Legendary reggae producer Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee dies aged 79

Edward O’Sullivan better known by the name Bunny “Striker” Lee, a Jamaican record producer and one of the major forces in the Jamaican music industry has died aged 79.

Prolific reggae and dub pioneer worked with decades of stars from John Holt and Slim Smith to Beenie Man and Buju Banton. In 1968 Bunny Lee became one of the first Jamaican music figures to fly to London, at the invitation of Island Records boss Chris Blackwell, who was licensing his hits for an appreciative young British audience. His rhythms would help to move Jamaican music from the ska and rocksteady styles towards the distinctive tempo and bounce of reggae. Do the Reggay by the recently deceased Toots Hibbert may have cemented the genre’s name, but Bangarang, a Lee track recorded with Stranger Cole, is regarded by many as the first reggae song. Lee had a UK Top 10 hit in 1969 with Max Romeo’s raunchy reggae track Wet Dream, which spent 25 weeks on the chart.

After battling kidney problems for the past few months. Lee has been in and out of hospital, and up to press time, the exact cause of death yet not known.

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