Life and Legacy
  • Life and Legacy | Early Life

    Bob's Early Life:

    • Bob Marley was born in Rhodan Hall in the north of Jamaica to 18 year old Cedella Marley.
    • Bob Marley, barely into his teens, moved to Kingston in the late Fifties.
    • Like many before them, Marley and his mother eventually settled in Trenchtown.
  • Life and Legacy | Early Wailers

    Early Wailers:

    • In the summer of 1963 Dodd auditioned The Wailing Wailers and, pleased with the results, agreed to record the group.
    • The Wailing Wailers released their first single, "Simmer Down", on the Coxsone label during the last weeks of 1963.
    • Marley was increasingly drawn towards Rastafari. In 1967 Bob's music reflected his new beliefs. Gone were the Rude Boy anthems; in their place was a growing commitment to spiritual and social issues, the cornerstone of his real legacy.
  • Life and Legacy | Bob Marley and the Wailers

    Bob Marley & the Wailers:

    • The Wailers' first album "Catch A Fire" broke all the rules: it was beautifully packaged and heavily promoted. It was the start of a long climb to international fame and recognition.
    • "Uprising", was released in May 1980. It was an instant hit, with the single, "Could You Be Loved" a massive worldwide seller.
    • At the end of the European tour Marley and the band went to America. Bob played two shows at Madison Square Garden but, immediately afterwards, was taken seriously ill.
  • Life and Legacy | Legacy

    Bob's Legacy:

    • Bob Marley died in a Miami hospital on Monday May 11, 1981.
    • The previous month, Marley had been awarded Jamaica's Order Of Merit, the nation's third highest honour, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the country's culture.
    • Bob Marley gave the world brilliant and evocative music; his work stretched across nearly two decades and yet still remains timeless and universal.
  • Life and Legacy | Bob and Rastafari

    Bob and Rastafari:

    • The Rastafari movement has been referenced in Jamaican popular music since the early 60s and by the late 70s its principles had come to define roots reggae's lyrical content.
    • Bob Marley held a firmly rooted commitment to the Rastafarian way of life.
    • It was Marley who introduced Rastafari to an international audience through his 1970s.

Bob Marley Biography - An Introduction

Bob Marley LegendThe Bob Marley biography provides testament to the unparalleled influence of his artistry upon global culture. Since his passing on May 11, 1981, Bob Marley's legend looms larger than ever, as evidenced by an ever-lengthening list of accomplishments attributable to his music, which identified oppressors and agitated for social change while simultaneously allowing listeners to forget their troubles and dance.

Bob Marley was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994; in December 1999, his 1977 album "Exodus" was named Album of the Century by Time Magazine and his song "One Love" was designated Song of the Millennium by the BBC. Since its release in 1984, Marley's "Legend" compilation has annually sold over 250,000 copies according to Nielsen Sound Scan, and it is only the 17th album to exceed sales of 10 million copies since SoundScan began its tabulations in 1991.

Bob Marley's music was never recognized with a Grammy nomination but in 2001 he was bestowed The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, an honor given by the Recording Academy to "performers who during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording." That same year, a feature length documentary about Bob Marley's life, Rebel Music, directed by Jeremy Marre, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Long Form Music Video documentary. In 2001 Bob Marley was accorded the 2171st star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame by the Hollywood Historic Trust and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, in Hollywood, California. As a recipient of this distinction, Bob Marley joined musical legends including Carlos Santana, Stevie Wonder and The Temptations.

In 2006 an eight block stretch of Brooklyn's bustling Church Avenue, which runs through the heart of that city's Caribbean community, was renamed Bob Marley Boulevard, the result of a campaign initiated by New York City councilwoman Yvette D. Clarke. This year the popular TV show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon commemorated the 30th anniversary of Bob Marley's passing with an entire week (May 9-13) devoted to his music, as performed by Bob's eldest son Ziggy, Jennifer Hudson, Lauryn Hill, Lenny Kravitz and the show's house band The Roots. These triumphs are all the more remarkable considering Bob Marley's humble beginnings and numerous challenges he overcame attempting to gain a foothold in Jamaica's chaotic music industry while skillfully navigating the politically partisan violence that abounded in Kingston throughout the 1970s.

One of the 20th century's most charismatic and challenging performers, Bob Marley's renown now transcends the role of reggae luminary: he is regarded as a cultural icon who implored his people to know their history "coming from the root of King David, through the line of Solomon," as he sang on "Blackman Redemption"; Bob urged his listeners to check out the "Real Situation" and to rebel against the vampiric "Babylon System". "Bob had a rebel type of approach, but his rebelliousness had a clearly defined purpose to it," acknowledges Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records, who played a pivotal role in the Bob Marley biography by introducing Marley and the Wailers to an international audience. "It wasn't just mindless rebelliousness, he was rebelling against the circumstances in which he and so many people found themselves."

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