William "Bunny Rugs" Clarke, the lead singer of reggae band Third World, died in Florida at the age of 65, yesterday.
Clarke would have turned 66 on Thursday. He was ailing for some time and missed a number of engagements celebrating the 40th anniversary of Third World last year, reportedly suffering from leukemia.
The Jamaica Observer reports that, "According to Colin Leslie, a close friend of the singer, Bunny Rugs passed away at 11:00 pm Sunday at his home in Orlando, Florida. He was released from the Intensive Care Unit of an Orlando hospital last week."
Clarke who was born in Mandeville, Jamaica replaced ‘Prilly’ Hamiltion as Third World's lead singer in 1976.
Before joining Third World, Clark was lead singer for the Inner Circle band. He would later rejoin Inner Circle members: keyboardist Michael “Ibo” Cooper, guitarist Stephen “Cat” Coore, and drummer William (Willie) Stewart in Third World.
The following three part video of Third World's performance at a live concert in Frankfurt, Germany during their 1993 world tour shows the band in peak performance and highlights why Third World is arguably the best band to come out of Jamaica.
See Bunny Rugs at his best in Part II.
Third world signed with Island Records and had chart toping hits including "Now That We Found Love," originally by the American group the O'Jays, and "Try Jah Love," which was written and produced by American singer Stevie Wonder in 1982.
Clark is survived by his wife and eight children.