Who was Bob Marley?
Bob Marley was a Jamaican singer and songwriter. He contributed to popularizing reggae music in the world. He sold more than twenty million in his lifetime.
Bob Marley was born as Robert Nesta Marley to Norval Sinclair and Cedella Malcolm on 6th February, 1945. His father died of heart failure when Marley was merely ten years old. His mother, Cadella, was a singer-songwriter.
Neville “Bunny” O’Riley Livingston was his childhood friend in Sent Ann. Livingstone father, Thaddeus, and Marley’s mother has a daughter, and thus the two families started living together. In the 1950s, Marley lied in Trench Town, considered to be one of the poorest neighborhoods’ in the city. Marley and Livingston dedicated themselves to music, and Marley’s singing abilities improved under the guidance of Joe Higgs.
Greats Record by Bob Marley
Marley produced a few singles in 1962 with local record producer, Leslie Kong. They included songs like “Judge Not”, “Do You Still Love Me””Terrie” and “One Cup of Coffee”. Marley, Bunny Wailer (Neville Livingstone) and Peter Tosh (Winston Hubert McIntosh) formed a group together in 1963, eventually named The Wailers. Beverley Keslo, Junior Braithwaite and Cherry Smith later joined the band.
The record company owned by Coxsone Dodd Produced their single “Simmer Down” in January, 1964. It topped the Jamaican music charts. Their list album The Wailing Wailers’, from 1965, contained the hit single “Rude Boy”. In 1966, Junior Braithwaite and Beverley Kelso left the band.
The band released its first international album, ‘Soul Rebels’ in 1970. It was in collaboration with recording artist Lee “Scratch” Perry. It contained songs such as “Trench Town Rock”, Soul Rebel” and “Four Hundred Years”. In 1971, two of their popular albums were released, namely, ‘Soul Revolution’ and ‘The Best of the Wailers’.
The Wailers released their 1973 album ‘Catch a Fire’ with Island Records. It sold 14,000 records. Their next album, ‘Brunin’, was released in the same year. It continued the hit single “I Shot the Sheriff”. Eric Clapton released a cover of this song in 1974 and it topped the US charts.
Became a Star with his name ‘Bob Marley’
Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston left the band in 1974. Bob Marley started making music under the name of Bob Marley and The Wailers. The 1974 album, ‘Natty Dread’, included songs like “Rebel Music” and “Revolution”. The song “No Woman, No Cry” from the album ‘Live!’ was listed in the Top 40 in Britain, a first for the band. In 1976, the album ‘Rastaman Vibration’ was released.
It single “War” had lyrics taken from a speech by Hailed Selassie , a 20th century Ethiopian emperor, was seen as a spiritual leader in the Rastafarian movement. Marley supported the People’s National Party (PNP). The rival of this political party were supposedly behind the attempt to assassinate Marley in 1976.
Marley’s 1977 album, ‘Exodus’, was part of the UK charts for more than a year. Its singles “Waiting in Vain” and “Jamming” were quite a hit. Marley performed in Jamaica at the One Love Peace Concert in 1978 and at the official independence ceremony of Zimbabwe in 1980.
Achievements of Marley
Marley was awarded the ‘Peace Medal of the Third World’ by the United Nations in June 1978. He was also honored with the ‘Jamaican’ Order of Merit’ ( the third highest honor of the nation) by the Jamaican government in February 1981.
Posthumously, in February 2001, Marley was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awarded. In the same year, Marley was inducted to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was also inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. The album ‘Catch a Fire’ got inducted to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2010.
Legacy of Bob and Last Breath
Bob Marley changed his faith from Catholic to Rastafarian in 1966. He married Lapharita Constantia Anderson (Rita) on 10th February, diagnosed with malignant melanoma (an incurable skin cancer) in 1977. His death began to decline over the years. Marley died on 11th may, 1981 at Miami’s Cedars of Lebanon Hospital.
Jamaican Prime Minister Edward Seaga presided over his funeral services. He was buried at a chapel in Nine Mile. Marley’s posthumous album ‘Confrontation’ was released in 1983. His statues were erected at Kingston, Jamaica and Banatski Sokolac, village in Serbia. A movie, Marley, about the legendary musician, released in 2012.
The Wailers released their 1973 album ‘Catch a Fire’ with Island recs. It sold 14,000 records. Their next album, ‘Brunin’, was released in the same year. It contained the hit single “I Shot the Sheriff”. Eric Clapton released a cover of this song in 1974 and it topped the US charts.