Robbie Shakespeare dead at 68: 'Riddim Twins' bassist and star of Sly and Robbie with Sly Dunbar dies after surgery

REGGAE Icon Robbie Shakespeare, famously recognized as one half of the Jamaican duo Sly and Robbie, has passed away at 68.

A source confirmed the musician's passing to The Jamaica Gleaner on Wednesday.

Per The Gleaner, Shakespeare was reportedly living aboard after undergoing surgery for his kidneys at a Florida hospital.

The cause of death has yet to be confirmed.

"Robbie's loss will be severely felt by the industry at home and abroad. My condolences to those he leaves behind," Olivia "Babsy" Grange, Minister of Entertainment and Culture, told the Jamaica Observer in a statement.

In July 2020, Rolling Stone magazine placed Shakespeare at number 17 on The 50 Greatest Bassists of All Time List.

Shakespeare teamed up with drummer, Sly Dunbar, in the mid-1970s after well-established solo careers in the Jamaican music scene.

Sly was the drummer for Skin Flesh and Bones, while Robbie played bass and guitar for the Aggrovators before the two started making music together.

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The two were big fans of Motown and country music and drew inspiration from multiple influences. 

Sly and Robbie worked with iconic names in music throughout the 1980s including Grace Jones, Gwen Guthrie and Joe Cocker.

Following the death of the legendary musician, Bob Marley, the duo’s patented sound kept Jamaican music in the mainstream.

More to follow…

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