Reggae great Bunny Wailer, 73, dies

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Bunny Wailer.
Bunny Wailer.
Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Reggae legend Bunny Wailer, who co-founded The Wailers with Bob Marley in the 1960s, died Tuesday in Kingston at the age of 73, the Jamaican government said.

No cause of death was given, but the culture ministry said Wailer - his real name was Neville Livingstone - had been hospitalised since December.

Wailer was the last surviving original member of the Wailers after Marley died of cancer in 1981, and Peter Tosh was murdered in 1987.

Wailer, who was a childhood friend of Marley, won three Grammys over the course of his career, and in 2017 he was awarded Jamaica's Order of Merit - the country's fourth highest honour.

"We remain grateful for the role that Bunny Wailer played in the development and popularity of Reggae music across the world," Culture Minister Olivia Grange said in a statement.

"We remember with great pride how Bunny, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, took Reggae music to the four corners of the earth," she added.

Jamaican politician Peter Phillips also paid tribute to Wailer. He wrote on Facebook: "The passing of Neville 'Bunny Wailer' Livingston, the last of the original Wailers, brings to a close the most vibrant period of Jamaica's musical experience. Bunny was a good conscious Jamaican brethren believing and working for Truth and rights and Justice. Walk good. Rest in Peace."

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