A Jamaican singer and percussionist, known as Bunny Wailer and can be described as the most underrated member of the popular reggae band, the Wailers. He sang alongside the icon Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, with three Grammy awards to his name and one of the longest standing bearers of reggae music.
Bunny was born on April 10, 1947, in Jamaica and a major part of his life involved a lifetime friendship with Bob Marley.
Son of Thaddeus Livingston who was known as ‘Shut’ in the streets and information of his mother is unknown. Single parent Thaddeus moved to Nine Mile, a district in Saint Ann, Jamaica with his son to live for some time. There he opened a grocery shop which many believed was only a cover for his ganja business and this is when Bunny met Bob Marley, sharing their love for music sprouted friendship. Bunny grew to be a conscious, self-assured individual. When his father’s business sold out, they left Nine Mile for Kingston. During this time Bob Marley’s mother had begun a romantic relationship with Thaddeus, so also made the move with her son to live in Kingston.
Despite Thaddeus’s ganja business and negative lifestyle, he wanted his son to pursue an upstanding profession. He sent Bunny to a good school and tried to stop him from associating with the street boys and music. Bunny refused to leave his dream and continued to make music with Bob and other friends. They had formed a group called the Wailing Wailers comprising Bunny, Bob Marley, a close friend Peter Tosh, and two short-lived members, Junior Braithwaite and Beverley Kelso. He was known as the ‘boasy’ boy of the group who always spoke with big words and dressed like a formal man.
In June 1967, Bunny was arrested and made to serve 14-months in prison for the possession of ganja. It was later discovered that he had no such thing on him during his arrest. After serving his time, Bunny returned to the group. They did a few tours and continued to flourish with their music. A shift occurred in the group when their audience fixed their attention on Marley. The group dissolved eventually as Bunny and Tosh decided to pursue solo careers.
Bunny had developed his faith in Rastafarianism and now streamlined his reggae music towards it. His songs are based on spiritual and political messages. Bunny and Beverley Kelso are the only surviving members of the Wailers. Bob Marley died from cancer and Peter Tosh was killed.
Bunny continues to sing and carry Bob’s and Tosh’s message to the world. His albums include Blackheart man, Protest, Struggle, Bunny Wailer Sings the Wailers, Tribute, Hook Line and Sinker, Cross Culture, The Wailers Legacy, and many more. He has enjoyed a mildly successful career with three Grammy awards to his name. Bunny is 71 years old and holds fast to his beliefs.
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