Bob Marley was a Jamaican singer, songwriter, and musician who was considered one of the pioneers of reggae. His musical career was marked by blending elements of reggae, ska, and rocksteady, as well as forging a smooth and distinctive vocal and songwriting style. He became known as a Rastafari icon, and he infused his music with a sense of spirituality as well as he was considered a global symbol of Jamaican culture and identity, and was controversial in his outspoken support for the legalization of marijuana, while he also advocated for Pan-Africanism. Bob Marley’s music career began in the year 1963 after forming Bob Marley and the Wailers. Their debut studio album was “The Wailing Wailers” in the year 1956. The group attained international success after the release of the albums Catch a Fire and Burnin’ (both 1973), and forged a reputation as touring artists. Following the disbandment of the Wailers in 1974, he released his debut studio album “Natty Dread” (1974) which was then followed by “Rastaman Vibration” (1976). He made his first TV show appearance in the music TV series, Whistle Test, which was originally titled The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1973. He ranks as one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with estimated sales of more than 75 million records worldwide. He was posthumously honored by Jamaica soon after his death with a designated Order of Merit by his nation. In the year 1994, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rolling Stone ranked him No. 11 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. His final album was “Uprising” which included “Redemption Song” and “Forever Loving Jah”. Bob Marley and the Wailers final album and their thirteenth album “Confrontation” was released in May 1983, two years after Marley’s death including the hit “Buffalo Soldier”. He dies at 36 and his death cause was skin cancer.
What was Bob Marley Known For?
- Being a Jamaican singer, songwriter, and musician.
- Being a global musical and cultural icon.
- Being one of the most successful and popular reggae musicians.
Bob Marley Cause of Death
It was in July 1977, Bob Marley was found to have a type of malignant melanoma under the nail of a toe which was a symptom of already-existing cancer. He had to see two doctors before a biopsy was made, which confirmed acral lentiginous melanoma. He rejected his doctors’ advice to have his toe amputated (which would have hindered his performing career), citing his religious beliefs, and instead, the nail and nail bed were removed and a skin graft was taken from his thigh to cover the area. Despite his illness, he continued touring and was in the process of scheduling a world tour in 1980. After the tour, he went to the United States, where he performed two shows at Madison Square Garden in New York City as part of the Uprising Tour. He collapsed while jogging in Central Park and he was brought to the hospital where he learned that his cancer had spread to his brain, lungs, and liver. His last concert took place two days later at the Stanley Theater (now The Benedum Center For The Performing Arts) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on 23 September 1980. The rest of the tour was canceled and Marley sought treatment at the Bavarian clinic of Josef Issels, where he received an alternative cancer treatment called Issels treatment partly based on avoidance of certain foods, drinks, and other substances. After eight months of effectively failing to treat his advancing cancer, Marley boarded a plane for his home in Jamaica. After landing in Miami, Florida, he was taken to the hospital for immediate medical attention where he died on 11th May 1981 at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Miami (now University of Miami Hospital). He dies at 36. The spread of melanoma to his lungs and brain caused his death. His final words to his son Ziggy were “Money can’t buy life.” He received a state funeral in Jamaica on 21st May 1981, which combined elements of Ethiopian Orthodoxy and Rastafari tradition. He was buried in a chapel near his birthplace with his guitar.
What was Bob Marley Real Name? Know About His Parents, Religion and Ethnicity
Bob Marley opened his eyes for the first time on 6th February 1945. His real name/birth name was Robert Nesta Marley whereas some sources give his birth name as Nesta Robert Marley with a story that when Marley was still a boy a Jamaican passport official reversed his first and middle names because Nesta sounded like a girl’s name. His born place was in Nine Mile, Saint Ann Parish, Colony of Jamaica. About his parents, he was born to Norval Sinclair Marley (father) and Cedella Booker (mother). Regarding his parents’ occupation, his dad worked as a supervisor at a plantation and his mom was a singer-songwriter. His father died due to heart failure at the age of 70 when Marley was only ten. Then, his mom married Edward Booker (Marley’s step-dad), a civil servant from the United States. From his mom’s second marriage, she gave birth to Richard and Anthony (Marley’s half-brothers). By nationality, Bob was British-Jamaican and he was from a mixed ethnicity. He has English and Afro-Jamaican ancestry. It is also claimed that he has traces of Syrian Jewish roots on his father’s side. About his religion, he converted from Catholic to ‘Rastafari’ religious faith, inculcating the movement’s rituals and culture into the reggae music he played in the year 1966. Aquarius is his Zodiac sign. He lastly celebrated his 36th birthday.
Focusing on his educational details, Marley went to Stepney Primary and Junior High School (Saint Ann Parish in Jamaica). In his school time, Bob Marley and Neville Livingston (later known as Bunny Wailer) had been childhood friends in Nine Mile. They then started to play music together while at Stepney Primary and Junior High School. Marley then left Nine Mile with his mother when he was 12 and moved to Trenchtown, Kingston. She and Thadeus Livingston (Bunny Wailer’s father) had a daughter together whom they named Claudette Pearl, who was a younger sister to both Bob and Bunny. The two boys (Bob Marley and Neville Livingston) started collaborating on music and then formed a band along with their friends, Beverley Kelso, Junior Braithwaite, and Peter Tosh.
Bob Marley Career Timeline
- Bob Marley initially recorded four songs, “Judge Not”, “One Cup of Coffee”, “Do You Still Love Me?” and “Terror”, at Federal Studios for music producer Leslie Kong. It was in February 1962.
- After a year, he alongside Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso, and Cherry Smith were called the Teenagers and they later changed the name to the ‘Wailing Rudeboys’. Then they were discovered by record producer Coxsone Dodd, and finally.
- Their very first single “Simmer Down” for the Coxsone label was released in February 1964 which became a Jamaican No. 1 selling an estimated 70,000 copies.
- Marley approached producer Leslie Kong and Kong combined the Wailers with his studio musicians called Beverley’s All-Stars, which consisted of the bassists Lloyd Parks and Jackie Jackson, the drummer Paul Douglas, the keyboard players Gladstone Anderson and Winston Wright, and the guitarists Rad Bryan, Lynn Taitt, and Hux Brown.
- Next, the songs recorded would be released as the album “The Best of The Wailers” including tracks such as “Soul Shakedown Party,” “Stop That Train,” “Caution,” “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” “Soon Come,” “Can’t You See,” “Soul Captives,” “Cheer Up,” “Back Out,” and “Do It Twice”.
- Between the year 1968 and 1972, Bob and Rita Marley (Marley’s first wife), Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer re-cut some old tracks with JAD Records in Kingston and London in an attempt to commercialize the Wailers’ sound.
- Signing with CBS Records in London in 1972, he embarked on a UK tour with soul singer Johnny Nash.
- The Wailers’ first album for the record was “Catch a Fire” which was released worldwide in April 1973.
- Their next album was “Burnin'” which was released in 1974.
- Later, the Wailers disbanded in 1974, with each of the three main members pursuing a solo career.
- His new backing band included brothers Carlton and Aston “Family Man” Barrett on drums and bass respectively, Junior Marvin and Al Anderson on lead guitar, Tyrone Downie and Earl “Wya” Lindo on keyboards, and Alvin “Seeco” Patterson on percussion.
- He then had his international breakthrough with his first hit outside Jamaica, with a live version of “No Woman, No Cry”, from the “Live!” album in the year 1975.
- This was followed by his breakthrough album in the United States, “Rastaman Vibration” in 1976 which reached the Top 50 of the Billboard Soul Charts.
- At the end of 1976, he left Jamaica and arrived in England spending two years in self-imposed exile.
- While he was in England, he recorded the albums “Exodus” and “Kaya”.
- The album “Exodus” included four UK hit singles: “Exodus”, “Waiting in Vain”, “Jamming”, and “One Love” (a rendition of Curtis Mayfield’s hit, “People Get Ready”).
- During his time in London, he was arrested and received a conviction for possession of a small quantity of cannabis, and later he returned to Jamaica and performed at another political concert, the One Love Peace Concert, again in an effort to calm warring parties.
- Under the name Bob Marley and the Wailers, 11 albums were released; four live albums and seven studio albums.
- The releases included “Babylon by Bus”, a double live album with 13 tracks, which was released in 1978.
- Their eleventh album “Survival” was released in the year 1979 which included the tracks such as “Zimbabwe”, “Africa Unite”, “Wake Up and Live”, and “Survival” which reflected Marley’s support for the struggles of Africans.
- In early 1980, he was invited to perform at the 17 April celebration of Zimbabwe’s Independence Day.
- “Uprising” (1980) was Bob Marley’s final studio album, and is one of his most religious productions; it includes “Redemption Song” and “Forever Loving Jah”.
- Bob Marley and the Wailers final album and their thirteenth album “Confrontation” was released in May 1983, two years after Marley’s death including the hit “Buffalo Soldier” and new mixes of singles previously only available in Jamaica.
Bob Marley Awards & Achievements
- 1976: Rolling Stone Band of the Year
- June 1978: Awarded the Peace Medal of the Third World from the United Nations.
- February 1981: Awarded the Jamaican Order of Merit, then the nation’s third-highest honor.
- March 1994: Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- 1999: Album of the Century for Exodus by Time Magazine.
- February 2001: A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- February 2001: Awarded Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
- 2004: Rolling Stone ranked him No. 11 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
- 2004: Among the first inductees into the UK Music Hall of Fame
- “One Love” named song of the millennium by BBC.
- Voted as one of the greatest lyricists of all time by a BBC poll.
- 2006: A blue plaque was unveiled at his first UK residence in Ridgmount Gardens, London, dedicated to him by the Nubian Jak Community Trust and supported by Her Majesty’s Foreign Office.
- 2010: Catch a Fire inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame (Reggae Album).
Bob Marley Wife and Children: Who was he married to?
Bob Marley was a married person. His first wife was Alpharita Constantia Anderson, known as Rita, with whom he married on 10th February 1966, in Kingston. Marley and Rita started dating in 1965. The duo is also blessed with four kids namely Cedella (b. August 1967), musician David Ziggy (b. October 1968), musician Stephen Marley (b. April 1972), and Stephanie Marley (b. August 1974). Bob Marley then began his affairs with Janet Hunt which 1971 which lasted a year. From their relationship, the duo was blessed with a son namely Rohan Marley who is a former soccer player and entrepreneur by profession. Then, he had a sexual relationship with Pat Williams in 1972 and from their love, the duo gave birth to their son, Robert Robbie in May 1992. Next, he dated Janet Bowen in the year 1972 which lasted for a year. From their affairs, they had a daughter namely Karen (born in 1973). After then, his next relationship was with Lucy Pounder which started in 1974 and ended in 1975 with a baby Julian Marley (born in June 1975). He started liking Caribbean table tennis champion, Anita Belnavis in 1975 and their affair ended after a year. In February 1976, she gave birth to their son Ky-Mani Marley, who has earned his reputation as a hip hop and reggae recording artist. He was in a relationship with model and beauty queen, Cindy Breakspeare in the late 70s. In July 1978, she gave birth to their son, Damian Marley. At the time of Marley’s death, he was having an affair with Yvette Crichton. The couple had reportedly started seeing each other in 1980. After his death, she gave birth to a baby girl, Makeda in May 1981. Several sources claim that Marley is Makeda’s father. His sexual orientation was straight and he was not gay.
How much was Bob Marley Net Worth?
Bob Marley was a singer, songwriter, and musician whose net worth was estimated to have $130 Million as of 2021 whereas his net worth was $30 million at the time of his death. He had a successful career who had released many songs and albums which have been still played by today’s generation. He is considered one of the most popular singers in the world. In 2016, Forbes calculated that Marley’s estate brought in twenty-one million dollars, making him the year’s sixth-highest-earning “dead celebrity” and unauthorized sales of Marley music and merchandise have been estimated to generate more than half a billion dollars a year, though the estate disputes this. After the death of Marley, the Jamaican court ordered that control of Marley’s estate remain with Chris Blackwell, the owner of Bob’s record company Island Music. Blackwell managed the estate through Island Logic Ltd until 2001, at which point full control passed to Rita Marley and his 11 recognized legitimate children. He made this fortune from his music industry which was his main source of wealth. His song was used in a “Visit Jamaica” commercial. He himself was seen in an Adidas ad.
How tall was Bob Marley?
Bob Marley was a handsome singer. His body type was slim. He had a height of 5 ft 7 in and his weight consisted of 64 Kg. He had a pair of attractive dark brown eyes and his hair color was black. His other body measurements is still to get disclosed. He had a trademark dreadlocks hairdo with a beard. He ate healthy to keep himself in the right shape. He also focused on eating fish, grains, vegetables, and various porridges. He also had Irish Moss Blends, fruit juices, and nut shakes.