Bunny Lee, a seminal figure in the world of reggae and dub music, has died at the age of 79. Known by the nicknames “Striker” and “Gorgon,” he left a lasting imprint on music in Jamaica and abroad.
Social media reports of Lee’s death circulated on October 7th, including tributes by the likes of of British radio DJ David Rodigan and Jamaican label Trojan Records. While no cause of death has been disclosed to the general public, he was known to have suffered from kidney disease in the months leading up to his passing.
The Reggae world has lost another iconic figure; Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee was unquestionably one of the most charismatic and inspirational record producers in Jamaican music with a phenomenal catalogue of hits. He drove the music forward across the decades & will be sorely missed. pic.twitter.com/SNDbM9k7g5
— David Rodigan (@DavidRodigan) October 7, 2020
Jamaican music giant, Bunny Lee, has very sadly passed away. Bunny was massively influential in shaping Jamaican music, starting as a record plugger in the 60’s, then, as a pioneering producer, from the rock steady era through to the dancehall years of the 1980’s.#ripbunnylee pic.twitter.com/oJADHzQonv
— Trojan Records (@trojanrecords) October 7, 2020
Remembering Bunny “Striker” Lee
The Guardian notes that Bunny Lee (born Edward Sullivan Lee) provided the reggae blueprint in the form of his 1968 Stranger Cole collaboration, “Bangarang” (although Toots Hibbert, who passed away in September, coined the genre descriptor). Through his record label, Lee’s, he also provided a platform for the likes of Slim Smith, Peter Tosh, John Holt and Delroy Wilson.
Lee’s influence did not stop at reggae alone. Working alongside King Tubby, he helped develop the reverb delay-heavy dub music – which would go on to influence electronic music genres like house, jungle, drum and bass, dubstep, dancehall and trip-hop.
No memorial details have been publicly disclosed for Bunny Lee’s memorial service at the time of writing.