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Music » ‘A great loss for reggae’: Shaggy, Busta Rhymes pay homage to Bunny Wailer

‘A great loss for reggae’: Shaggy, Busta Rhymes pay homage to Bunny Wailer

Shaggy (Photo credit: Bang Media)

Shaggy has led tributes to the late reggae legend Bunny Wailer.

The 52-year-old Kingston-born dancehall megastar has declared the passing of the legendary singer — who died in hospital on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at 73 after suffering a stroke in 2020 — as “one of the lowest moments in the history of our culture.”

The “It Wasn’t Me” hitmaker added that losing Wailer — who performed in The Wailers alongside the genre’s hero Bob Marley — is a “great loss for reggae and the Jamaican people.”

He wrote on Instagram: “It’s clear that 2021 will not be a better year than 2020, this is one of the lowest moment in the history of our culture. Bunny Livingston aka: Bunny Wailer founding member and sole survivor of the trio the Wailers is no longer with us. This is a great loss for reggae and the Jamaican people and Reggae fans around the world. You have made us proud king’ rest well. Condolences to the family. R.I.P. Bunny .. your music will forever wail!!!”

Image source: Instagram – @direalshaggy

Busta Rhymes was also among those to honor Wailer.

Alongside a picture of the late music legend, the 48-year-old Jamaican-American hip-hop star wrote on Instagram: “Rest Well to the Icon & Legend Bunny Wailer.”

Image source: Instagram – @bustarhymes

Wailer’s sad passing was confirmed by his manager, Maxine Stowe, as well as Jamaica’s culture minister, Olivia Grange.

In a statement, Grange said: “At the request of the family, I announce with deepest sadness, the passing of patriarch, brother, friend and Jamaican music icon, the great Bunny Wailer. Bunny Wailer, whose given name is Neville O’Riley Livingstone, passed away at 9am today at Andrew’s Memorial Hospital in Kingston. We mourn the passing of this outstanding singer, songwriter and percussionist and celebrate his life and many accomplishments …

“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.”

Throughout his storied career, in which he performed tracks such as “Simmer Down” and “Stir It Up,” Wailer won three Grammys and was also honored with Jamaica’s Order Of Merit in 2017.