Bob Marley was born in Jamaica in February 1945 and died from cancer on May 11 1981. Today marks the 34th anniversary of Marley’s burial near his place of birth in Jamaica. Marley is one of the best selling musicians of all time, with over 75 million records sold, and many believe him to be one of the most important musicians of all time. Marley was unquestionably the first worldwide superstar to emerge from a third-world country.
Marley was laid to rest in a mausoleum atop the highest hill near the village of Nine Mile, Jamaica. Bob’s embalmed body was placed in a heavy bronze coffin along with his guitar, a bible, opened at psalm 23 and a stalk of marijuana placed there by his wife Rita. To this day, the anniversaries of Marley’s birth, death and burial are celebrated across the world. The anniversary of Marley’s death is a public holiday in Jamaica.
To many Bob Marley was known simply as “the Rastaman,” partly in reference to his 1976 album Rastaman Vibration and partly because he followed the Rastafarian way of life. Rastafarianism is an Abrahamic religion which developed in Jamaica, its followers worshiped the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I. The Rastafari movement was a key element in the development of reggae music in Jamaica.
It is very well known that Marley was a fan of the use of marijuana. Bob considered that cannabis was a “healing herb,” and “aid to meditation” and he campaigned widely for the legalization of the drug. The following facts are less well known.
Bob’s full name was Nesta Robert Marley, but his first and middle names were swapped around after a passport official remarked that Nesta sounded like a girls name. The date of birth on his birth certificate was incorrect because it took his mother two months to register his birth.
Marley was of mixed race and as a result he was called “white boy” by his peers as he grew up. This made Bob feel isolated but was instrumental in forming his character and helped him to build confidence and self esteem.
Clash Music claim that Marley was able to read palms and that, much to the shock of his mother many of his predictions came true.
The Telegraph reports that for many years Bob drove a BMW Bavaria motor car. It seems that Marley was not necessarily a fan of the German luxury car maker, he liked the brand because he said that BMW stood for Bob Marley and the Wailers.
Marley was once sacked from a tour for being too good and too charismatic. Sly Stone took Bob and the Wailers on a 17 date U.S. tour as his support act but sacked them after just four dates because they were getting more attention than he was.
Bob was a renowned ladies man and had children with several different women. it is said that his favorite “chat-up” line was to ask a girl “Yuh wan have ma baby?”
In 1976 Bob was injured by gunmen who attacked him in his home. As a result of the attack he relocated to London, England, where he lived for several years.
Marley was found to have a melanoma under the nail of his big toe. He was advised to have toe amputated but refused on religious grounds. As a result the cancer spread throughout his body and eventually killed him. It was Bob Marley’s wish to die in Jamaica but while traveling from Germany to Jamaica while gravely ill, his health deteriorated and he was rushed to hospital in Florida where he died.
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