In another blow to the world of music, “Sly and Robbie” just lost one-half of its duo. Famed bassist Robbie Shakespeare passed away at the age of 68. A close friend, Guillaume Bougard, revealed the cause of death as complications following kidney and liver transplants. Shakespeare died at a hospital in Miami on Wednesday, leaving a hole in the world of rock, blues, reggae, and jazz. Several other “greats” took to Twitter upon hearing the news including Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger.
Mick Jagger posted a touching tribute to the late musician which involved a photo of Shakespeare with one of his “groovy” tracks overlayed. Jagger says he is “saddened to hear of the passing” and that Robbie “added a dynamic groove to any track he touched.” He mentions enjoying their time working together and sends his thoughts to the family.
Check it out:
I’m so saddened to hear of the passing of Robbie Shakespeare. He was a legendary bassist, who added a dynamic groove to any track he touched. I always loved working with him so much. My thoughts are with Robbie’s family. pic.twitter.com/QiMli0D8ZI— Mick Jagger (@MickJagger) December 10, 2021
One fan shared an older picture of the “Sly and Robbie” member highlighting his contributions to “Jamaican rhythm” while some even called him an “unofficial member of the Stones.”
Keith Richards, co-founder, guitarist, and secondary vocalist of The Rolling Stones took to Twitter along with Mick Jagger to post his own personal tribute. Like Mick Jagger, he remembers Shakespeare as a dear old friend and “brilliant bass player.” Shakespeare played as the band’s opening act for their ’78 tour.
Here’s that tweet:
So saddened to hear my old dear friend Robbie Shakespeare has passed away! A brilliant bass player and I will always remember the best times with Sly and Robbie! My sympathy and condolences to his family and friends. Jah Wonderful! Keith pic.twitter.com/f3dLS1lvHr— Keith Richards (@officialKeef) December 9, 2021
The Legacy of Sly and Robbie
Music is something that followed Robbie Shakespeare right up until the very end.
“If you’re chosen by music, I don’t think you get to say it’s time to retire,” he told The Scotsman newspaper previously. “It’s a very gentle gift, and we’ve been trusted with it.”
The Sly and Robbie rose to fame during the mid-70s. The duo estimated taking part in nearly 200,000 recordings during their time together. That includes both their own tracks as well as tracks where they provided backup for other musicians, producers, and artists.
It’s the tour with Mick Jagger and the rest of the Stones that gave them their first international exposure. They went on to work with the likes of Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker, Madonna, and Sinead O’Connor.