Robert Nesta Marley, better known as Bob Marley, was an influential Jamaican singer-songwriter widely regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. He helped bring reggae music to the forefront of the global stage.
Born on 6 February 1945 in Nine Mile, Jamaica, Marley grew up surrounded by music, and his love for it started at a young age. Bob Marley started his career with the Ska band The Teenagers, a group he formed with Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston in 1963.
Marley’s big breakthrough came when he formed the Wailers in 1963 with fellow musicians Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. The group gained international fame with the release of their 1972 album “Catch a Fire,” which marked the beginning of Bob Marley and the Wailers’ successful collaboration with producer Chris Blackwell.
Marley’s music was heavily influenced by reggae, originating in Jamaica in the late 1960s. He blended elements of reggae with other genres, such as Ska and Rocksteady, to create a unique sound that resonated with people worldwide.
Marley’s lyrics often addressed social and political issues, and his music became a symbol of resistance and rebellion for oppressed people around the world. His most famous songs include “No Woman, No Cry,” “One Love,” and “Redemption Song.”
Throughout his career, Marley produced numerous hit songs. His top ten most popular songs include:
1. No Woman, No Cry
2. Redemption Song
3. One Love/People Get Ready
4. Three Little Birds
5. Buffalo Soldier
7. Get Up Stand Up
8. Is This Love?
9. Stir It Up
10. I Shot The Sheriff
Bob Marley had a total of eleven acknowledged children from various relationships:
1. Sharon (with Rita Anderson Marley)
2. Cedella (with Rita Anderson Marley)
3. David “Ziggy” (with Rita Anderson Marley)
4. Stephen (with Rita Anderson Marley)
5. Robbie (with Pat Williams)
6. Rohan (with Janet Hunt)
7. Karen (with Janet Bowen)
8. Stephanie (born to Rita Anderson Marley; father disputed but acknowledged by Bob)
9. Julian (with Lucy Pounder)
10. Ky-Mani (with Anita Belnavis)
11. Damian (with Cindy Breakspeare)
Bob Marley’s life was tragically cut short at the age of 36 when he died on 11 May 1981 in Miami, Florida. His death was due to complications from metastatic melanoma, a type of skin cancer which had initially been discovered on his toe in 1977.
In his lifetime, Bob Marley created a lasting legacy through his music and influence, spreading messages of love, unity, and social justice. In 1999 Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. The impact of his contributions to the music industry and worldwide culture continue to be felt today.