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Robbie Shakespeare: Reggae star dies at the age of 68

Robbie Shakespeare
Reggae star dies at the age of 68

Reggae star Robbie Shakespeare died at the age of 68.

© imago/POP-EYE

Reggae star Robbie Shakespeare dies after kidney operation in Florida. The musician was 68 years old.

Musician Robbie Shakespeare (1953-2021) died on Wednesday (December 8th) at the age of 68. The Jamaican bassist, keyboardist and producer formed the successful duo Sly & Robbie with Sly Dunbar (69). Shakespeare died in a Florida hospital after undergoing kidney surgery, as reported by the Jamaica Gleaner. The exact cause of death is unknown.

Robbie Shakespeare’s successful career

Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare had teamed up in the mid-1970s. Their breakthrough came with the album “Right Time of the Mighty Diamonds”. Shakespeare not only founded her own music label and produced her own albums, but was also an accompanist for greats such as Joe Cocker (1944-2014), Madonna (63), Bob Dylan (80), The Rolling Stones (since 1962), Robert Palmer (1949-2003) and Grace Jones (73) – Shakepeares funky bass can be heard in Jones’ iconic “Pull Up to the Bumper” (1981). In 2018 Sly & Robbie’s last album “Nordub” was released.

Shakespeare has been nominated for a Grammy 13 times in the course of his career and has won twice: In 1984 he and Dunbar were awarded the best reggae recording for the song “Anthem” and in 1998 they won “Friends” in the category of best reggae. Album. The music magazine “Rolling Stone” listed him in 2020 at number 17 of the greatest bass players of all time.

Jamaica’s top politicians “shocked and sad”

The Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness (49) has already commented on the death of the celebrated producer via Twitter. “When it comes to reggae bassists, no one can match the influence of Robbie Shakespeare,” he said. “He will be remembered for his great contributions to the music industry and Jamaican culture.”

And the Jamaican Minister for Entertainment and Culture, Olivia Grange (75), mourned in an official statement: “I am shocked and saddened after I have just received the news that my friend and brother, the legendary bassist Robbie Shakespeare, has died Robbie and Sly Dunbar were among the greatest musicians in Jamaica as Sly and Robbie. “


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