The lone remaining Wailer had been in and out of the hospital since experiencing a stroke in July 2020.
Hailing from Trench Town, Bunny Wailer was a founding member of the legendary Wailers band which included Bob Marley and Peter Tosh.
Bunny Wailer's albums include Blackheart Man, released in 1976, and Rock 'n' Groove which came out five years later. His hit songs include Cool Runnings, Ballroom Floor, Crucial, and Bald Head Jesus. His brethren Bob Marley died of cancer on May 11, 1981, while Peter Tosh was shot and killed at his St Andrew home on September 11, 1987.
In 2017, the Jamaican Government awarded Bunny Wailer an Order of Merit, the country's fourth highest honour. The Government again recognised his contribution to Jamaican music in February 2019 with a Reggae Gold Award.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness expressed sadness at his death, indicating that Bunny Wailer affectionately called “Jah B”, was considered one of the longtime standard bearers of Reggae music, “Bunny Wailer” who rose from humble beginnings and catapulted to a giant on the reggae stage.
The Prime Minister said “Bunny Wailer has made a tremendous impact on the world setting the stage for a global movement a love for Rocksteady and reggae music. His legendary performances have touched the hearts and souls of millions of fans in Jamaica and across the world. Many generations have been privileged to have been exposed to his conscious music." Mr. Holness extended sincere condolences to the Livingston family, friends, his musical colleagues and many supporters across the globe.
Opposition Leader Mark Golding also paid tribute to the Lone Wailer noting that “It is with deep sadness that we have learnt of the passing of the Hon. Neville O’Riley Livingston, OM, known to the world as Bunny Wailer. Bunny grew up in Trench Town, South St. Andrew, the constituency I represent, so his passing truly hits home.”
Mr Golding said, “Bunny Wailer will live on as a cultural legend and icon. He was a founding member of the Wailers, which has been the most influential contributor to the development of Jamaican popular music and, by extension, Brand Jamaica. We are proud that Jah B hailed from Trench Town in South St. Andrew.”
On behalf of the People’s National Party, and from a grateful nation, we offer condolences to his family and friends. Mr Golding concluded by saying, “As we close out the celebration of Reggae Month 2021, we must now show recognition and appreciation for his immense contribution to our culture and our nation.”
And Minister of Entertainment and Culture Olivia Grange said she mourned "the passing of the patriarch, brother, friend and Jamaican music icon, the great Bunny Wailer."
"We mourn the passing of this outstanding singer, songwriter and percussionist and celebrate his life and many accomplishments, Grange said.
"We remain grateful for the role that Bunny Wailer played in the development and popularity of Reggae music across the world.
"We remember with great pride how Bunny, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, took Reggae music to the four corners of the earth.
Today, the last surviving Wailer has passed. His son Abijah said to me this morning that ‘Bunny Wailer cannot die, he has transitioned’.
What Bunny Wailer has done for Reggae, as one of the pioneers and standard-bearers of our country’s music, lives on.
Let us hold dear Bunny’s music, his memory and his family. I ask that you remember his family, including his wider Reggae family, in your prayers at this time,” Minister Grange said.
The three time grammy winner has received countless awards throughout his musical career. In 2012, the Government of Jamaica bestowed on him, the Order of Jamaica and then in 2017 the Order of Merit, the country’s fourth highest honor in 2017.
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