Reggae legend Robbie Shakespeare dies aged 68

Shakespeare’s friend, manager and producer Guillaume Bougard confirmed the musician’s death in a statement to CNN on Thursday. Bougard said Shakespeare He passed away in Miami on Wednesday of complications after kidney and liver transplants a year ago.

“We kept praying for a miracle, but it wasn’t enough,” Bougard said. “This is very difficult”.

Shakespeare was one half of the dub-reggae duo Sly and Robbie, which he formed with drummer Sly Dunbar.

Born Robert Warren Dale Shakespeare in East Kingston, Jamaica, in 1953, Shakespeare was a prolific bassist who worked with reggae greats such as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Gregory Isaacs, Reuters reports.

He also played alongside some of the world’s biggest rock and pop stars, including The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and Grace Jones.

Shakespeare’s home country is mourning his passing.

Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s culture minister, said in a statement Wednesday: “I am in shock and grief after receiving the news that my friend and brother, legendary bassist Robbie Shakespeare, has died.”

She added: “Robbie’s loss will be felt by the industry at home and abroad. He will be deeply missed.”

Prime Minister Andrew Holness paid tribute to the musician.

Holness posted On twitter: “When it comes to playing reggae bass, no one comes close to having the influence of Robbie Shakespeare. He will be remembered for his outstanding contribution to the Jamaican music and culture industry. May his soul rest in peace.”
Last year, Rolling Stone magazine included Shakespeare on its list of the “50 Greatest Bassists of All Time.” On the partnership between Sly and Robbie, the music publication said: “No other musical entity in the post-Marley era has been so ubiquitous in shaping the sound of Jamaica and bringing it to the world.”
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This sentiment was shared by Grange, who said that the pair were “among the best musicians in Jamaica.”

Offering his “deepest condolences,” he added: “This fantastic team took bass and drums to the highest level as they made music for themselves as a group and for many other artists locally and internationally.”

Sly and Robbie produced music for movie soundtracks, including “Poetic Justice.”

Shakespeare received 13 Grammy nominations, winning two awards: one in 1984 for best reggae recording for “Anthem” and again in 1998 for best reggae album for “Friends.”

Bougard added: “He is the most prolific bassist in history, having played and produced over 30,000 songs for artists ranging from Bob Marley to Bob Dylan, Peter Tosh to Paul McCartney, Black Uhuru to Madonna, among thousands of others.

“He was mentored early in his career by Aston Barrett, Bob Marley’s bassist, and quickly found his own signature: heavy but musical, thunderous but sweet.”


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