This Day In Jamaican History

On This Day In Jamaican History: Bob Marley Was Born

Bob Marley

On this day in history, February 6, 1945, world-renown reggae icon and social activist Robert Nesta Marley,  aka Bob Marley, was born in Nine Mile, Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica. The Jamaican singer-songwriter became internationally famous for his blending of reggae, ska, and rocksteady genres, and beginning with the group The Wailers in 1963, created a distinctive style that reverberated with people everywhere. The Wailers disbanded in 1974, and Marley went on with a solo career when he moved to England. The move resulted in his album “Exodus” in 1977, which made him one of the best selling musical artists in history. Marley has sold over 75 million albums, with “Exodus” remaining on the British record charts for 56 consecutive weeks. In 1978 he released “Kaya,” and three years after his death in 1984 came his greatest hits album “Legend,” which is the best-selling reggae album of all time. On December 3, 1976, two days before a free concert organized by Jamaica’s Prime Minister Michael Manley as a way to reduce tensions between two battling political groups, Marley, his wife, and his manager Don Taylor were assaulted by unknown gunmen at Marley’s home. His wife and Taylor received serious injuries, but Bob Marley received only minor wounds from this attempt on his life, which was thought to have political motivations. He went on to perform as scheduled at the free concert before a crowd of 80,000 people. Marley’s last concert was at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on September 23, 1980. Marley was a committed Rastafarian, and his beliefs brought great spirituality to his music. He became a symbol of Jamaican culture and identity and is credited with making reggae music popular throughout the world. Bob Marley had seven children: Cedella Marley, David Nesta “Ziggy” Marley, Stephen Robert Nesta Marley, Rohan Anthony Marley, Julian Ricardo Marley, Ky-Mani Marley, Damian Robert Nesta Marley, and Sharon Marley Prendergast. Marley’s studio albums include The Wailing Wailers (1965), Soul Rebels (1970), Soul Revolution (1971), The Best of The Wailers (1971), Catch a Fire (1973), Burnin‘ (1973), Natty Dread (1974), Rastaman Vibration (1976), Exodus (1977), Kaya (1978), Survival (1979), Uprising (1980), and Confrontation (1983). His live albums include Live! (1975) and Babylon by Bus (1978).

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