Skip to main content

Legendary reggae producer Bunny Lee dies, aged 79

He was central to introducing reggae to an international audience

Jamaican reggae producer Bunny Lee has died aged 79.

Born Edward O'Sullivan Lee in Kingston in 1941, and affectionately known as "Striker" Lee, the producer and label head played a pivotal role in bringing reggae music to the UK. He helped to put the likes of Peter Tosh and Horace Andy on the world stage, and was a friend and collaborator with dub pioneer King Tubby.

According to Annette Wong-Lee, mother to four of his children, Lee died from respiratory failure.

In a statement, seminal reggae label Trojan Records said on Twitter, "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.”

In 2008, Lee was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican government, in recognition of his contribution to Jamaican music.