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Reggae Singer Robert “Robbie” Shakespeare Has Died

 Robert "Robbie" Shakespeare
Robert "Robbie" Shakespeare

On Wednesday, Jamaican bass guitarist Robert "Robbie" Shakespeare passed away. He was best known as part of the reggae and dub duo Sly and Robbie. He was 68 years old at the time. His death was announced on Twitter by Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sport. The musician had recently been hospitalized for kidney damage.

Shakespeare was a prolific bassist who played with reggae greats like as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Gregory Isaacs. He was born Robert Warren Dale Shakespeare in East Kingston in 1953.

His music encompassed the roots reggae, rockers, and dancehall genres, with distinct bass patterns that frequently used electronic effects. Shakespeare has collaborated with virtually every reggae artist, including U-Roy, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Sugar Minott, Ini Kamoze, Augustus Pablo, Yellowman, and Black Uhuru, as well as pop and rock artists such as Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Serge Gainsbourg, Yoko Ono, Grace Jones, Cyndi Lauper, Joe Cocker, Sting, Sinead O His influence on mainstream music cannot be emphasized.

Robbie Shakespeare (R) with Sly Dunbar (L
Robbie Shakespeare (R) with Sly Dunbar (L)

Sly and Robbie produced music for movie soundtracks, including "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Poetic Justice." The duo was nominated for 11 Grammy awards, with one win for best reggae album in 1998 for "Friends."


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