Robbie Shakespeare dies aged 68

Robbie Shakespeare has died aged 68 credit:Bang Showbiz
Robbie Shakespeare has died aged 68 credit:Bang Showbiz

Robbie Shakespeare has died aged 68.

The Jamaican reggae artist - who is best known as one half of rhythm section and production duo Sly and Robbie, alongside Sly Dunbar - has been remembered by Jamaica's Culture Minister Olivia Grange following his passing.

She said in a statement: "[Sly and Robbie] took bass playing and drumming to the highest level as they made music for themselves as a group, and for many other artistes locally and internationally."

According to Jamaica's The Gleaner newspaper, the bassist and record producer had recently undergone kidney surgery and was in hospital in Florida.

Jamaica's Prime Minister Andrew Holness paid tribute to the late star.

He wrote on Twitter: "My condolences to the family, friends and fans of Jamaican Reggae musician and record producer, Robbie Shakespeare of the Sly and Robbie fame.

"The legendary bassist Robbie Shakespeare played a significant role in recording and producing albums for various Reggae artists including Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, U Roy, Culture, Burning Spear among other big names.

"When it comes to Reggae bass playing, no one comes close to having the influence of Robbie Shakespeare. He will be remembered for his sterling contribution to the music industry and Jamaica’s culture. May his soul Rest In Peace. (sic)"

Robbie worked with the likes of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bob Dylan, Sir Mick Jagger, Sir Paul McCartney, and Madonna, among many others, and he won two Grammy Awards during his career, after being nominated for 13.

Aston Barrett, of Bob Marley's reggae band The Wailers, taught Robbie to play bass.

He went on to join forces with Sly in the mid-1970s, and they released six albums, the last being 2014's 'Dubrising'.

Speaking about their partnership in 2005, he said: "Sly might start with a drum tone, and I say: 'Boy, where the tempo at?' He say, 'Ay, nice one, got you, just do your thing.'

"And I might fall in doing my thing - and everything just falls in place."