Following the death of reggae legend Bunny Wailer, who founded The Wailers with Bob Marley, Ziggy Marley has issued a statement. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Ziggy memorialized Wailer by saying, "Bunny Jah B Wailer’s body has left us, but he knows just as we know that his legacy, music, and spirit will never die. His contribution to our music not only as a member of the Wailers but as a solo artist has been an enormous influence for me personally and to many more around the world. Pass It On."
Wailer had reportedly passed away in Kingston, Jamaica, on Tuesday — at the Medical Associates Hospital — with his manager Maxine Stowe eventually confirming the news to Rolling Stone. No specific cause has of death has been reported at this time, but the outlet noted that Wailer suffering a stroke, his second, in 2020, and had been in and out of the hospital since that time. The reggae music icon was the last living member of the original Wailers, including Marley and Peter Tosh. Both men died in the 1980s, with Marley losing a cancer battle and Tosh being killed during a home invasion.
The world has lost a LEGEND in Bunny Wailer. Born Neville Livingston, he was the last surviving member of The Wailers that was formed in 1963 and shot to global acclaim.
My condolences to his family, friends and all reggae fans worldwide!
Fare thee well Maestro! pic.twitter.com/MDTLZLTe3x— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) March 2, 2021
In a post on the official Bob Marley Twitter account, Marley representatives issued a heartfelt memorial to Wailer. "Sending love to the Livingston family as Bunny Wailer makes his transition," the tweet read. "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."
Tosh's estate also honored Wailer, writing, "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."
"He helped shape the genre that spread from Jamaica throughout the world," the statement added. "His contribution to Reggae music will live on forever. Rest our brother. Join us in celebrating Bunny's life today." Wailer was 73 years old at the time of his death.