On the 2nd February 2014 another of Jamaica’s greatest talents was lost to the world.William ‘Bunny Rugs’ Clarke passed away, aged just 58 - the singer having been hospitalized in Florida earlier this year after falling ill with leukemia.
He grew up in Kingston, Jamaica and began his singing career in the mid-sixties, performing with Charlie Hackett & the Souvenirs before fronting the Inner Circle band later in the decade.
A spell in New York City, where he sang with Hugh Hendricks & the Buccaneers, and the Bluegrass Experience, was followed by a return to Jamaican shores in 1974 and sessions for Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry at the producer’s famed Black Ark studio. A brief partnership with Ricky Grant ensued, along with the superb solo collection, ‘To Love Somebody’, while a spell performing on the live circuit with the Wild Bunch further enhanced his growing reputation.
In 1976, Bunny was recruited by Third World as a replacement for their former lead singer, Milton ‘Prilly’ Hamilton and over the next three decades his soulful voice graced numerous Reggae and Soul classics, both with the group and as a solo artist.
His passing is a huge loss not just to the reggae music community but to music as a whole.