Robbie Shakespeare is one half of Jamaica’s iconic due Sly and Robbie. The legendary bassist made his earthly transition on Wednesday, leaving the music industry in mourning. The 68-year-old had been suffering from kidney problems, including the rejection of a donated organ. He died in Florida, where he had been based for the past few years.
Many artist have crossed paths musically with Robbie Shakespeare as a part of “Sly and Robbie” and their Taxi label. Many of those artist have sparked a massive response to his earthly transition throughout social media, and news outlets around the globe.
From the leader of the great country of Jamaica via Twitter Andrew Holness (@AndrewHolnessJM)
(1/3) My condolences to the family, friends and fans of Jamaican Reggae musician and record producer, Robbie Shakespeare of the Sly and Robbie fame. pic.twitter.com/Q1C1FZBQ4G
— Andrew Holness (@AndrewHolnessJM) December 8, 2021
From one of the influential members of the Jamaican Government Hon.Olivia Grange @Babsy_grange
I am in shock and sorrow after just receiving the news that my friend and brother, the legendary basist Robbie Shakespeare has died.
Robbie and Sly Dunbar, the drummer, as Sly and Robbie, have been among Jamaica’s greatest musicians. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/l8p9gCcKOV
— Hon.Olivia Grange (@Babsy_grange) December 8, 2021
This via Twitter came in from the Iconic Reggae label VP Records
We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Robbie Shakespeare, bass guitarist and record producer, best known as the one half of the reggae rhythm section and production duo Sly and Robbie. 🕊️ pic.twitter.com/nMj0ClzWCQ
— VP Records (@VPRecords) December 8, 2021
Maxi Priest posted this to flashback via his Twitter account (@MaxiPriest)
From L to R Robbie Shakespeare, Freddie Mcgregor, Sly Dunbar & me. Who can tell me where this is and what year it was? pic.twitter.com/sYXKW4uRzj
— Maxi Priest (@MaxiPriest) December 9, 2021
The Royal Family of Reggae Morgan Heritage had this to say via Twitter @morganheritage
This loss is truly unexpected. 💔 Thank you for your greatness and your contribution to Reggae music. We’ll never forget how you and Sly opened your arms to us back in 1992 and continued to be instrumental throughout our career. #RIP Robbie Shakespeare O.D. #SlyandRobbie pic.twitter.com/Ll5LQZ3PK9
— MORGAN HERITAGE (@morganheritage) December 8, 2021
David Rodigan had this to say via Twitter @DavidRodigan
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.His passing is a tragic loss; his contribution to the genre is immeasurable. RIP Robbie Shakespeare. pic.twitter.com/3JMMtbUrm1
— David Rodigan (@DavidRodigan) December 8, 2021
The Jamaican government awarded Robbie Shakespeare the Order of Distinction for his contribution to the development of reggae music. The Musgrave Gold Medal was awarded to him and Dunbar.
Last year, Rolling Stone Magazine honored Jamaican Robbie Shakespeare by naming him (#17) one of the 50 Greatest Bassists of All Time.
As a part of Sly and Robbie, Shakespeare worked with various reggae artists such as U-Roy, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Sugar Minott, Augustus Pablo, Yellowman, and Black Uhuru. His production work also extended beyond the reggae genre, covering various pop and rock artists such as Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Cyndi Lauper, Joe Cocker, Yoko Ono, Serge Gainsbourg, and Grace Jones. He was a part of the session groups The Revolutionaries and The Aggrovators before joining Sly and Robbie.
On behalf of everyone responsible for Reggae Vibe Media we send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Robert Warren Dale Shakespeare.