Bunny Wailer, the last co-founder of the legendary Jamaican reggae band Bob Marley & The Wailers who was still alive, has passed away. The 73-year-old songwriter, singer and percussionist had three Grammy Awards to his name.
The artist died today in a hospital in the Jamaican capital Kingston, announced his manager. Cause of death is still unclear. According to local media, he was struggling with health problems after being hospitalized last year after a stroke.
Peter Tosh and Bob Marley
In 1963, Neville ORiley Livingstone, as he was called at birth, founded The Wailers. He did this together with Peter Tosh and Bob Marley, the singer who would become a superstar and whose name eventually even stood for the band name.
The Wailers started out as a skaband, an earlier and faster variant of reggae. But only as a reggae band would the group break through worldwide. That happened with the 1973 album Catch a Fire (with the hit Stir It Up):
Apart from being reggae epioneers, The Wailers are also seen as drivers in the spread of Rastafarian culture in the 1970s. In addition, Bunny Wailer was a strong advocate of legalizing the use of cannabis, a religious ritual for Rastafarians.
In 1974, Bunny Wailer left the band for his solo career. In the end, he would continue to be the longest musician: Bob Marley died already in 1981 and Peter Tosh in 1987.