Rest in Power - Aston 'Family Man' Barrett
02/04/2024 by Reggaeville
REST IN POWER Aston "Family Man" Barrett (November 22, 1946 - February 3, 2024)
OFFICIAL STATEMENT - THE WAILERS:
With the heaviest of hearts, we share the news of the passing of our beloved Aston "Family Man" 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 time, as words cannot express our profound loss.
Aston Barrett was the original bassist for Bob Marley and The Wailers, a pioneer, a mentor, and most importantly, a true family man. His contributions to music were recognized with multiple honors:
- In 2012, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Bass Player Magazine.
- In 2020, he was selected as the number-one bassist by the staff of Bass Player Magazine, in their ranking of "20 legendary players who shaped the sound of electric bass."
- In 2021, he was honored with the Order of Distinction (Commander class) in the National Honours and Awards on Jamaica’s 59th Anniversary of Independence.
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.
We extend our deepest gratitude to everyone who has been part of the journey with us. Your love, support, and kind words have been a source of strength during this difficult time. Let us remember Family Man for the legend he was and the incredible memories he has given us. In his own words, "The older the moon, the brighter it shines," a reminder of the enduring light he shared with us all, shining brighter with each passing day.
Rest in peace, Family Man. 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.
"My teacher is gone. Aston Family Man Barrett his feel and spaces in his style has inspired me and so many more in our own creation. We will continue to study his genius for generations to come. We will miss his physical presence still his spiritual energy and teachings endures. Love to Aston Barrett Jr. and the entire Barrett family . RIP Father . JAH Live"
"Reggae music has lost another of its true legends with the passing of the great Aston Family Man Barrett musical director of Bob Marley and the Wailers and co-creator of so many classic recordings by artists such as Bunny Wailer, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Burning Spear, Yabby You, John Holt, the Upsetters, Delroy Wilson and innumerable others... the list is a lengthy one.
My heart and sincere condolences go out to his family and friends, especially Aston Barrett Jr.and all who loved him. I was honoured to spend many days, weeks and months with him over the years - on the road in the US and Europe, in Jamaica, in hotel rooms, on tour buses, at my flat in Brighton and places where he lived or stayed... he was a friend, inspiration and hero who taught me so much than just music after witnessing how he endured heartbreak, disappointment and even betrayal by those in whom he'd placed all his trust, hopes and dreams. Rest in peace dear Fams, you are forever in our hearts. Bless, John, Cath and family."
HON. OLIVIA "BABY" GRANGE
"I share with you my deep regret at the passing of Aston Francis Barrett, CD, popularly known as ‘Family Man’ or ‘Fams’. As a bass player, keyboardist and guitarist, he was one of the two famed Barrett brothers, Aston and Carlton, who were part of Bob Marley and the Wailers and Lee Scratch Perry and the Upsetters in the early years of Reggae Music.
He died at the University of Miami Hospital in Florida in the United States early this morning.
This pioneer of Jamaican music was also a mentor to many Jamaican artistes and musicians including the ‘Riddim Twins’, Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare.
As we commemorate Reggae Month 2024, I wish to express my sincere condolences to his wife, his children, his relatives and to members of the local and international Reggae Music fraternity. May the Angels welcome home Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett to Mount Zion."
IN THE PRESS
Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett, Bassist and Rhythmic Backbone of Bob Marley & The Wailers, Dead at 77
Influential "Architect of Reggae" played on near-entirety of Wailers' catalog in addition to classic albums by Burning Spear, Peter Tosh, and countless more. Full article @ ROLLING STONE
Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett, bassist with Bob Marley and the Wailers, dies aged 77
Influential musician also co-produced group’s albums and mentored many Jamaican artists. Full article @ THE GUARDIAN
Renowned reggae bassist, Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett has died
The legendary bassist played for reggae icons Bob Marley and the Wailers, Burning Spear and Augustus Pablo. Full article @ JAMAICA OBSERVER
'Iconic musician' Aston 'Family Man' Barrett dies at 77
Aston Barrett Jr, his son, took to Instagram to share the news of his father's passing after a prolonged medical battle. Full article @ JAMAICA GLEANER
Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett, Bob Marley & The Wailers’ Bassist, Dead At 77
Reggae musician Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett, who played bass guitar with Bob Marley & The Wailers, passed away this morning (February 3) at the age of 77 after a long illness. Full article @ DANCEHALLMAG.com
Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett obituary
Bassist and bandleader with Bob Marley and the Wailers who played a key role in bringing reggae to an international audience. Full article @ THE GUARDIAN
Photos of Aston 'Family Man' Barrett used in the news graphic by Jan Salzman