Reggae music pioneer Neville “Bunny Wailer” Livingston has died at the age of 73, Jamaica’s Minister for Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports said in a statement.
Wailer had been in the hospital since December and died at the Medical Associates Hospital in Kingston, Olivia Grange said in Tuesday’s statement. No cause of death was given. Grange said the statement was made at the request of Wailer’s family.
“We mourn this outstanding singer, songwriter and drummer and celebrate his life and many successes,” the statement said. “We remain grateful for the role Bunny Wailer has played in the development and popularity of reggae music around the world.”
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Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness also welcomed the legendary musician. “Bunny Wailer has made a tremendous impact on the world and set the stage for a global movement. He loves rock steady and reggae music. His legendary performances have touched the hearts and souls of millions of fans in Jamaica and around the world.” the Prime Minister said in a statement.
Wailer, whose real name was Neville Livingston, was a founding member of the Wailers, according to a statement. The Wailers also included the legendary Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley and Peter Tosh.
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Wailer won three Grammy awards during his career, two for Best Reggae Album and one for Best Reggae Recording for “Time Will Tell – A Tribute to Bob Marley,” according to the Grammys website.
The Jamaican government awarded Wailer the Order of Jamaica in 2012 and the Order of Merit in 2017, “the highest honor in the country,” the Prime Minister said.
“Prime Minister Holness offered deep condolences to the Livingston family, friends, musical colleagues and many supporters around the world,” the statement said.