior to his departure in 1974 to seek a solo career, Wailer shot to international fame with reggae classics such as “Simmer Down” and “Stir It Up,” BBC News reported.

Meanwhile, Wailer’s solo career produced a string of hit songs, including “Cool Runnings,” “Ballroom Floor,” “Crucial” and “Bald Head Jesus.”

In 2017, the Jamaican government awarded the three-time Grammy winner an Order of Merit, the country’s fourth highest honor, recognizing his contribution to Jamaican music, and honored him again in February 2019 with a Reggae Gold Award, the Observer reported.

The singer had been the last surviving member of The Wailers, following Marley’s death from cancer in 1981, and Tosh’s murder during a 1987 robbery, according to BBC News.

Read more about Wailer’s career here.

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