William "Bunny Rugs" Clarke
The international entertainment world was shocked and sadden to hear about the sudden passing of the lead singer of the international Reggae band of Third World, William "Bunny Rugs" Clarke. He died of leukemia, Sunday, Feb 2 at his home outside Orlando Florida.
Bunny Rugs was born in Mandeville and raised on John's Lane in Kingston Jamaica. He was the son of an Anglican preacher. In the early 60's he joined Charlie Hackett and The Souvenirs, the resident band at the Kitty Club on Maxfield Ave. in Kingston Jamaica.
William Clarke joined the legendary Reggae band Inner Cirlce in 1969. In 1974 he recorded with top reggae producer Lee "Scratch" Perry and by 1976 he became the lead vocalist for Third World. Third World went on to produce such hits as, "Now That We Found Love." , "Try JAH Love" , "Always Around" and other hits. In 2013 Bunny Rugs along with his band mates celebrated 40 outstanding years of longevity in the business. Third World were frequent guests on the TV show Mystic Vibes TV in Chicago, IL. a tribute to their music career as well as an archive exclusive interview with Third World recently aired in a "Regggae Legends Salute" segment. That episode aired Christmas day 2013.
In addition to his musical acomplishments, his charitable nature was exemplified by his decision in 2012 to release a single "Land We Love" and donating the proceeds to the Jamaican Children's Heart Fund for which he was also a spokesman.
In an official government statement Jamaica's culture minister, Lisa Hanna said 'Bunny Rug's voice was distinct. He had a charisma and stage presence that was spellbinding with a smile that was vibrant."
William "Bunny Rugs" Clarke is survived by his wife and 8 children.