The Passing of Bunny Wailer

Kingston, 2 March 2021 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has released the following statement at the passing of Bunny Wailer.

Minister’s Statement:

“At the request of the family, I announce with deepest sadness, the passing of the 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 Medical Associates Hospital in Kingston. He had been in hospital since December 2020.

We mourn the passing of this outstanding singer, songwriter and percussionist and celebrate his life and many accomplishments.

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.”

Bunny Wailer was awarded Jamaica’s fourth highest honour, the Order of the Merit in 2017.


Minister's charge

I remain hopeful because of the giftedness of the Jamaican people; their warmth and creativity; their dynamism and indomitable spirit that have resulted in excellence in all sectors.

It is by tapping into the gifts and awakening the spirit of the Jamaican people that we will, by God’s grace, re-group, re-engineer and re-open to a brighter future with Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.

Olivia Grange


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Jamaica, W.I.

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