William “Bunny Rugs” Clarke, the lead singer of the popular reggae band Third World, passed away in Florida on Sunday after suffering from leukemia, according to a Miami Herald report on Tuesday. Clarke, who died at his home in Orlando, was 65 years of age. The report said that he died a week following cancer treatment at a hospital.
Clarke, the raspy-voiced lead singer, joined Third World in 1976. Prior to that, he was a member of the band Inner Circle and worked with Lee “Scratch” Perry – an accomplished reggae producer – in Jamaica. Clarke was on every one of Third World’s recordings except the group’s debut. In 1977, Third World had its most successful release, an album called “96 Degrees in the Shade.”
The chart successes included “How That We Found Love” and “Always Around.” They hit the United States and United Kingdom music charts with their releases.
Clarke leaves a wife and eight children.