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Reggae Legend Who Founded Band With Bob Marley Dies

Jamaica mourns 'conscious brethren' Bunny Wailer
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 2, 2021 2:38 PM CST

(Newser) – Bunny Wailer, a reggae luminary who was the last surviving member of the legendary group The Wailers, died on Tuesday in his native Jamaica, according to his manager. He was 73. Wailer, a baritone singer whose birth name is Neville Livingston, formed The Wailers in 1963 with late superstars Bob Marley and Peter Tosh when they lived in a Kingston slum. They catapulted to international fame with the album "Catch a Fire." The Wailers and other Rasta musicians popularized Rastafarian culture among better-off Jamaicans starting in the 1970s. The three-time Grammy winner's death was mourned worldwide as people shared pictures, music and memories of the renowned artist, the AP reports.

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"The passing of Bunny Wailer, the last of the original Wailers, brings to a close the most vibrant period of Jamaica’s musical experience," wrote Jamaican politician Peter Phillips in a Facebook post. “Bunny was a good, conscious Jamaican brethren." While Wailer toured the world, he was more at home in Jamaica's mountains and he enjoyed farming while writing and recording songs on his label, Solomonic. "I think I love the country actually a little bit more than the city," Wailer told the AP in 1989. "It has more to do with life, health and strength. The city takes that away sometimes. The country is good for meditation." A year before, in 1988, he chartered a jet with food to help those affected by Hurricane Gilbert.

(Read more reggae stories.)

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