National Library of Jamaica
JUNIOR BRAITHWAITE (1949 - 1987)
Junior Braithwaite at the age of fourteen sang lead vocals on the Wailers 1965 breakthrough hit It Hurts to Be Alone. The ‘Wailers’ group later became Bob Marley and the Wailers (Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston) but Braithwaite is generally remembered as the original lead singer of the then six member group which also included Beverley Kelso and Cherry Smith. Braithwaite was leading vocalists on three other Wailers tune, Habits, Straight and Narrow Way and How Many Times.
Born Franklin Delano Alexander Braithwaite on April 4, 1949 in Trench Town, he was with the Wailers for eight months until he migrated to Chicago. He returned to Jamaica to revive his music career but was tragically killed when gunmen shot him and fellow musician Lawrence “Chakka” Scott on June 2, 1999.
Braithwaite was the second member of the Wailers to meet a tragic; Peter Tosh was shot at his home on September 11, 1987.