Bunny Wailer Reggae Superstar and Co-Founder of The Wailers Dead at 73
Bunny Wailer, the three-time Grammy Award-winning reggae trailblazer who co-founded the legendary group The Wailers along with childhood friends Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, has died. Wailer had been the lone remaining member of the trio and died in his native Jamaica at the age of 73.
Wailer’s longtime manager Maxine Stowe confirmed the news of his passing on Tuesday morning at the Medical Associates Hospital in Kingston. Wailer had been undergoing treatment in Jamaica for health complications related to a stroke he suffered July 2020. No cause of death has been announced.
A statement released on The Wailers’ official Facebook page read:
“With great sadness, we announce the loss of our beloved brother NEVILLE ‘BUNNY WAILER’ LIVINGSTON, His life was a blessing and his memories remain a treasure, loved beyond words and missed beyond measures. You will never be forgotten… sleep well king.”
Born Neville O’ Riley Livingston, the musically instinctive singer/songwriter would join both Marley and Tosh on Third Street in Trench Town, known as the real roots of reggae in Jamaica. The three youngsters would go on to develop their musical prowess and form The Wailers in 1963. For the next ten years, the trio would embark on a series of international tours that would introduce the world to reggae music. In 1973, Bunny Wailer would leave Bob Marley and the Wailers to pursue a solo career after deciding he no longer wanted to tour, preferring to live and perform in Jamaica, where he remained deeply committed to his Rastafarian lifestyle. The Wailers would go on to record 13 studio albums and have several lineup changes after the departure of Bunny Wailer and the deaths of Marley, who died in 1981, and Tosh in 1987, respectively.