Veteran reggae musician Bunny Wailer, best known as a member of the group The Wailers, has died at the age of 73.
Bunny – whose birth name was Neville O’Riley Livingston – was one of the group’s founding members, alongside his childhood friend, Bob Marley, and fellow performer Peter Tosh.
His manager, Maxine Stowe, confirmed on Tuesday that Bunny had died at the Andrews Memorial Hospital in Jamaica.
No cause of death was given, but it was noted by local press that the star had repeatedly been in hospital since he suffered a stroke last summer.
After forming in the early 1960s, The Wailers enjoyed chart success in their home territory of Jamaica, before the release of the album Catch A Fire catapulted them to international fame.
Bunny left the group in 1973, and pursued a career as a solo artist, releasing his debut album Blackheart Man three years later.
Blackheart Man featured contributions from his former bandmates Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, and was later revered as an “essential” reggae album more than 20 years after its release.
Bunny went on to achieve three Grammy award wins, and in 2017, he was awarded the Order Of Merit, by the Jamaican government, the nation’s fourth highest merit.
His final musical release was the five-track EP Dub Fi Dub in 2018.
Paying tribute to Bunny, Jamaican politician Peter Phillips said: “The passing of Bunny Wailer, the last of the original Wailers, brings to a close the most vibrant period of Jamaica’s musical experience.
“Bunny was a good, conscious Jamaican brethren.”
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