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Bob Marley Brief Biography


Bob Marley was a musical revolutionary, born on February 6th, 1945, in Nine Miles, Saint Ann, Jamaica. Marley's black mother was Cedella Booker, and his white father was a wealthy Englishman, Norval Marley. Because of racial bigotry, Norval was discouraged from seeing his son, and so Bob Marley was raised by his mother.

Times were tough for Bob and his mum, living in Kingston's Trench Town in the 1950s. Music became the young Marley's salvation, beginning with ska, and then moving onto reggae. In the 1960s, the gifted triumvirate of Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer began to make their mark with the legendary group, The Wailers.

In 1971 The Wailers signed for the prestigious Island Records, but broke up three years later. Bob Marley's career continued to thrive, though, with his song 'I Shot The Sheriff' being recorded by Eric Clapton. It topped the American singles charts in 1974, giving Clapton his first US number one. Clapton has said of Marley: "I'd say he was a great lyric writer, a musical genius and a great leader of men....A beautiful man...Very gentle." In 1975, 'No Woman, No Cry' really made Bob Marley as a solo performer.

Sadly, Bob was not to have many years left to enjoy his success. In 1976 Marley had a scrape with death, when he, his wife Rita, and manager Don Taylor, were all shot in a politically motivated assassination attempt. Marley received minor injuries, but Rita and Don's were more serious, though both eventually recovered.

In 1977 Marley developed cancer in his right big toe, after what was thought to have been an innocuous football injury. He was advised to have the toe amputated, but refused because of his Rastafarian beliefs of keeping the body whole. Despite a brave and dignified fight against the disease, Bob Marley passed away on May 11th, 1981, in Miami, Florida.

Bob Marley's legacy remains immense, and he is the most famous reggae artist of them all. He is often mentioned in the same breath as other music geniuses who died young, such as Elvis Presley, John Lennon, and Jimi Hendrix. His album 'Exodus', and his composition 'Redemption Song', are often included in lists of the greatest albums and greatest songs. Bob Marley was also a man of peace, and his song, 'One Love/People Get Ready', probably best sums up his philosophy.

- Paul Rance/

Rita Marley With Hettie Jones - No Woman No Cry - Review by Cardinal Cox

BOB MARLEY CDs available from - in association with

~Bob Marley & The Wailers
Island (Audio CD) - May 20, 2002
Bob Marley - 'Exodus Remastered' Exodus [EXTRA TRACKS] [ORIGINAL RECORDING REMASTERED]
~Bob Marley & The Wailers
Tuff Gong (Audio CD) - November 19, 2001
Songs of Freedom [BOX SET]
~Bob Marley
Tuff Gong (Audio CD) - November 15, 1999
BOB MARLEY CDs available from - in association with
Product photo Chant Down Babylon
Product photo Kaya [Bonus Tracks]

Bob Marley Links
Official Bob Marley website Official Wailers website The Wailers News Bob Marley, The Legend Bob Marley Lyrics by album

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