Robbie's funeral for Feb 7
Robbie Shakespeare

A private funeral for Robbie Shakespeare is scheduled for February 7.

Members of the public will, however, get an opportunity to bid farewell to the legendary bass player during a viewing at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston on February 6.

The body will be available for viewing from midday to 3:00 pm.

Condolence books will also be opened at the enctre.

The announcement was made by Minister of Culture, Entertainment, Gender and Sports Olivia “Babsy” Grange, in an official release, yesterday.

“We know that members of the public have been waiting for a chance to say goodbye to Robbie, who — along with Sly — has contributed so much to our music. As we are still operating under COVID conditions, we cannot host a big event. But we think this an appropriate way to allow our people to express their appreciation for this talented musician while observing the necessary health and safety protocols,” said Minister Grange.

Shakespeare's funeral and interment will be attended by close family and friends and will not be open to the general public. However, arrangements will be made for live streaming of the service on social media and Public Broadcasting Corporation Of Jamaica (PBCJ).

Shakespeare died at his home in Florida, United States, on December 8. He was 68.

He formed part of the dynamic duo — Sly Dunbar and Robbie. The musician played on some of roots-reggae's finest moments, including Concrete Jungle by The Wailers, Bunny Wailer's Blackheart Man album, and Burning Spear's epic Marcus Garvey album.

He and Dunbar became world-famous during the 1980s, working with Black Uhuru, as well as elite acts like Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Grace Jones, Manu Dibango, and Mick Hucknall of Simply Red.

They won a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 1999 for the aptly titled Friends.

In 2020, Shakespeare was named number 17 on Rolling Stones magazine's 50 Greatest Bassists of All Time.

BY KEDIESHA PERRY Observer writer

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