Jamaican reggae bassist Robbie Shakespeare (68) has died. He died in a Florida hospital from the effects of a kidney disease.
“When it comes to the bass in reggae music, no one was as influential as Robbie Shakespeare, tweets Jamaican Prime Minister Robert Holness. “He will be remembered for his tremendous contribution to Jamaica’s music industry and culture.”
Sly and Robbie
Shakespeare formed a legendary duo with his compatriot and drummer Sly Dunbar for many years that made a large number of albums and collaborated extensively with reggae artists such as Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. They were also members of the band Black Uhuru.
They were also active in pop and rock. They were much sought after studio musicians from the late 1970s and worked with Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Grace Jones and Madonna, among others.
Robert Warren Dale Shakespeare was born in 1953 in Kingston, the capital of Jamaica. He learned to play the bass guitar from bass legend Aston Barrett. He talked about this in an interview in 2012. “‘Shiiiiit,’ I told him, ”I want to know how to play that thing.'” The next day Barrett woke him up for his first lesson.
In 1973 he met Sly Dunbar. “The first time we played together was magical,” he later said. “I listen to him and he to me. We try to keep it simple.”
It was the beginning of many years of friendship and cooperation. In 1974 the two started a production company. their first record, soon forward by Gegoroy Isaacs, was an instant hit.
The successes are consecutive. By collaborating with Grace Jones in the 1980s, they also made a name for themselves outside of reggae. This is how they wrote the world hit Pull up to the Bumper with which Jones scored a worldwide hit.