Bunny Wailer, Bob Marley’s former bandmate, dead at 73


Sadly, there’s a real reason to wail now.

Reggae legend Bunny Wailer — a founding member of the Wailers with Bob Marley — passed away early on Tuesday. He was 73.

Wailer died at the Medical Associates Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica. No cause of death was reported, although he had been in and out of the hospital since suffering a second stroke last July.

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

Wailer — who was born Neville Livingston in Kingston — was the last surviving original member of the Wailers after Marley died in 1981 and Peter Tosh was murdered in 1987.

Bunny Wailer in 1988.
Bunny Wailer in 1988.

The Wailers formed in 1963 and went on to record such reggae classics as “War,” “Stir It Up” and the protest song “Get Up, Stand Up.” In 1974, the original lineup disbanded and, as Wailer left the group, Marley went on to form Bob Marley and the Wailers.

Wailer embarked on a solo career with his 1976 “Blackheart Man” album and won his first of three Grammys for his 1990 “Gumption” LP.

In 2012, Wailer received the Order of Jamaica — the fifth-highest order in the Jamaican honors systems, which is considered to be the equivalent of British knighthood. Then in 2019, he was awarded the Order of Merit, which is the nation’s fourth-highest honor.

Bunny Wailer in 2019.
Bunny Wailer in 2019.
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