Edward “Bunny” Lee, legendary Jamaican reggae and dub producer, has died. He was 79.
Trojan Records, which has a licensing deal with Lee, confirmed the news on its website. While no cause of death has been revealed, Jamaican broadcaster Clinton Lindsay reported that the producer was “battling kidney problems for the past few months.”
“Friendly, astute and affable, he always willing to offer assistance to others, remaining a great friend of Trojan over the years that followed its inception in 1968,” Trojan Records wrote. “He will be hugely missed to all of those who knew him personally or through his incredible catalogue of music.”
Lee grew up in Kingston, Jamaica, where as a teenager, he developed an interest in popular music. His first music gig was a part-time job as a record plugger for the popular JBC radio program, Teenage Dance Party. However, by the mid-1960s, he was producing records on his own and became one of the island’s biggest reggae producers, working with artists like Lester Sterling and Stranger Cole, Pat Kelly, the Sensations and more.
Most notably, Lee produced Eric Donaldson’s 1971 song “Cherry, Oh Baby,” plus songs by for Delroy Wilson, John Holt, Beenie Man and more. He also produced King Tubby’s 1974 album Dub From the Roots and The Roots of Dub a year
In October 2008, Lee received the Order of Distinction in the rank of Officer for more than 40 years of dedicated service to the music industry.