Africans all over the world will be commemorating the life of the late reggae music legend, Bob Marley who died on May 11 1981 after succumbing to terminal cancer at the age of 36.
Robert Nester Marley, the iconic star, transformed the world with his revolutionary songs that inspired many people and societies especially those grappling with colonization, injustice and slavery.
Marley has three children with his first wife Rita, adopting her two children as his own. Their three children Cedella, Ziggy and Stephen have all gone on to have musical careers, with Ziggy and Cedella working together in the group the Melody Makers.
Stephen Marley has produced and written songs for the youngest of the Marley siblings Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, who also is enjoying a robust career himself. Kymani Marley is also working on an album due this year, his sixth named New Heights.
Bob Marley’s influence in hip-hop culture is widespread. In 1999, Island Records released a compilation of Marley’s master vocal tracks with some updated performances featuring the likes of the late Guru of Gang Starr fame, Public Enemy’s Chuck D and others. Bob Marley’s music also had an impact on New Jersey trio the Fugees. (Former Fugee member Lauryn Hill has five children with one of Marley’s sons, Rohan.) Pot-loving rappers such as Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg also owe Marley a nod as the green leaf was a common fixture in the reggae singer’s life.
Marley released 13 albums over the course of his career alongside his band the Wailers, with Confrontation released in 1983 posthumously.
Bob Marley was born in the largest parish in the island of Jamaica, Saint Ann, which is also home to reggae stars Shabba Ranks, Burning Spear and black nationalist Marcus Garvey, also a hero of Marley.