This Reggae Musician Is No More

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Late Bass guitarist Robert Shakespeare from the reggae group Sly and Robbie performing on the Miles Davis stage during a concert with Bitty McLean at the 43th edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival on July 12, 2009 in Montreux. (Photo credit: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

By NAN ET Editor

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Dec. 10, 2021:  Reggae music fans are mourning the loss of yet another great in the genre.

Robbie Shakespeare, the bassist in the legendary rhythm section Sly and Robbie, passed away Wednesday at the age of 68.

VP Records CEO Chris Chin was among those extending deepest sympathies to Shakespeare’s family, friends and fans yesterday.

 “Robbie played bass in a magnetic way,” said Chin.  “He was truly one of the best – he has left a great catalogue for us to enjoy.”

“The bass is everything in Reggae music and Robbie Shakespeare played his bass guitar like nobody else; he made the beat drop, speaker boxes shook and we rocked,” tweeted deejay David Rodigan. “His passing is a tragic loss; his contribution to the genre is immeasurable. RIP Robbie Shakespeare.”

“R.I.P Robbie Shakespeare,” tweeted UB40. “Another legend gone too soon.”

“We are saddened to hear the passing of legendary musician, producer, and artist Robbie Shakespeare. The world has lost a creative genius whose mark on bringing reggae music to the mainstream will last forever. Our condolences to his family and friends,” added Island Records.

Shakespeare was one half of Sly & Robbie also known as the Rhythm Twins.  Together, Sly & Robbie contributed to the careers of countless artists.  In a feature for Rolling Stone, David Browne described Robbie as a man “who helped move the genre into new sonic territory.” 

His bass can be heard on classic tracks by Black Uhuru, Grace Jones, Peter Tosh and many others.