He will be missed: Industry players mourn death of legendary producer Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee

The music industry is now mourning the death of legendary reggae producer Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee who died in hospital on Tuesday.

Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee died on Monday. (Photo: LargeUp.com)

He was 79 years old.

It is said that the producer, whose given name is Edward O’Sullivan Lee, had been ailing for some time. However, the cause of his death has not been disclosed.

Contribution to music

Since his passing, entertainers and music industry players have taken to social media to salute the man who made a solid mark in the reggae industry.

“My condolences and prayers to the Lee family, loved ones, friends and fans for the loss of my good friend Bunny Stryker Lee,” singer Maxi Priest said on Instagram. “Well well the list goes on another GIANT from the Groundation of our music coming out of Jamaica. The great Bunny Stryker Lee: Producer, pioneer, legend and disciple. King, your contribution to this world – music business and entertainment will never be forgotten. Your works will live on forever rest in Zion King.”

Johnny Wonder, who hailed Lee as his mentor, was also taken aback by the news.

“2020 Jah Jah RIP @bunnystrikerlee My mentor and friend. Striker is the one that introduced me to @kingjammysuperpower and history was made,” said the man who is the owner of Johnny Wonder Digital Distribution.

BBC 1Xtra’s DJ David Rodigan was also saddened by the news.

“The Reggae world has lost another iconic figure; Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee was unquestionably one of the most charismatic and inspirational record producers in Jamaican music with a phenomenal catalogue of hits. He drove the music forward across the decades and will be sorely missed,” he said.

A pioneer

Lee, who is regarded as a pioneer in reggae music, began his career as a record plugger in the 1960s.

It is also said that he played a pivotal role in reggae music, as Bangarang, a song he did with Stranger Cole, is believed to be the first reggae song.

In his time, he has produced hits like Eric Donaldson’s Cherry Oh Baby and John Holt’s Stick By Me. He has also worked with the likes of Slim Smith, Delroy Wilson, Peter Tosh, Horace Andy, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Buju Banton, Beenie Man and Sly and Robbie.

And in 2008, the prolific producer was rewarded for his contribution to music when the Jamaican government honoured him with the Order of Distinction.