Artist News

Bunny Wailer dies

By | Published on Wednesday 3 March 2021

Bunny Wailer

The last surviving original member of The Wailers, Bunny Wailer, has died, aged 73. He had been in poor health since having a stroke in July last year. Wailer’s manager Maxine Stowe confirmed the news of his death to the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

Born Neville Livingston in 1947 in Kingston, Jamaica, Bunny Wailer co-founded The Wailers with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh in 1963. They had their first hit with ‘Simmer Down’ the following year, and released their debut album, ‘The Wailing Wailers’, in 1965.

The band went on hiatus after Marley moved to the US and Wailer received a prison sentence for marijuana possession. However, they reconvened for 1970 album ‘Soul Rebels’, and released a further four albums between then and 1973.

After the release of their sixth album, ‘Burnin’ – which included the songs ‘Get Up, Stand Up’ and ‘I Shot The Sheriff’ – Wailer and Tosh left the band. Wailer said that a diet of processed foods and gigs in “freak clubs” on tour clashed with this Rastafarian beliefs.

Marley continued with a new line-up, under the name Bob Marley And The Wailers. Tosh and Wailer, meanwhile, embarked on solo careers. Wailer released his debut solo album, ‘Blackhearted Man’, in 1976 and went on to release many more solo records, most recently ‘Dub Fi Dub’ in 2018.

Marley died of cancer in 1981, while Tosh was murdered in 1987.