Farewell – Tyrone Downie (1956–2022)

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Farewell – Tyrone Downie (1956–2022), pianist with Bob Marley and the Wailers

Downie joined Bob Marley and the Wailers in his late teens in the mid-1970s. He played keyboards on their albums beginning with 1976’s “Rastaman Vibration.” Downie’s second album with the Wailers was the acclaimed “Exodus,” featuring his piano on enduring songs including “Three Little Birds.” He remained with the Wailers until Marley’s death in 1981. Downie played keyboards with other reggae notables including Junior Reid, Burning Spear, and Steel Pulse, and he toured with Youssou N’Dour. In 2001, he released the solo album “Organ-D.”

Tributes are pouring in for veteran Jamaican keyboardist Tyrone Downie, who rose to prominence as a member of Bob Marley and The Wailers. Downie, who was reportedly ailing, passed away last Saturday at hospital in Jamaica, his partner, Bernadine Simpson, told The Gleaner. He was 66.

“He was feeling ill Saturday night [November 5] and we took him to the hospital. He died in Jamaica,” Simpson shared.

Both family and friends in the music industry are reeling from his sudden passing.