Legendary bassist Aston Barrett and bandleader with Bob Marley has passed away at 77

Aston Barrett who was known as ‘Family Man; and was one of Jamaica’s most renowned studio musicians, has died at the age of 77
Legendary bassist Aston Barrett and bandleader with Bob Marley has passed away at 77. Guitarist Earl 'Chinna' Smith (left) and bassist Aston Barrett performing with Jamaican reggae group Bob Marley And The Wailers, at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, during the Rastaman Vibration Tour, 18th June 1976.Legendary bassist Aston Barrett and bandleader with Bob Marley has passed away at 77. Guitarist Earl 'Chinna' Smith (left) and bassist Aston Barrett performing with Jamaican reggae group Bob Marley And The Wailers, at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, during the Rastaman Vibration Tour, 18th June 1976.
Legendary bassist Aston Barrett and bandleader with Bob Marley has passed away at 77. Guitarist Earl 'Chinna' Smith (left) and bassist Aston Barrett performing with Jamaican reggae group Bob Marley And The Wailers, at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, during the Rastaman Vibration Tour, 18th June 1976.

Legendary musician Aston Barrett who was the bassist and bandleader of Bob Marley and the Wailers, has died at the age of 77. Aston who was known as ‘Family Man’ was a self-taught musician and passed away in Miami. His son Aston Barrett Jr posted the news on his Instagram and said: “With the heaviest of hearts, we share the news of the passing of our beloved Aston ‘Familyman’  Barrett after a long medical battle. This morning, the world lost not just an iconic musician and the backbone of The Wailers but a remarkable human being whose legacy is as immense as his talent. Our family is asking for privacy during this challenging times, as words cannot express our profound loss.

Aston Barrett Jr went on to say that “Aston’s music brought joy to millions, and his influence on reggae is beyond measure. He was a man of few words, but his words carried wisdom, kindness and love. His bass lines were not just the foundation of The Wailers’ music but the heartbeat of a genre that has touched hearts around the globe.”

Aston Barrett Jr ended his tribute by saying “Rest in peace, Familyman. Your legacy will live on forever in our hearts and through the music you’ve left us. We love you and will miss you deeply.”

Aston Barrett was born in Jamaica in 1946 and became part of Bob Marley’s band in 1971. Musicradar reported that “This role in the Wailers earned him the Family man nickname, though it would also be portentous in another way, he would also go on to father a reported 18 sons and 23 daughters.”

The Guardian reported that “Alongside his duties in Bob Marley and the Wailers, Barrett played on Peter Tosh Legalise It and Bunny Wailer’s Blackheart Man (both 1976) as well as Burning Spear’s landmark releases Marcus Garvey (1975), Dry and Heavy (1977) and Social Living (1978) and Pablo’s East of the River Nile (also 1978) though his session work slowed once the Wailers’ touring schedule intensified.”

Aston Barrett was brought up in Kingston in Jamaica and was the son of Viola (nee Marshall) and Wilford Barrett who worked as a blacksmith. Bob Marley passed away on 11 May 1981 and he was born today (6 February) 1945 in Nine Mile, Jamaica. 

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