The first lady of Reggae and matriarch of the Marley family, Rita Marley, will celebrate her 76th birthday in true iconic fashion this year. To commemorate the auspicious occasion, aptly dubbed “One Rita: Royal and Rootsy,” the Marley family has planned a series of events culminating in a concert fit for the reggae queen.
Marley OJ, OD, LITT, cultural legend and philanthropist turns 76. The birthday activities aim to highlight and support Jamaican communities that are rooted in causes she is passionate about. Her grandson Skip Marley recently shared that “Her philanthropy, determination, work ethic and entrepreneurship is the meaning of community. That’s where I’ve seen the real meaning of love and heart.” True to form, the events scheduled over the month are humanitarian, environmental, wellness driven, and includes the launch of the annual Rita Marley Scholarship.
Birthday activities kicked off on July 9 with the One Rita Beach Clean-up at 8 Miles, Bull Bay. On July 15, Rita Marley Foundation will host The Reggae Closet, a FREE boutique for Kingston’s inner-city communities. A Women’s Health & Wellness Day at Jamnesia on July 13, will see providers of health services be contributed to the community for FREE. This is followed by a Bonfire Reasoning on the beach by women, for women, and about women. Other tributes include a Suite of Songs performance from the NDTC to recognize her cultural influence as Jamaica celebrates its 60th year of Independence.
The highlight of the celebrations is a star-studded concert that is streamed live on U.S.-based satellite radio giant SiriusXM, July 13th at 5pm Eastern/4pm Jamaica time on Bob Marley‘s Tuff Gong Radio channel 19 and the SiriusXM app. A slew of popular Jamaican entertainers, including Taurus Riley, Chaka Demus and Pliers, Carlene Davis, Richie Spice, Gem Myers, Dean Fraser, Shuga, and Christopher Ellis will join forces to fete ‘Queen Nana’, as she’s affectionately called.
The celebration culminates with a live video stream on Rita Marley’s birthday, July 25th, on Tuff Gong TV YouTube channel sharing with fans around the world highlights of the birthday activities as well as the SiriusXM concert.
Mrs. Rita Marley is the Matriarch of the Marley Family and a global reggae icon in her own right. No celebration in her honor would be even remotely complete without music. In addition to vocal support to Bob as a member of the I-Three (along with Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt), she has her own repertoire of classic solo releases, including “Who Feels It Knows It,” “Harambe,” “The Beauty of God’s Plan,” and the worldwide cannabis anthem, “One Draw.”
Music aside (or inclusive), Rita Marley is the trailblazer who spearheaded many important initiatives that helped to build the Marley legacy. This includes the world-famous Bob Marley Museum, established from her vision in 1986, and today a stellar attraction with almost shrine-like devotion from visitors. Under her stewardship, Tuff Gong International became a recognized leader in the recording and distribution of Jamaican music to the world.
Through these enterprises, as well as through her vital philanthropic and community-building initiatives (Bob Marley Foundation and Rita Marley Foundation), Mrs. Marley continues to honor her commitment to the works of her husband, her children and her people – by fulfilling her mission to enlighten, educate and entertain through her philanthropy and music.