Influential Reggae Producer Bunny Lee Dies at 79

He is considered a pioneer of dub music
Influential Reggae Producer Bunny Lee Dies at 79
Bunny "Striker" Lee — a Jamaican record producer lauded in the reggae world as a pioneer of dub music — has died. U.K. label Trojan Records, who began licensing Lee's work in the 1970s, confirmed the artist's passing today. While a cause of death was not revealed, Jamaican broadcaster Clinton Lindsay noted that Lee had been "battling kidney problems for the past few months. Lee was 79.

Born Edward O'Sullivan Lee in 1941, he began his industry career as a record promoter for Duke Reid's Treasure Isle label in the early 1960s. Later that decade, he would found his Lee's label, through which he would produce hits for Lester Sterling and Stranger Cole, Derrick Morgan, Slim Smith and the Uniques, Pat Kelly, the Sensations and more.

Into the 1970s, Lee's work with friend King Tubby and session band the Aggrovators earned him recognition as a dub pioneer. His production techniques include use of sound effects and reusing the same rhythm tracks with different vocalists and DJs.

The latter half of the decade saw Lee produce work for Dennis Alcapone, U-Roy, Linval Thompson, Leroy Smart, Barry Brown and more. In 1983, Lee would produce the entire debut album of a then-10-year-old Beenie Man, known then as The Invincible Beany Man - The 10 Year Old D.J. Wonder.

In 2008, Lee was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican government for his musical contributions. The artist's life and work were examined in a 2013 documentary, I Am the Gorgon – Bunny 'Striker' Lee and the Roots of Reggae, directed by Diggory Kenrick. In 2015, a fire at Lee's Gorgon Entertainment Studio destroyed equipment with a value estimated by Lee at $100 million Jamaican dollars.

Find further tributes to Lee below