Bunny Wailer, the last member alive of the historical musical group ‘The Wailers’ is dead few days ago in Kingston. The loss of the beloved singer is so hard to accept for the whole reggae community around the Globe. It seems as if an era is ending up now… But we know his legacy will live eternally.
Bunny Wailer is considered one of the most important musicians of the Jamaican reggae scene together with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. The three of them founded ‘The Wailers’. Born in Kingston on April 10, 1947, with the name of Neville O’Riley Livingston, Wailer was therefore 73 years old and was one of the still living voices of the ‘golden age of reggae’, well known also for his solo activity and for recognised as one of the most respected artistic figures of Jamaica, the land around which upbeat music has intertwined its destiny to become a synonym and the most powerful tool for cultural dissemination. In the group led by Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer was the most uncompromising from the point of view of the Rastafarian religion, the most radical even in political choices,
Bunny Wailer was born in Kingston but grew up in the village of Nine Mile in St. Ann and met Bob Marley there. They became friends united by the fate of being raised in a single parent family, Bunny raised by his father and Bob by his mother. In Kingston, where the two families decided to move together, they met Joe Higgs who had just achieved success and who gave him his first singing lessons along with Peter Tosh and Junior Braithwaite, who would become their companions in the Wailers along with the two Beverley singers: Kelso and Cherry Smith.
With the international success of the Wailers, in 1973, started the first problems. Bunny Wailer couldn’t stand the rhythms and rules of touring. He left during some concerts in England and refused to continue the tour in the United States, asking to be able to perform with the group only in shows in Jamaica. Tosh also quitted the band, the breakup of the group was evident and Wailer soon started his successful solo career. With the single ‘Searching for love’ he launched his own label: ‘Solomonic’. The Artist published pieces signed by the Wailers and kept to sing covers of the old group. His success became global over the years being respected in the scene as a ‘living legend’.
That’s how some of the main people in the Jamaican music industry remembered him on social medias including Bob Marley’s sons.
Ziggy Marley: “What your hands do, it’s your own eyes that have seen so won’t you judge your actions to make sure the results are clean… Be not selfish in your doing pass it on” Bunny Wailer Livingston. As we share memories we say a blessed spiritual journey on Jah B. Wailers live on. Peter, Bob and Bunny.
Stephen Marley: Sending love to the Livingston family as brother Bunny Wailer makes his transition. A founding member of the Wailers, Bob’s step-brother, a reggae icon in his own right. He will be missed but not forgotten. “Live for yourself and you will live in vain- live for others, you will live again. In the kingdom of Jah, man shall reign. Pass it on”. Rest in power
David Rodigan: It is with a heavy heart that I have just learned of the passing of my long time friend and music maestro, Bunny Wailer. He was the sole surviving member of the greatest Reggae trio and band the World has ever known, the Wailers. An iconic figure who’s solo career and resulted in one of the most brilliant and inspiring albums in the entire Reggae lexicon… “Blackheart man”. his contribution to Jamaican music across the past 60 years is immeasurable. May his soul rest in peace knowing that he leaves us with a truly remarkable repertoire, if there’s one particular song that epitomises him and what he stood for is “Pass it on”.
Marcia Griffiths: Farewell my childhood friend & brother, I will always remember the days when you held my little hand & took me to little school every morning. Long live your music, legacy, and spirit. Rest well.
Playing for Change: RIP Bunny Wailer, a true Soul Rebel with the voice of an angel. Your music will live with all of us forever and now you are Immortal. Say hi to Bob and Peter and we will continue to fight for all the Oppressed Souls hear on Earth.
The Skatalites: Today we salute the living legend Jah B, another icon who shaped Reggae Music. Bunny Wailer was the last living legend member of the reggae group The Wailers which comprised Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. The sole survivor of the trio is no longer with us. Today is a sad day for Reggae, your music will live forever.