New York – Reggae legend Bunny Wailer, who co-founded The Wailers with Bob Marley in the 1960s, died Tuesday in Kingston at the age of 73, the Jamaican government said.
No cause of death was given but the culture ministry said Wailer – his real name was Neville O’Reilly Livingstone – had been hospitalised since December.
Wailer was the last surviving original member of the Wailers after Marley died of cancer in 1981, and Peter Tosh was murdered in 1987.
Wailer, who was a childhood friend of Marley, won three Grammys over the course of his career and in 2017 he was awarded Jamaica’s Order of Merit – the country’s fourth highest honour.
“We remain grateful for the role that Bunny Wailer played in the development and popularity of Reggae music across the world,” Culture Minister Olivia Grange said in a statement.
“We remember with great pride how Bunny, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, took Reggae music to the four corners of the earth,” she added.