Born Edward O'Sullivan Lee in 1941, he began his industry career as a record promoter for Duke Reid's Treasure Isle label in the early 1960s. Later that decade, he would found his Lee's label, through which he would produce hits for Lester Sterling and Stranger Cole, Derrick Morgan, Slim Smith and the Uniques, Pat Kelly, the Sensations and more.
Into the 1970s, Lee's work with friend King Tubby and session band the Aggrovators earned him recognition as a dub pioneer. His production techniques include use of sound effects and reusing the same rhythm tracks with different vocalists and DJs.
The latter half of the decade saw Lee produce work for Dennis Alcapone, U-Roy, Linval Thompson, Leroy Smart, Barry Brown and more. In 1983, Lee would produce the entire debut album of a then-10-year-old Beenie Man, known then as The Invincible Beany Man - The 10 Year Old D.J. Wonder.
In 2008, Lee was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican government for his musical contributions. The artist's life and work were examined in a 2013 documentary, I Am the Gorgon – Bunny 'Striker' Lee and the Roots of Reggae, directed by Diggory Kenrick. In 2015, a fire at Lee's Gorgon Entertainment Studio destroyed equipment with a value estimated by Lee at $100 million Jamaican dollars.
Find further tributes to Lee below
Jamaican music giant, Bunny Lee, has very sadly passed away. Bunny was massively influential in shaping Jamaican music, starting as a record plugger in the 60's, then, as a pioneering producer, from the rock steady era through to the dancehall years of the 1980's.#ripbunnylee pic.twitter.com/oJADHzQonv— Trojan Records (@trojanrecords) October 7, 2020
RIP Bunny Lee.— UB40 (@UB40OFFICIAL) October 7, 2020
Also known as "Striker" and the Gorgon, one of the greatest reggae producers ever, his early work including artists like Slim Smith, Derrick Morgan, Pat Kelly and Stranger Cole.
He went on to rival the early dominance of the Studio One and Treasure Isle labels pic.twitter.com/hNiInUHw8M
RIP Bunny Lee— ALI CAMPBELL & ASTRO (@UB40) October 7, 2020
We lose another Legend
Sleep Easy ❤️💛💚 https://t.co/5lyrCmkvPH
R.I.P Bunny Lee https://t.co/h2753JeVza— Death In Vegas (@DIVofficial) October 7, 2020
Very sad new for everyone at Pressure Sounds, Bunny Lee sadly passed away yesterday. A huge character and creative force in the business. He will be missed. RIP Mr Lee. #musicforever pic.twitter.com/zKjj5zDYjH— Pressure Sounds (@pressuresounds) October 7, 2020