Bunny Wailer, a Reggae music legend who played with Bob Marley, has died at the age of 73. According to Rolling Stone, Wailer’s manager, Maxine Stowe, confirmed the news that Wailer passed away at the Medical Associates Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica on Tuesday. At this time, no cause has of death has been reported, but Rolling Stone noted that Wailer had been in and out of the hospital since suffering a stroke, his second, in 2020.
Wailer was born Neville Livingston, but later adopted the monitor he was known by during his iconic music career. Wailer was a founding member of The Wailers, along with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. Wailer was the last remaining member of the legendary trio, as Marley died in 1981 after a long fight with acral lentiginous melanoma, and Tosh was tragically killed during a home invasion in 1987. Wailer would go on to honor his late friends and bandmates with a long career as a godfather of Reggae, even winning the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album three times.
Sending love to the Livingston family as Bunny Wailer makes his transition. A founding member of The Wailers and a reggae icon in his own right, he will be missed but not forgotten. “Live for yourself & you will live in vain—live for others, you will live again.” Rest in power ✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/4gi38yLmiu— Bob Marley (@bobmarley) March 2, 2021
In a post on a Twitter account run by the estate of Peter Tosh, the late musician's representatives issued a memorial to Wailer, praising him for being a lifeforce of the Reggae genre. "He helped shape the genre that spread from Jamaica throughout the world," one tweet read. "His contribution to Reggae music will live on forever. Rest our brother. Join us in celebrating Bunny's life today."
Rest in Power, Bunny Wailer (AKA Neville O'Riley Livingston). A true Reggae icon and Jamaican legend, a brother, a father, an uncle, a friend. Bunny played alongside Peter Tosh and Bob Marley in the most influential Reggae group of all time, The Wailers... pic.twitter.com/WMBQlnjEbC— Peter Tosh (@PeterTosh) March 2, 2021
Jamaica's Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, also issued a memorial in honor of Wailer. "My deep condolences to the family, friends and fans of legendary Reggae artiste, Neville Livingston, also known as Bunny Wailer, JahB," he wrote. Holness later added, "This is a great loss for Jamaica and for Reggae, undoubtedly Bunny Wailer will always be remembered for his sterling contribution to the music industry and Jamaica’s culture. May his soul Rest In Peace."