Bunny Wailer — a founding member of the legendary reggae group The Wailers — passed away at 73 years old. According to his manager, Maxine Stowe, the reggae icon took his last breath at the Medical Associates Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica on Tuesday (March 2) following months of recurring hospital visits since suffering his second stroke in 2020. His cause of death is not yet known.
Waller, born Neville Livingstone, entered the world on April 10, 1947. As a child, he befriended fellow icon Bob Marley, whom he and his mother moved in with following the 1955 passing of Marley’s father.
Together, the friends who were raised as brothers, teamed up with Peter Tosh in 1963 to form The Wailers — a group that eventually garnered praise and international fame for promoting Rastafarian culture across the world.
After the release of Catch A Fire and Burnin’, Wailer departed from the group and launched his solo career in 1974. Two years later, he released his first project, Blackheart Man, which included songs like “Dreamland” and “Burning Down Sentence,” and features from reggae duo Sly and Robbie, and fellow Rastafarian Aston “Family Man” Barrett.
“The tracks that were done in Blackheart Man were very symbolic and significant to this whole development of reggae music,” the star told Reggaeville in 2017. “I really consider Blackheart Man to be one of those albums that the universal reggae world should be focused on.”
Wailer’s debut album was followed by a few more records; succeeding projects Time Will Tell: A Tribute to Bob Marley (1991), Crucial! Roots Classics (1995) and Hall of Fame: A Tribute to Bob Marley’s 50th Anniversary (1997) earned him Grammy wins in the award show’s Best Reggae Album category.
Wailer was the last surviving member of The Wailers. Marley succumbed to cancer in 1981, and Tosh was killed during a robbery in 1987.
The REVOLT team sends our condolences to the family and friends of Bunny Wailer during this difficult time.