Bob Marley, whose full name is Robert Nesta Marley, was a Jamaican singer-songwriter whose careful ongoing distillation of early ska, rock steady, and reggae musical forms blossomed in the 1970s into an electrifying rock-influenced hybrid that made him an international superstar. Bob Marley was born on February 6, 1945, in Nine Miles, St. Ann, Jamaica, and passed away on May 11, 1981, in Miami, Florida, in the United States.
Norval Sinclair Marley, a white rural overseer, and Cedella Malcolm, a Black daughter of a respected local customs (backwoods squire), were Marley’s parents. Marley would always be the only child of two different worlds. His music was influenced by the rough West Kingston ghetto streets, but his literary worldview was fashioned by the countryside. In addition to being a successful farmer, Marley’s paternal grandfather was a skilled herbal healer who earned respect in the isolated hills of Jamaica. Marley had always been quiet and aloof, with a piercing look and a fondness for palm reading. Preadolescent Marley was almost kidnapped by his absentee father (who had been kicked out of his own wealthy family for marrying a Black woman) and forced to live with an elderly woman in Kingston until a family friend accidentally rediscovered the boy and returned him to Nine Miles.
By the time he was in his early teens, Marley had moved back to West Kingston and was residing in Trench Town, a pitifully impoverished neighborhood frequently compared to an open sewer. Early in the 1960s, Marley, along with fellow budding vocalist Desmond Dekker, was exposed to the jazz-infused shuffle-beat rhythms of ska, a Jamaican mashup of American rhythm and blues and indigenous mento (folk-calypso) themes that were then becoming popular commercially. When Marley’s big opportunity to record with producer Leslie Kong presented itself in 1961, he chose to cut “Judge Not,” a bouncy ballad he had composed based on rural proverbs he had acquired from his grandpa. Marley was a fan of Fats Domino, the Moonglows, and pop vocalist Ricky Nelson. One of his other early songs was “One Cup of Coffee,” which was released in England in 1963 on Chris Blackwell’s Anglo-Jamaican Island Records label and was a cover of Claude Gray’s 1961 hit song.
Along with friends who would later go by the names of Peter Tosh (original name Winston Hubert MacIntosh) and Bunny Wailer (original name Neville O’Reilly Livingston), Marley also started a vocal ensemble in Trench Town. The group, who called themselves the Wailers because, in the words of Bob Marley, “We started out crying,” received voice training from renowned performer Joe Higgs. Junior Braithwaite, Beverly Kelso, Cherry Green, and other singers later joined them.
The Wailers joined Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One facilities in December 1963 to record Bob Marley’s song “Simmer Down,” which he had used to win a Kingston talent competition. “Simmer Down” was an urgent anthem from the Kingston underclass’ shantytown neighborhoods, in contrast to the lighthearted mento music that floated from the balconies of nearby tourist hotels or the pop and rhythm and blues that American radio stations were bringing into Jamaica. Being a great overnight success, it significantly changed the parameters for stardom in Jamaican musical circles. It was feasible to write honest, uncompromising songs for and about the disenfranchised people of the West Indian slums instead of copying the styles of foreign artists.
The Wailers’ Rastafarian faith, which was well-liked among Caribbean impoverished people who revered the late Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie I as the African redeemer prophesied in popular quasi-biblical prophecy, would become a pronounced source of identity (and a catalyst for class-related tension) in Jamaican culture. This courageous stance transformed both Marley and his island nation. It gave the urban poor a pride that would become pronounced The Wailers’ ska albums sold successfully in Jamaica in the middle of the 1960s, even during Bob Marley’s trip to Delaware in 1966 to visit his mother who had moved and to look for temporary employment. The Wailers’ contemporary statue was raised by the reggae music they produced between 1969 and 1971 with producer Lee Perry. After they signed with the (at the time) international label Island in 1972 and released Catch a Fire (the first reggae album intended as more than a mere singles compilation), their distinctively rock-contoured reggae found a worldwide audience. Additionally, it elevated the charismatic Marley to superstar status, which gradually caused the original trio to split up around early 1974. Before his death in 1987, Peter Tosh had a successful solo career, but many of his best records (such as Equal Rights  and Bunny Wailer’s excellent solo album Blackheart Man) received little attention (1976).
In 1974, “I Shot the Sheriff” by the Wailers gained popularity because of Eric Clapton’s cover. While this was happening, Marley led the talented Wailers band through a string of impactful, timely recordings. By this time, Rita Marley, one of Marley’s three wives, was performing with a trio of female vocalists. Rita Marley later found fame as a recording artist, just like many of Marley’s offspring. Natty Dread (1974), Live! (1975), Rastaman Vibration (1976), Exodus (1977), Kaya (1978), Uprising (1980), and the posthumous Confrontation were among Marley’s seminal albums. They featured powerful songs like “No Woman No Cry,” “Exodus,” “Could You Be Loved,” “Coming in from the Cold,” “Jamming,” and “Redemption Song” (1983). His compositions, which burst into life in Marley’s raspy voice, were explosive public revelations of inner realities, riveting in their narrative power and poetic in their rare fusion of rock, rhythm and blues, and risk-taking reggae styles. Marley created a passionate body of work that was unique, transcending all of his aesthetic influences.
He also held a prominent position in politics and was thought to have escaped an attempted murder with political overtones in 1976. Marley was the headliner of the “One Love” peace concert in April 1978 as a result of his efforts to mediate a cease-fire between Jamaica’s feuding political factions. In 1980, he was invited to play at the celebrations honoring Zimbabwe’s majority government and officially acknowledged independence thanks to his social influence. The Jamaican government presented Marley with the Order of Merit in April 1981. He succumbed to cancer one month later.
Marley was much more well-known in death than he had been in life, despite the fact that some of his songs were among the most well-liked and highly acclaimed in the canon of popular music. With over 12 million copies sold internationally, Legend (1984), a retrospective of his oeuvre, became the best-selling reggae album ever.
Bob Marley: Who was he?
Bob Marley was a Jamaican singer-songwriter whose 1970s synthesis of early ska, rock steady, and reggae musical styles bloomed into an electric rock-influenced mix that made him a global sensation.
What caused Bob Marley’s death, and why?
On May 11, 1981, in Miami, Florida, the United States, Bob Marley passed away from cancer.
Was Bob Marley a band member?
In Trench Town, Bob Marley established a vocal trio with friends that would become known as Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. The Wailers were the group’s given name because, as Marley said, “We began off crying.”
Who was Sean Taylor’s team?
Sean American football free safety Michael Maurice Taylor played four seasons in the National Football League (NFL) from April 1, 1983, to November 27, 2007. He was chosen by the Redskins with the fifth overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, and he played for them for four seasons before being killed in 2007.
How did Eric Rivera fare?
On January 10, Eric Rivera, who was found guilty of killing former Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor in November 2007, was given a 57.5-year jail term.