The name Bob Marley is one which evokes a nostalgic feeling, especially with those who got to experience the magic of the man who bore the name. In his short but impactful life, he was recognized as the highly gifted singer-songwriter who popularised reggae music as a genre.
Though he started off in a musical group called the Wailers, he would later launch a solo career after moving to England. After launching his debut solo effort “Exodus” in 1977, the album did impressively well to stay on the British album chart for 56 consecutive weeks. To date, he is credited to be one the best-selling reggae artists of all time. Do read on for more details about him.
Bob Marley – Bio
The reggae legend whose life spanned 6 February 1945 – 11 May 1981 was born in Nine Mile, Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica, on the farm of his maternal grandfather. He was of a mixed race as his father Norval Sinclair Marley (1885–1955) was a white man from England, while his mother Cedella Booker (1926–2008) was an Afro-Jamaican.
Bob Marley wasn’t too close to his father because he was usually away on business trips. Sadly, when he was just 10 years old, his father died from a heart attack at the age of 70 in 1955. His mum later re-married a civil servant in the U.S named Edward Booker. This, in turn, made Bob have two step-brothers named, Richard Booker and Anthony Booker.
Wife And Children
Bob Marley was one artiste known to have had many women in his life when he was still alive. As a result, he also fathered a lot of children both in and out of wedlock. Officially on Bob’s website, he is said to have just 11 children, however, there are claims that he has more children than revealed. On the 10th of February 1966, he tied the knot to Alpharita Constantia “Rita” Anderson, the only woman he got married to.
Rita had two kids, Sharon who she had before getting married to Bob and Stephanie from an extra-marital affair. Marley ended up adopting both girls who make up a total of 11 kids on his official website. With Rita, he had three children, Cedella (born in 1967), David “Ziggy” (born in 1972) and Stephen (born in 1972). Other kids of his from his own extramarital affairs include:
Robert “Robbie” (born in 1972 to Pat Williams), Rohan (born in 1972 to Janet Hunt), Karen, (born in 1973 to Janet Bowen), Julian (born in 1975 to Lucy Pounder), Ky-Mani (born in 1976 to Anita Belnavis), Damian (born 1978 to Cindy Breakspeare).
Bob Marley no doubt touched a whole lot of lives with his music. This also made him a very rich artist as most of his earnings came from massive record sales, as well as world tours. Before his untimely demise, Bob was worth an impressive $30 million but years after his death, his post-mortem net worth now stands at a whopping $130 million.
When And How Did He Die?
Bob Marley fell ill in July 1997 and was later diagnosed with having a type of malignant melanoma which was found under a toenail of his. Though it was rumoured that the condition came about as a result of his frequent playing of soccer, this claim has since been debunked.
In the early stage of the discovery of cancer, Marley’s doctor adviced that his toe be amputated in order to prevent the cancer spread, however, Marley wasn’t thrilled about it as he knew it would greatly impede his live performances. Alternatively, he decided to settle for the removal of the nail in question alongside the nail bed. After the removal, in order to cover up the area, a skin graft was taken from his thigh to get it done. Though he was still relatively ill, he was performing at shows nonetheless. In fact, he scheduled a world tour in 1980.
That year, he released a studio album named, “Uprising,” he and his band completed a tour of Europe where he recorded the largest crowd performance of 100,000 people in Milan. On the 21st of September, while performing during his jogging tour at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Bob Marley collapsed. On rushing him to the hospital, he would learn that the cancer had spread to his brain. As a result of this, Marley only managed to perform one last show on 23 September 1980, just two days later, at the Stanley Theater (now called The Benedum Center For The Performing Arts) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
After this performance, his subsequent shows were all cancelled in order for him to begin intense alternative cancer treatment which included him abstaining from a certain variety of foods and drinks. Sadly, the eight-month-long treatment failed and Bob Marley decided to fly home to Jamaica. However, he never made it to Jamaica alive as his condition became worse while flying from Germany to Jamaica. In order for him to get quick medical attention, the plane landed in Miami and he was rushed to the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Miami (now University of Miami Hospital). He was pronounced dead 11 May 1981 at just 36 years of age.