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Bob Marley

Feb 2, 1945-May 11, 1981

Artistfacts for Bob Marley

  • Marley was very generous with his money. He bought houses and supported many of the poor in Jamaica.
  • His mother Cedella was a 17-year-old Jamaican native, his father Norval was a white British military officer in his 50s. Bob rarely saw his father.
  • He left school at 15 to become an apprentice to a welder.
  • Marley spent a month in prison in 1968 for marijuana possession. He identified with the prisoners he met and started writing more political songs.
  • Until Jamaica gained independence from Britain in 1962, the radio stations played music for the white, upper class. Marley and other natives set up mobile sound systems to play the Reggae beats they were making.
  • Marley passed away from Melanoma cancer - a cancer which only affects white people. The cancer was located on his toe, under his toenail. He found out when he injured his toe during a soccer game in 1977, and the wound did not fully heal for nearly 3 years. His doctors were baffled as to how he could have Melanoma, but they came to the conclusion that since Bob Marley's father was a white Jamaican of English decent, Bob had the gene that made him susceptible to that form of cancer. Marley refused to have the toe amputated, as the Rastafarian religion forbids modification of the body. The cancer spread to his stomach, lungs and brain and killed him. (thanks, Rajina - sydney, Australia)
  • His nickname was "Tuff Gong." He set up a record label called Tuff Gong Records.
  • There is a Bob Marley museum on Hope Road in Kingston, Jamaica, where he once lived.
  • Lauryn Hill was married to Marley's son Rohan, who played football for the Miami Hurricanes. They have 3 children together.
  • Time magazine named Marley's Exodus album the best of the 20th century.
  • Jimmy Cliff helped Marley get his first record contract. Chris Blackwell of Island Records signed Bob Marley and the Wailers after Cliff, who was a famous reggae star, left the label.
  • His group The Wailers were kicked off a tour in 1973 because they were upstaging the headliners, Sly And The Family Stone.
  • Bob's oldest son, Ziggy, experienced early fame with the family act The Melody Makers, which also consisted of several other members of Marley's progeny. Damian Marley, the youngest of Bob's 13 children, is a half-brother to the rest of the Marleys, the product of Bob's former lover Cindy Breakspeare. It could be argued that Damian is the most successful of the many Marleys; he is the only reggae artist in history to ever win two Grammys on the same night. Stephen Marley is also an entertainer in his own right and for a short time he was part of Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers along with sisters Cedella and Sharon Marley. Cedella is the child of Rita Marley with Bob while Sharon was Rita's daughter from another man and was subsequently adopted by Bob.
  • Even though he died in 1981, Marley still sells more albums each year than any other Reggae artist.
  • Bono inducted Marley into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
  • Marley was a Rastafarian. As such, he was a vegetarian and believed that marijuana (ganga), is a sacred herb. Rastafarians do not cut their hair.
  • His name was actually Nesta Robert Marley, "Nesta" meaning messenger, as his mother Cedella had great visions of his birth and she believed he was blessed by God. His name was changed when he got a passport to travel to America to make money for the Wailers. The the worker taking his details said he should put his middle name down as Nesta because it would be seen as a girl's name in America. That is why he is called Bob Marley. (thanks, James - brightons, falkirk, Scotland)
  • Marley was employed as a waiter, assembly line worker, fork lift operator, and lab assistant before finally hitting it big.
  • Marley collapsed while jogging in 1980 in New York City's Central Park. He died eight months later from a combination of brain, lung, and liver cancer.
  • Two days before the Smile Jamaica Concert, a gunman went into Bob's house and shot him in the arm. Bob still performed at the concert to prove that a gun man would not scare him off.
  • Bob's first home was a one-room shack in the village of Nine Miles, St. Ann.
  • Marley married Rita Anderson on February 10, 1966. He had 4 children with Rita and another 8 with other women. Jamaican men were rarely monogamous. (thanks, Tony - Trenchtown, for above 3)
  • Bob Marley's home - Trenchtown - was so named because it was built on the sewers. (thanks, Matt - Perth, Australia)
  • In January 2008, the Jamaican National Archives reported that about 80% of the musical archives from the Jamaican Broadcasting Corporation have been stolen, including many rare recordings from Marley, Peter Tosh and many other Reggae artists. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
  • Marley didn't have a will, which resulted in numerous disputes over his estate since his death. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
  • Amid the violence and political turmoil in Jamaica, Marley spoke out for peace and understanding, blaming much of the problem on economic injustice. Said Marley: "You have to share. I don't care if it sounds political or whatever it is, but people have to share."
  • Bob Marley was buried with his red Gibson guitar, a soccer ball, a marijuana bud, a ring that he'd worn every day and a Bible open at Psalm 23.
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Comments: 59

I saw Bob Marley and the Wailers when they opened for Sly and the Family Stone in Lexington, KY in 1973. Sly was busted for drugs and detained so Bob and band played for over two hours. They were pretty awesome. It was the first I'd heard of him. I'd not quite turned 16. Sly took the stage at 11 pm and played for 45 minutes. Too bad they fired Bob and the Wailers - they really did steal the show. It was fantastic.John - Frankfort, Ky
Damian is the son of Nesta and Cindy Blackspear one time Miss World she was the second Miss World from JamaciaMary Ellen Davis - Batavia, Ny
Nesta had one wife Rita Marley just one ! really an amazing and patient woman. he had other children from other women but adopted them a.all so the children Rita had before they married at 17 .. they were together along time . Rita was with him when he died as was his moter and other friends. he died in Mamai
may 11th 1981 i think
Mary Ellen Davis - Batavia, Ny
dear austraila ,he did have part of his big toe and nail bed removed i think lack off proper follow-up is what became a problem when it surfaced again years later it was to late to treat
in many pictures you see him with his right toe bandaged he camncelled atour for the surgery which was preformed in Miami
Mary Ellen Davis - Batavia, Ny
all the rastfarians i know in nyc and woodstock smell amazing their body is thier temple and they take it seriouly the oils they use are delisious thier har is shiney and exitic smilling as thier body oils and natural lotions there are a lot of prroduts for dreads now peple use them or they would not make them.. may be some who can not affford to take care of them selves or live on the streets are who you are speaking of however you would gett pretty stinky i you were unable to bath as well i know alot of white people that seem to have that problem as well!Mary Ellen Davis - Batavia, Ny
no he was named Nesta Robert Marley by his father . it was changed by a passport officer who told his mother Nesta sounded like a girls name ..it is of Welsh origin meaning 'pure lamb' or can be used as 'messenger' pretty amazing huh? lok it up you will see it is also in the book bob marley is moter dictatedMary Ellen Davis - Batavia, Ny
it is important for african- americans and pepole of color to understand melenoma is a cancer of melenin the cells that carry color so dark people a able to get melanoma uaually on the bottom of thier feet so Nesta having it on his big toe is not unusual and all people of color should be aware of this to protect them selves from this very fast spreading cancer.. it is more easily detected in light skined people as it is seen easier ok you can and should look this up mary, r.n.Mary Ellen Davis - Batavia, Ny
@James - brightons, falkirk, Scotland...its Robert Nesta Marley, not Nesta Robert Marley, just sayingNick - Boston, Ma
"Tina Marie" Clark Wrote Both Of These Songs
No Brothers Blood

In Memory Of Bob
"tina Marie" Clark - New Orleans, La
I Am Pushed To Send This Letter To Every News Paper And Magazine In Both Us And Jamacia
To Simply Get An Answer Sience I've Been Ignored For So Many Years.
Why Are The Marley's Treating Me So Bad? That Sometimes I Feel Cursed And I Just Don't Think I Can Carry On My Heart Is In So Much Pain! Bob Marley's Late Mother B. Thought Enough Of My Talent As A Songwriter To Sing My Song "No Brother's Blood" Hear It At myspace.com/tinamariesoriginalsongs Yet No Marley Will Talk To Me Why? I Have Begged And Written Letters To Every Grown Marley, Yet I'm Being Ignored Where's The Love I Have Not Done Anyone Anything Wrong, This Is All That's Left That I feel I Can Do I Have Cried On My Knees To Bob And have Even Dreamed Of Bob He Said "No Woman No Cry" That was A I've Just Made Friends With John Watley On My Music Page What Talented Siblings You Are! Please If You Get A Chance Check Out My Music Bob Marley's Late Mother Sings One Of My songs "No Brother's Blood" at myspace.com/tinamariesoriginalsongsComforting Dream Yet This Is Still A Horrible Nightmare I Pray That I Soon Wake Up And It's Over I Have Much Love For The Marley's Yet I Ask Where's The Love? This Is The Truth And Nothing But The Truth I Have Sent This Letter To Every Adult Marley Alive For Years With Not One Response! I'm Tired Of Feeling This Way! I Love Bob Marley I Always Will !!!
My heart is heavy,I don't understand how the news of
16 years ago which was the best news in my life could make me so sad now, Mother I offer humblest apologized for any bad feeling that has a rose, I love Bob Marley and his music so much that today I sat in the back yard in the sun, I looked up at the sky as cried out to Bob to guide me show me who to talk to and how to say what my heart feels I am confused as to why my song was dropped after I had told so many people that you promised to record it 14 years I been on a high a low about it for years I'm all cried out, I am in shock, I feel like a motherless child which I am, Mother Marley it's the biggest honor in my life to have two Marley Women promise to record my song when I have never had any of my song
recorded now I my dream feels as if it has died!, of being a recognized songwriter that wrote positive songs

Then to have letters from both you and Bob Marley's Late Mother B. Telling Me That My Songs Will Be Recorded And Even Getting A Demo With The Late And Wonderful Mother B. Singing My Song "No Brother's Blood" Which Was Nothing Short Of An Honor To Have The Late King Og Reggae Bob Marley's Late Mother Sing One Of My Songs A Once Orphan And Foster Child Made Me So Happy, Yet After Mother B. Passed No One In Your Family Including You Would Talk To Me I'm Going To This Form Of Venting Because I've Cried So Much And Reached Out So Many times to The Marly Family Until I'm Confused As To What The Marley Name Means Except Of Course Bob And His Late Mother She Treated Me Good, I Want The Good Vibes Back.
I feel low I'm depressed to the point I see no point, I'm a good person who loves everybody see my pics, you'll even see the little Girl I sponsor each month W.Ghana her name is Mariama Yakubu, see her in my pics I brought her a bike and a goat for Christmas passed, see the different groups of children I have worked with, Katrina took everything we owned and moved us way to Texas,the song Mother B. is singing is getting a lot of attention and the people love the message,"No Brother's Blood because it's a highly needed message as well as"Jah Made The Universe Love Your Music, there are people interested yet I don't know where I stand with you and Mother B. what do I say to all those stars who ask when will No Brother's Blood be in stores I say soon hopefully, '
I look to the sky and felt Bob pretense saying it will be alright. Please let me know what to do,Please tell me what to tell
the large audience which inquire about No Brother's Blood, I'm up because I can't sleep lately, Damian please let me know what I did wrong, I think I deserve to know from you I've waited after Rita wrote me and said my song would be recorded on her next cd which has been 14 years ago I have all the letters form her both promising to record my song I have told all of New Orleans about this it's printed in 3 news papers and
TV, P.S see pictures of Rita And I When she preformed In New Orleans before Katrina, I'm Closing My Letter,never my heart.
Please Know I Only Came Here Because I Know Nothing Else I Can Do, The Marley Family Sings songs Of Love And Fairness, Peace And Love, Well I Believe As Bob Taught Me through His Music That I Must "Get Up Stand Up, Stand Up For My Rights, Remember Rita When you First Called My Home In 1992 To Inform Me That You Recived My Demo Of My tribute To Bob Titled "Jah Made America Love Your Music" You Said When I Mentioned I Would Have My Entertainment Attorney Contact You, You Convinced Me I Didn't Need No "White Man" In Our Bussiness I Trusted You And Didn't Demand A Contract Because Of That Statement Even Though Later You Promised Me A Signed Contract We Even Met At The Airport And Hungout For a Few Days At That Time You Informed Me That You Have Changed The Titled Of The Song To "Jah Made The Universe Love Your Music Which I Had No Objections I've Been Hanging On For 16 Years Of Heartache And Pain, I Wouldn't Wish This Nightmare On My Worst Foe!I don't Deserve To Be Treated This Way No One Does!
One Love,
Tina Marie Clark (504) 610-6805
"tina Marie" Clark - New Orleans, La
Actually, Bob Marley had 13 children, their names are Sharon Marley and Stephanie Marley (whom Rita already had before meeting Bob, but as far as I know he adopted them), Cedella Marley (their first child together), Karen Marley (Bob's second daughter), Stephen Marley, Damian Marley, David "Ziggy" Marley, Ky-Mani Marley, Rohan Marley, Julian Marley, Robert "Robbie" Marley, Imani Carole Marley (very difficult to find information on), and Makeda Marley (born 3 weeks after Bob had died). If you don't believe me, google all of their names :)Melissa - Palm Beach, Fl
Dude, if you're gonna make a post like this, do it properly:

Bob Marley never had a son named Ziggy, he had a son named "David" though..

Neither did he have a son named Steve - he had one named "Stephen"

You might call me a perfectionist -
I call YOU and your post a DISGRACE!!!!
Nick - Aalborg, Denmark
This is to lazer in buffalo New York....First, yes his cancer started in his toe ,but he didn't have it amputated it was against his Rastifarian religion to have anything amputated so, the the cancer spread to his brainHope - Nowhere, Australia
Marely is the best person with wonderful songs. He will always be in my heart. love you Nesta Robert MarelyElizabeth - West Covina, Ca
@Don from Elkhorn: You work in a hospital and don't wash your hands? What hospital is that? I hope I don't find myself requiring its services.Georgi - Sofia, Bulgaria
@lazer from Buffalo: Bob was married to the other 2 of the I-threes??? At the same time? Where did you hear this, not saying your wrong, just interestedTrevor - D.c, Dc
Wash your dreads? I work at a hospital and I don't even wash my hands!Don - Elkhorn, Ne
Bob did actually have 72 bugs in his dreads. Some of the bugs were lice. He also lost some of his hair due to chemotherapy, but he didn't lose all of it before he died. It is not a myth & I'm not saying dreads are disgusting just stating a well known fact.Adam - Newton, Il
ok to all you fools who dont think bugs live in dreads, get YOUR facts straight! brah with the clean dreads, where do you live? in the city where there is hardly any bugs anyways!? in a enclosed house/room where bugs have a hard time getting in? and how did u get ur dreads in a salon? from experience of having naturally occuring dreadlocks(meaning they were not made by hand) and living in a treehouse in the JUNGLE of HAWAII, theres TONS of bugs!!. ive had all kinds of bugs and spiders even cochroaches! i washed my dreads a few times a week even. and bob, dont know if he washed his dreads or not but its irrelevent anyways. he lived in the bush where there is LOTS of bugs(for all you city dwellers who think theres no bugs). and what a perfect nest, dreadlocks. it would be nearly impossible to keep all bugs out of dreads if you live where there is "life." and not in a "concrete jungle"Nigel - Haiku, Hi
those who say they found bugs in his hair post death... are either liars or just uneducated on the subject.... bob marley did not have hair when he died, so how could they...?Henrik - Bergen, Norway
god bless bob marley he woz the greatest piece loving man who exspressed his music .before eny other band .we should hear is songs more often and never forget a great man like him.Stephen - Liveverpool, United Kingdom
>>>Bob marley had a strange religion that you had to smoke pot and see religous things
So what you are saying is the only difference with most religions is that for his religion you have to smoke something before seeing the religious things?
Rox0r - Trenchtown, Ma
Gayle from Liverpoole is correct. You should modify that fact! Also, Zula is obviously undereducated, and it saddens those who are not to see such a waste in the world. No one is pushing religion or staples of that religion on anyone else. Religion is a choice and a freedom.

peacenlove (to everyone else)
Meg - Washington , Dc
bob marley is pretty effing cool and that thing about melanoma is bs bkuz black people can get it too... thats racist! shame on whoever wroted that!Bre - P-cola, Fl
Nick Zula that is the dumbest thing ive ever heard, why post slander about Nesta? Just wrong, take your closemindedness elsewhere.

one love
Cody - Janesville , Wi
Bob seemed to be a lonely man to me. Not in the sense that he didn't have people around him - it was more of a state of mind. I believe his alienation stemmed from his lack of contact with his father. His voice always had a sense of melancholy to it, even when he was singing about something happy. A very sensitive man.Neil J. - Calgary, Canada
It is absurd to say that Rastafari have a weird religion that revolves around getting stoned. The religion follows the Bible more closely than Christians do, at least the parts that don't talk about waging war with nonbelievers. They are a peaceful group of people who know their rights as human beings, so everybody is afraid of them. There are some racist Rastafarians - it used to be semi-popular for them to be black-power, because they blame the white man for exploiting what was once a prideful land (Africa), but their leader, Haile Selassie I, whom they held to be divine, urged them to support equality.

Who the hell said that he overdosed? People are so brainwashed... if he supports marijuana use he must be a drug abuser?

SKIN CANCER is not just a white disease. There is more than one kind of it, and like all diseases several are race specific, but there is no skin color that is completely safe from melanoma.

I've read many things I did not know about Bob Marley on this page.
Kyle Patrick - New Carlisle, In
I just did some research on melanoma and I found something called Acral Lentiginous Melanoma (ALM). It can occur under or near fingernails or toenails. It is the most common form of melanoma in asians and people that are dark-skinned. I read about another form of melanoma called Subungual melanoma. This cancer also can occur on the big toe and can develop in dark skinned people. Many believe that this form of cancer can occur in sites of chronic trauma. Maybe this is what Mr. Marley had.Soulangeana - Springfield, Il
I dont see why you guys say everyone w/dlocks has bugs in their hair. I have natural dreadlocks and i dont have bugs but what can i say bob marley is the greatest musician of all timeWildman - Vancouver, Canada
Half of jamaica is NOT rastafarian. i should know i live there!Bob's a legend, but hes not god (thats for chris!). beautiful writer and musician best days were the lee perry ones. screw chris blackwell. and no i dont know why trench town is called trench town.the lean to argument sound more realistic, ive been there alot and that seems sensible. Too bad we have all these impersonators. bob is bob and all these young kids are trying to be him. im tired of hearing a cheap immitation, bob was himself and so should they.Patrina - Kingston,jamaica, Other
Bob Marley was someone I never met. So I can't comment on his cleanliness. Often that doesn't really affect a person's message. Which he is remembered and loved for. BUT!
I have lived in Woodstock, NY for a long time and lived among many rastafarians. They were nasty people, racist upon whole. The paradox is that most of them had white wives. They smelled terribly due to their hair. Rastas do not comb, shampoo, or condition their hair *period*
Maybe this only exists in Woodstock, NY and the Jamacans who migrated their were outcasts in Jamaica. But I doubt it.
Trench Town has trenchs with lean-to's (shacks with one wall dirt) built into the trench walls. Hence the title Trench Town.
D - Nyc, Ny
iono but almost everybody in my school think that he died of overdoseBrian - Annandale, Va
IL saw Bob and the Wailers in Oakland in 1976. Best concert I ever saw. He stopped the cops from busting smokers by suddenly shifting to "hey Mr. Cop" in the middle of a song. During intermission, I saw the Grateful Dead (who often performed Bob's songs with great respect) smoking a number in the lobby during intermission. I will never forget Bob Marley's dedication to his art and his respect for his audience, even in the middle of Bablyon in 1976 -- it was life-inspiring.Daniel - Oakland, Ca
bob marley had 39 species of bugs in his hair when he diedTiddlywinks - Quebec, Canada
Anyone that would be so ignorant as to say that Bob Marley had bugs in his hair doesn't deserve to be called a fan. What a terrible lie to tell. It makes me sad to even see the words in print. Just because Rastafarians don't comb their hair doesn't mean they don't keep it clean with shampoo and conditioner just like baldheads do. Shame on those who wrote it.Legacy - Boston, Ma
i've been searching for a place like this to see what people think about B.M & now i found it:)!!so this is my first post:) i don't know what to say except that Bob was the greatest...his music toucht the hearts of alot of people includeing me!!!he died but still lives on in our heart and mind...i've been listening to his music for some time now(10 years) & painted his picture & the jamaican flag on my wall so that i can see him everyday when i wake up & say "YOUR THE MAN" !....PEACE BOB!!!WHE LOVE YOU!!Ruda - Lugoj, Romania
Bob Marley had a deadly form of skin cancer (melanoma) which affects 1 in 4 black or asian people, he never had his toe amputated because of his beliefs, he died of metastic melanoma not lung liver and brain cancer.Gayle - Liverpool , England
"bob marley had a strange religion"
dont belittle other people you jackass rastafarianism is not strange at all it's a native culture to jamaica, leave it alone.
by the way, if it were strange, i doubt about half of jamaica, maybe more, would practice it.
Josh - New York, Ny
i dont think he got cancer from his white gene, thats the stupidest thing ive ever heard, you get any cancer no matter what color u are....but bob was, and still is a GOD!! no one will ever be like bob.....
love you bob!!!!
Chris - North Vancouver, Canada
bob marley is the best! but I don't agree that he didn't have bugs in his hair.I have listened that he had almoust 31 kind of bugs.PEACE & LOVE RASTAGIRLAm - Bitola, Europe
Bob marley had a strange religion that you had to smoke pot and see religous thingsNick-zula - Paramus, Nj
Every Bob Marley fan should learn & be inspired from his music - what good is it that you just listen to his tunes and nod & say 'Bob Marley is the best , he is a legend' but you do not apply his teachings , motivation in everyday life??
Don't just listen to his music - do something about the message that is given.
Here's an idea to get you started - be more charitable if you're not already..help the needy in the 3rd world country. If you really love Bob - donate your time & money to the needy...in the memory of Robert Nesta Marley.
Rajina - Sydney, Australia
BOB MARLEY IS MY LOVE. if you love bob, check out sublime. they are my favorite band!Izzie - Lala, Hi
bob marley is the bestNikki - Brampton, Canada
He got cancer from his injured toe because it probably got infected and it went through his blood system which either caused his liver cancer or brain cancer and the pot cause lung cancer and probably brain cancer... wow he really got hit hard with 3 deadly cancers. Bob Marley rocks, he will always be known as the greatest Reggae musician of all time RIP BOB MARLEYGreg - Brantford, Canada
I was wondering...how was it that the cancer started in his toe?Brady - Fort Stockton, Tx
bob marley is a ledendary regga artist he died of a mixture of brain,lung and liver cancer but he is still rememberdJamie - Birmingham, Al
this is what i remember.......

1) the cancer started in his toe. he found that after being injured in a soccer game. he had the toe removed but not the leg below the knee. it was not skin cancer and the doctor(S) there were many examined the correct foot.

2) Marley's hair had NO bugs in it. Rastas don't cut or comb thier hair. but the DO wash it. Marley's hair was cut off when he started to lose it to chemo. it was preserved then placed on him again when he was buried.

3) Trenchtown is not built on a sewer, rather it gets its name from a large open-trenched sewer that runs through the neighborhood

4)He was married to 3 women. they sang backup and were known as the I-threes.
Lazer - Buffalo, Ny
hey, i just want to say first of all that i truly believe that Bob Marley changed the world in so many ways. I listent to him all the time and i find a sort of serenity in his songs. his legend will live on forever and it is a shame that he died then and that he is not around now to continue filling peoples ears and hearts with his music!

p.s i love gil! and her pickles....mmmm pickles
Alex - Toronto, Canada
I've heard it said that Bob died from what was initially a form of skin cancer that he refused to have treated. Ironic, really, because skin cancer is a 'white' disease and Bob wanted to speak up for black people.Martijn - Helmond, Netherlands
bob marley was born on feb 6, 1945....after he died, more than 50 species were found on his hair....Wahoo - Gen. Santos City, Other
Bob Marley is awesome! I love him so much I named my dog Nesta, which is a great name!Rachelle - Ashburn, Va
robert nesta marley was the greatest man to ever live... natural mystic is the greatest reggae song ever.. irie ;)Amanda - Port Washington, Ny
Bob Marley to me is the greatest musician of all time and "Redemption Song" is #1 in my list he is simply the greatest!!Leslie - Anahiem, Ca
Shortly before he died, Marley was awarded the British Order of Merit. So after that, he could officially be referred to as the Honorable Robert N. Marley, OM.Michael - New York City, Ny
Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" is IMO Marley's greatest composition. Is truly a timeless classic. Peace.Don - Pittsburgh, Pa
This is wery nice. i've been searching for a thing like this for years :SSvavar - ReykjavÃ?k Iceland, Iceland
Bob Marley is the best reggae musician of all time. Thats my two centsHans - Oakdale, Ca
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