R.I.P. Aston “Family Man” Barrett, Bassist for Bob Marley & the Wailers

He was 77

Photo: Martin Raggio

BY Alex HudsonPublished Feb 3, 2024

Aston “Family Man” Barrett, bassist for Bob Marley & the Wailers and Lee “Scratch” Perry, has died. He was 77.

One of Barrett’s sons, Aston Barrett Jr., shared the news on Instagram, saying that his father had died “after a long medical battle.” He wrote, “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.”’

Barrett — who hailed from Kingston, Jamaica, and died in Miami, FL — was a member of Lee “Scratch” Perry’s backing band the Upsetters. He left that band to join the Wailers in the early ‘70s, and remained in the lineup until Marley’s death in 1981.

Barrett fathered 41 children — although his "Family Man" nickname ironically came before he became a parent.

Bob Marley's son Ziggy wrote on X, "My teacher is gone. Aston Family Man Barrett his feel & style has inspired me & so many others. We will continue to study his genius for generations and miss his physical presence still his spiritual energy & teachings endures."


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