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INFORMATION VINE * The History of Bob Marley *

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INFORMATION VINE * The History of Bob Marley * Empty INFORMATION VINE * The History of Bob Marley *

Post by Paul Thu 21 Dec 2023, 10:17 am

The History of Bob Marley

INFORMATION VINE * The History of Bob Marley * 72a2c81b9b3a875dc46d52f14af7327d
Photo Courtesy: [Eddie Mallin/Wikimedia Commons]
From Jamaica to Asia, America to Africa, Bob Marley has spread his positive vibrations across the globe. His influential music of peace, solidarity, and original culture has altered the state of his country, the music industry, and the state of mind of his fans. Bob Marley lived a life of joy and awareness while enduring scrutiny from his adversaries.

He prevails in our hearts and playlists because of his drive to not give up and his mission to bring peace and togetherness to his comrades. Take a trip across the globe and see how and why the history of Bob Marley has lasted throughout the decades.

Nine Miles

On February 6, 1945, Robert Nesta Marley, famously known as Bob Marley, was born in Nine Mile, Jamaica. His birthplace is a rural community located within the mountainous areas of the city of St. Ann Parish. He was born to Cedella Booker, who had him at the age of 18 years old. Bob's father, Norval Sinclair Marley, was a Caucasian British naval captain who was almost 35 years Cedella's senior.

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Photo Courtesy: [nic/Wikimedia Commons]

His village in Nine Mile was filled with indigenous and ancestral African culture. The community would adhere to the pillars of African traditions by engaging in storytelling and passing down familial and spiritual information.


Cedella and Norval wedded the year of Bob's birth in 1945; however, the marriage was not approved by the elders of the community for the reason of Norval being a Caucasian man. Yet, the two decided to tie the knot because they were sharing a baby together.

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Photo Courtesy: [Reggaeville/YouTube]

After Bob was born, Norval traveled with the Navy, yet still supported Cedella and Bob by sending money. After a few years, Norval returned from his assignments and he, Cedella, and Bob lived together for a while in St. Ann. As time passed on, Norval made a significant change in Bob's life.

Kingston, Jamaica

In 1950, at the age of five years old, Bob's father decided to move him to Kingston, Jamaica to be in better conditions than Nine Mile. Bob was to live with his father's nephew who was a businessman by trade. Norval dropping off Bob was the last time that the future icon ever saw his father.

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Photo Courtesy: [yonolatengo/Wikimedia Commons]

In Kingston, the living arrangement lasted for eighteen months. At 7 years old, Cedella learned that Bob was not attending school at all and that he wasn't living with his father's nephew, but with an older couple. At that point, she retrieved her son and brought him back to Nine Mile.

Trench Town

During the mid-to-late 1950s, young Bob Marley decided to leave his village in Nine Mile and move back to Kingston, Jamaica where it was new but still familiar. He stayed in Trench Town, an area filled with poverty, squatter settlements, and rude boys that would try to antagonize Bob because of his lighter skin tone.

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Photo Courtesy: [876commercials/YouTube]

He learned to protect himself to survive, earning the childhood nickname "Tuff Gong". Although underdeveloped, the culture in Trench Town was rich and filled with the African spirit. Here, Bob shared the love of music with his friend "Bunny" by learning how to play the guitar together.

Musical Developments

Bob had learned much about music by visiting the local bars that presented live performers. He also became good at the guitar by copying the strings he heard from records and small shows. Bob was also musically inspired by American singers like Ray Charles, Fat Domino, and Al Green.

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Photo Courtesy: [William Morris Agency/Wikimedia Commons]

By 1960, the music industry was starting to form in Trench Town. Bob and Bunny Livingston took the opportunity seriously by learning how to sing to the popular brand of Jamaican music, Ska. They also started working with Peter Tosh, who would later become a member of their group.


Bob was excited about this opportunity to become a real musician on stages, but his mother had other concerns. She wanted to ensure that he had a future just in case music didn't work out for him. So, when Bob left school at only 14 years old, Cedella matched Bob with a welder to become his new apprentice.

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Photo Courtesy: [William M. Plate Jr./Wikimedia Commons]

Bob was reluctant to take the apprenticeship, but he did. One day while on the job, Bob was welding, and a small piece of steel was lodged into his eye! From that moment, Bob stopped welding and began to solely focus on his musical career.


In 1962, Bob met singer Desmond Dekker who was also an aspiring musician. He introduced Robert to a few other prominent young teenagers who were also emerging into the musical scene. The boys were then introduced to Leslie Kong, who gave Bob his first chance at making a record.

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Photo Courtesy: [JABLESPANOL/YouTube]

His first records were covers from the singer named Claude Gray which included " Terror", "One More Cup of Coffee", and "Judge Not". Bob was exploited by only being paid 20 dollars for all the singles. On top of the low pay, the fans did not connect to his music or sound.

The Wailers

Bob Marley soon realized that he wouldn't fare well singing other people's music, so he decided to make a change. He, Deville "Bunny" Livingston, and Peter McIntosh decided to come together and form the infamous group, The Wailers, in 1963. From this moment, the boys focused on breaking into the Jamaican music scene.

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Photo Courtesy: [Bob Marley/YouTube]

Additionally, The Wailers had three other group members: Beverly Kelso, Junior Braithwaite, and Cherry Smith. They were also vocalists that Joe Higgs, a Trench Town vocal teacher, thought would be a good addition. However, after a few recording sessions, these three decided to leave the group, living it to Bob, Peter, and Bunny.

"Simmer Down"

Later, The Wailers were introduced to Clement Sir Coxsone Dodd. He was a producer and owner of Seminal Jamaican Records. The group was interested in working with him because of the reputation he had in Kingston and for his soulful harmonies influenced by American singers like Al Green and Curtis Mayfield.

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Photo Courtesy: [Studio One/YouTube]

With Bob as their lead singer, The Wailers started using the studio at Seminal Jamaican Records and created their first song together called "Simmer Down". Over the course of a year, the song began to show promise by reaching the top of the Jamaican charts in 1963.

Small Success

"Simmer Down" became a small hit in Trench Town because the lyrics were a musical warning for the kids of the town to control their temper and aggression or situations in street life would only become "hotter". With these lyrics, Bob and The Wailers were capable of reaching many of Trench Town's youth.

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Photo Courtesy: [Bob Marley - Topic/YouTube]

The Wailers made a significant splash in the music department once their record hit the streets because the lyrics were riddled with the under-served lifestyle of the Trench Town residents, which the listeners could heavily relate to. From this point, The Wailers decided to continue making connective music.

More Records

The song "Simmer Down" became a hit within a year. The record sold over 80,000 copies throughout Jamaica, which was a huge deal in the 1960s. The song took The Wailers to the next level of performing the record at local bars and amateur musical showcases.

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Photo Courtesy: [Celaur/Wikimedia Commons]

The more records The Wailers recorded and released, the more followers they attained in Trench Town and across Kingston. Coxsone and the group decided to continue their momentum by following up with more records, so they created the songs "Rude Boy" and the early version of "One Love".


By 1965, more Jamaicans were taking a leap into the now established music industry. Because of the new influences, the sound started to shift into something new. The upbeat, horn-dominated sound of Ska music was being altered into a slower-paced, off-beat sound that would be introduced as "Rocksteady".

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Photo Courtesy: [Warinhari/Wikimedia Commons]

Rocksteady is the foundation of the easy-listening sound of reggae music today. It is much slower and has a more fluid feeling that seemed to relax the people of Kingston, which was a solid effect of the music. After a few years of development, by 1968, Rocksteady had become the dominant voice of Jamaican music.

Leaving the Label

Although there was great progress with Rocksteady, Coxsone was reluctant to follow the change in music. He did not make any shifts in his label's releases and was not sure if he wanted to move away from the sound that he knew best, which was Ska. He also had other concerns.

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Photo Courtesy: [Bob Marley - Topic/YouTube]

By 1966, the Rastafarian movement had come to life. The Wailers wanted to incorporate some of the movement's meaning and culture in the music, but Coxsone did not agree to such a bold move. As a result, the record sales and finances for the group decreased, which they took as a sign to leave the label.


After leaving Seminal Jamaican Records, The Wailers took a break from music to re-evaluate their future. Robert took this time for himself and ended up meeting a woman by the name of Rita Anderson. The two became close over a short period of time and decided to marry on February 10, 1966.

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Photo Courtesy: [Explore Documentary Films/YouTube]

Bob thought it to be a good idea to show his new wife to his mother, Cedella, so the two took a trip to the United States, where his mother resided in the state of Delaware. The family met each other and although it already happened, Cedella approved of her son's marriage.

Delaware Resident

Instead of heading back to Kingston after the family meet-and-greet, Bob and Rita decided to stay in Delaware with his mother for a few months. Because money was tight and Bob didn't have income from his record sales in Jamaica, he had to apply for jobs within the local town.

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He landed on his feet by becoming a Dupont Lab Assistant, while also being an assembly line attendant at a Chrysler manufacturing plant. Bob was unsure if people knew who he - or his father - was, so as a precaution Bob worked under the alias "Donald Marley".

His Imperial Majesty

In 1966, while Bob was in America, there was a significant event happening in Jamaica. His imperial majesty, Emperor Haile Selassie I, Ruler of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974, made a visit to the Caribbean country in April of 1966. He was noted for creating and spreading stability within his country and the African Diaspora.

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Photo Courtesy: [Thgoiter/Wikimedia Commons]

He stayed in Jamaica for four days where he was considered the "second coming of Jesus Christ" and revered by the Jamaicans as a Lord and Savior. This visit had a significant positive impact on both Bob and Rita, which altered their mundane lifestyle.


Although the Rastafarian movement began in Jamaica during the 1930s, it wasn't until the late 1960s that it exploded across the entire country. This was the time when Bob was exploring his own sense of spiritualism and morality in accordance with Rastafarian culture.

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Photo Courtesy: [Jasonbook99/Wikimedia Commons]

Both politically and spiritually, Bob was growing as a person. He drew much of his musical inspiration from his African culture, the Emperor, Jamaican Nationalist Marcus Garvey, as well as the elder Rastas that helped him learn more about this impactful way of living life. Marley connected his inspiration to his musical skills and applied it effectively through his lyrics.

Dredlock Rasta

Rita and Robert also had a powerful reverence for Emperor Haile Selassie I as they too saw him as the "second coming" according to the prophecy told by the honorable Marcus Garvey. Because of their culture and the Rastafarian movement, Bob and Rita adapted to Rastafarian and soon began the process of locking his hair.

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Photo Courtesy: [Robin Sones/Wikimedia Commons]

After eight months of being in Delaware, and the excitement from Emperor Halie Selassie's visit, Bob and Rita returned to Jamaica. As the turn of the decade was approaching, Bob decided to reconnect with his musical partners, Deville and Peter, to create more Wailer music.

Wail'n Soul'm

Once the band was back together, the Wailers used Bob's aunt's property to create their own record label called Wail'n Soul'm Label, which also doubled as a record store. Creatively, the name of the label was a combination of the label's two prominent features, The Wailers and the Soulettes, which was a vocal trio led by Bob's wife, Rita.

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Photo Courtesy: [Eddie Mallin/Wikimedia Commons]

During the time of the late 1960s, The Wailers created many hit songs including "Stir it up", "Mellow Mood", "Soul Rebel", and "Trench Town Rock". There was much success with the group, but due to lack of funding, Wail'n Soul'm was disbanded in 1968.

The 1970s

The 1970s was a tumultuous time in Jamaica. There was serious violence based on political views roaring throughout the streets of Kingston. Food supplies were being rationed - and stolen - while unemployment and homelessness expanded throughout the city. Many riots and fights against local authorities ensued, unfortunately causing many deaths across the city.

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Additionally, colonial and government policies were being initiated, which negatively impacted the citizens of Kingston. Bob Marley recognized the trials that his people were facing and used them in a positive way. It fueled Marley's socially conscious music which brought more meaning to his lyrics.

New Members

Around the age of 25, Bob Marley and The Wailers enhanced the sound of their band by including two new members: Bassist Aston Barrett and his brother, Carlton Barrett, who was a galvanizing drum player. Now that the group was completed, The Wailers moved forward by creating a relationship with Jamaican producer Lee "Scratch" Perry, who pioneered the Reggae sound "Dub".

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Photo Courtesy: [Rasta Vibe/YouTube]

Lee Perry was a visionary that saw the potential of The Wailers being paired with his studio band The Upsetters. Together the musical band created the foundational sound of Roots Reggae, where the drum and bass are at the forefront of the music.

New Music

Collectively, the ensemble created heavy-hitter reggae music that revolutionized the Jamaican music industry. Together, The Wailers, The Upsetters, and producer Lee Perry created several records including the "400 Years" and "Duppy Conqueror". The group album Soul Rebels was prominent because it infused classic forms of Reggae with the modern sound of Dub.

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Photo Courtesy: [sdabestani/YouTube]

In 1970, The Wailers dropped their album Soul Rebels and was also the first Wailer album to be released in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, the group was deceived once again because all the royalties from the release of Soul Rebels went directly to Lee Perry without acknowledgment from The Wailers.

Record Deal

Lee Perry's deception did not stop Bob Marley and The Wailers. One year later in 1971, Bob went to Sweden and worked on a soundtrack with prominent singer Johnny Nash. The soundtrack was for a movie being premiered called Vill Sa Garna Tro (Want So Much to Believe).

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Photo Courtesy: [Gunnar Höglund Produktions/IMDb]

While in Sweden, with his savvy business intellect - and help from Johnny Nash - Bob secured a contract with CBS Records for him and the group! This was The Wailers' most significant contract of their musical career thus far; however, it may not have been as promising as they thought.


In 1972, Bob Marley and The Wailers were at the headquarters of CBS in London to promote their latest single "Reggae on Broadway". Once the label saw the act in person, CBS did not think that Bob Marley and The Wailers would be a good investment after all because of their musical style.

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Photo Courtesy: [ONLY VINYL/YouTube]

Although Robert was a prominent musical figure, his group was unknown, and Reggae hadn't been ingrained in the English culture as of yet. As a result of this perspective, CBS suddenly decided to let go of the group, stranding them in London with yet another lost contract.

Album Contract

Through perseverance, Marley decided to locate the London office of their record label, Island Records, to discuss the misshapen of their contract and promotional tour. Once he found the location of the executives, he was able to attain a meeting with the founder of the record label, Chris Blackwell.

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Photo Courtesy: [Bob Marley/YouTube]

The musician and executive sat down to hash out the details of the group's contract. Bob simply wanted funding for a new single. Instead, Blackwell decided to allow the group to create a full album and grant them $4,000 in advance, which was phenomenal for a reggae band in London.

Catch A Fire

Bob and The Wailers were a replacement act for CBS's Jamaican spot because their previous feature, Jimmy Cliff, had left the label and they thought Bob was a great fit to attract a crowd that liked Rock N' Roll. For the first time, Bob Marley and The Wailers would create their first full album.

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Photo Courtesy: [mick3y abbey/YouTube]

A year later in April of 1973, the group finished their album entitled Catch A Fire. The album did stupendously and was critically acclaimed on an international level while earning extensive media coverage. Because of their successful album, tours of Britain and the U.S. were being scheduled and booked.


The contract with CBS and the opportunity to create their debut studio album was the moment that changed the life of Bob Marley. In 1973, once the shows were booked, Bob Marley and The Wailers started touring the United Kingdom. The group also doubled as an opening act for other popular American entertainers including Bruce Springsteen and Sly & the Family Stone.

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Photo Courtesy: [Brandt Luke Zorn/Wikimedia Commons]

The United States was the second half of the groups touring locations. Unfortunately, Bob's friend and fellow musician "Bunny" of The Wailers decided not to participate in the U.S. performances, so the group replaced him with their mentor Joe Higgs and continued playing.


The record sales and live performances of Bob Marley and The Wailers went better than CBS expected and achieved great results. Their success and notoriety are what prompted Island Records to help the group record their second studio album, Burnin', which was released in the fall of 1973.

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Photo Courtesy: [The Wailers Band - Topic/YouTube]

The second album did well and introduced a few of Bob Marley's greatest hits including "I Shot the Sheriff" and "Get Up, Stand Up", which took over the airwaves and topped the charts for a whole year. The success of these two albums were significantly great but came at a price Bob didn't expect to pay.


At the top of 1974, after the touring for Burnin' was complete, The Wailers, including Peter Tosh and Deville Livingston left the group. They started to feel as if they were not as appreciated as Robert and chose to go on their own path and create their personal musical success.

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Photo Courtesy: [F. Antolín Hernandez/Wikimedia Commons]

Later that same year, American singer Eric Clapton released his cover of Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff". The cover from the famous singer was such a hit that it topped the Billboard Hot 100. Clapton's cover also created an international profile for Bob Marley, which only enhanced his notoriety and fame.

Natty Dread

After the departure of two prominent group members, by 1975, The Wailers band consisted of his drummer Carlton and bass guitarist Aston Barrett, Junior Marvin played the rhythmic guitar, "Wya" and Tyrone on keyboards, Al Anderson on lead guitar, Alvin Patterson with percussion, and the infamous I -Threes rhythm singers which included his wife Rita Marley, Marcia, and Judy.

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Photo Courtesy: [Bob Marley - Topic/YouTube]

The band created and released their third studio album with Island Records called Natty Dread. It was characterized by socially conscious and spiritual music that was influenced by American blues and celebrated the life of Reggae through their song called " Lively Up Yourself".

Natty Dread Expression

Natty Dread was a prominent album for Bob Marley because it expressed the trials and tribulations of growing up in Trench Town during a time of riots and small-scale civil war between Jamaica's political groups the People's National Party and the Jamaican Labor Party.

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Photo Courtesy: [Bob Marley/YouTube]

He would convey many messages from the perspective of the Kingston youth via his famous song "No Woman No Cry". This title of the album relayed the philosophies of Rastafarian culture to his audience. Natty Dread gained critical social and commercial success by reaching No. 92 on the pop charts and No. 44 on Billboard's (North America) Black Albums chart.

European Tour

"No Woman No Cry" reached the top 40 on the UK charts and became a hit over the airwaves. Because of the exciting success of Bob Marley and The Wailers album Natty Dread, the group was issued a highly exclusive European tour. The tour was meant to continue to support the achievements of the album while scaling it higher on the Billboard charts.

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Photo Courtesy: [Bob Marley - Topic/YouTube]

The group was placed in the famous Lyceum theater for two consecutive nights. The performances were electrifying and filled with so much passion from Marley that the visuals were used in Island Records release of "Bob Marley and The Wailers Live".

International Stardom

1976 was the year of Bob Marley. He ascended to international stardom by releasing his iconic album Rastaman Vibrations. This album featured many songs that explained the political disorders and the lack of equality for socially dispositioned people all over the globe.

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Photo Courtesy: [Marvin Mulenga/YouTube]

The famous song "Rastaman Vibrations" revealed the positive lifestyle and communal support that Rastas teach within their culture. His most intense song "War" was also featured and loved because of the powerful instrumental plays and lyrics, which were derived from the 1963 speech delivered by Emperor Hallie Selassie during his visit to Bob's native country of Jamaica.

Dangerous Influence

By the end of 1976, Bob Marley was considered the international leader of Reggae music and was adored by millions of people around the world. He popularized and spread the philosophies of Rastafarian culture and positioned Jamaica as one of the most popular countries in the world via his musical storytelling.

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Photo Courtesy: [Tankfield/Wikimedia Commons]

But with his influence came a serious price. In Jamaica, Bob's music was misinterpreted by many to take a political stance in favor of Jamaica's rival the People's National Party, and against the Jamaican Labor Party. This mentality is what created a dangerous atmosphere for both Bob Marley and his notable band.

Assassination Attempt

Within the same year of his international notoriety, Bob Marley was requested by Jamaica's Ministry of Culture to host a non-partisan, free concert that would be used as an attempt to create harmony within the country. Bob agreed and started rehearsing for the benefit concert.

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On December 3, 1976, two days before the concert, while the band was prepping at Bob's house, an assassination was attempted on their lives. Luckily, no one was killed, but many were harmed. A bullet grazed the skull of Bob's wife, Rita, and Bob was shot in his sternum and left bicep.

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INFORMATION VINE * The History of Bob Marley * Empty Re: INFORMATION VINE * The History of Bob Marley *

Post by Paul Thu 21 Dec 2023, 10:18 am

Smile Jamaica

The news of an assassination attempt on the life of the most revered Jamaican in music spread like a wildfire across Jamaica, the United States, and other countries. However, Bob stood his ground and kept his promise by headlining the benefit concert Smile Jamaica, despite the failed assassination attempt two days earlier.

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Photo Courtesy: [Wiki4All/YouTube]

To express his angst, Bob Marley conducted an electrifying rendition of his powerful song "War". The crowd was close to 80,000 people! Bob went as far as creating guitar solos and adding songs to the original playlist.  Although short-lived, the Smile Jamaica concert was a success.

Where is Bob Marley?

On December 6, 1976, following the day of the Smile Jamaica concert, Bob Marley left Jamaica as a move to preserve his life from any further assassination attempts. However, he didn't tell many people where he was going and his whereabouts were unknown to Jamaica and most of the world.

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Photo Courtesy: [Spudgun67/Wikimedia Commons]

Yet, some people knew that Bob took a flight to Nassau, Bahamas, which is where he stayed for almost two months. After taking some time to reflect and protect himself in his seclusion, Bob decided to take a trip to London. He lived there for almost 18 months before his next big move in music.


Initially, while in London, Bob Marley began recording his next hit album Exodus. The title was a metaphor that was meant to express the connection between the story of Moses and the Israelites leaving exile and his personal migrations, in which he expressed returning to Africa. 

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Photo Courtesy: [The Rhymenoceros/YouTube]

The album was notarized because of its call for change and "the movement of Jah people". It expressed political concerns and spirituality within the sonic blend of Rock, Reggae, and Soul-Funk. From the album Exodus birthed the ever-popular songs "Jammin'" and "Wait in Vain". This album is deemed one of Bob's best in modern time.

Group Stardom

"Jammin'" became a Top 10 hit on the British charts, while the Exodus album placed and remained on the UK charts for an impressive 56 consecutive weeks. The results of this iconic album brought stardom to not just Bob Marley, but also the band, which they were astonished to experience.

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Photo Courtesy: [Ted Lagerman/YouTube]

The fame was pleasantly overwhelming for the Jamaican natives, but there was an issue. Robert had a health scare that revealed cancerous cells in his toe. Although the doctors suggested amputation, because of his Rastafarian belief, Marley decided not to severe his body and keep moving on with his life.


Bob Marley and The Wailers' next album, Kaya, was released in 1978. Kaya is an herb native to Jamaica that Bob would take for ailments throughout his childhood and adult life. It was an analogy that symbolized the healing process that he was going through from the assassination attempts, cancer, and violent experiences in his life.

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Photo Courtesy: [nguyen hoang/YouTube]

Kaya reached No. 4 on the British charts and became an international hit. The album produced and released songs including "Running Away", "Is This Love" and "Redemption Song". After releasing his newest album, Bob Marley made his prodigal return to his home country of Jamaica.

One Love Peace Concert

On April 22, 1978, The One Love Peace Concert was held at Kingston's National Stadium. The event was dedicated to togetherness and an attempt to defuse the heavy violence that was happening between the People's National Party and Jamaican Labor Party. The concert was compared to Woodstock because of the 16 performers that they had and the huge crowd that surrounded the area.

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Photo Courtesy: [BobMarleyConcerts/YouTube]

Bob Marley and The Wailers were a prominent performance because of the gesture that Bob enacted. He brought up the leader of the PNP, Prime Minister Michael Manley, and the JLP, Edward Seaga to shake hands and show peace between the two rival parties.

Medal of Peace

Bob Marley was unaware of the impact that he made during the One Love Peace Concert. When he gestured for the two-party leaders to shake hands and unite, he lifted them up while reciting the phrase "Jah Rastafari!" with his popular song "Jammin'" playing in the background.

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Photo Courtesy: [Anthony Chaudorge/YouTube]

That moment was such a huge step forward in the midst of the violence happening between the parties that Bob was seen as more than just a musician from then on. His act was powerful enough to make him travel to the United Nations in New York to receive the Medal of Peace on June 6, 1978.


At the end of 1978, Bob's status ascended to a higher level and he used it to make his first trip to Africa. He visited Kenya and then Ethiopia, which was significant for him because Ethiopia was considered the spiritual homeland of Rastafarians.

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Photo Courtesy: [Bernard Gagnon/Wikimedia Commons]

There, Marley traveled through the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. His tour helped him to see and experience many sights, cultures, and monuments that were dedicated to Emperor Halie Selassie I. Additionally, while there, he stayed in Shashamane, a communal settlement plot donated by the Emperor which housed the Rastafarians that decided to return home to Ethiopia.


Later that same year, Bob Marley and the Wailers went on tour through American and Europe to promote and showcase their second live album Babylon By Bus, which became critically acclaimed throughout the western hemisphere and in Europe. His travels with this tour took him over the entire world, including Australia, Japan, and New Zealand.

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Photo Courtesy: [Bob Marley Album/YouTube]

More interestingly, because of his status and connection to Africa, the indigenous Maori people of New Zealand greeted him and the band with a traditional welcoming ceremony. The experience for him during the tour was impactful enough to inspire him to create more music.


Inspired by his travels, in mid-1979, Bob Marley and The Wailers completed their ninth musical project, Survival. The album deeply described the assassination attempt that happened in 1976 and was a call for more unity within the country and less oppression on the African continent. The album included righteous songs including "Africa Unite" and "Zimbabwe".

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Photo Courtesy: [Bob Marley - Topic/YouTube]

Towards the top of 1980, Bob and The Wailers were presented with the grand opportunity to perform at the official independence ceremony of Zimbabwe. This event solidified Bob Marley and The Wailers as prominent figures throughout the African diaspora across all continents.


After a conflicted, yet successful performance in Zimbabwe, the Reggae sensations began recording what they did not expect to be their final album on Island Records, UprisingUprising gave birth to several evergreen songs such as the Rastafarian melody "Zion Train" and "Redemption Song".

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Photo Courtesy: [Bob Marley Album/YouTube]

"Could You Be Love" was also a track on the album that worked well with many African Americans because of the hip reggae beat and upbeat disco tempo. The song did excellent and reached No. 6 on the Billboard's club plays and African-based singles charts. To add, "Redemption Song" was heartfelt enough to make other American artists create renditions of it.

European Tour

Because of the ultimate success of Uprising, Bob Marley and The Wailers embarked on the biggest European tour of their musical careers in the spring of 1980. The group sold out the majority of its shows across several countries. The band performed through Europe and filled the last half of their show in America.

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Photo Courtesy: [MrOseii Oseii/YouTube]

The group had two sold-out nights at Madison Square Garden. Bob Marley and The Wailers performed with upper echelon American acts like rapper Kurtis Blow and Lionel Richie and The Commodores. The bands finished their last set of the tour in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on September 23, 1980.


His contributions to Jamaica, America, Europe, Asia, and Africa via his music were influential. Because of it, Bob was awarded The Order of Merit, which is the third-highest honor in Jamaica. However, his past ailment returned; the cancerous cells that were in Marley's toe had metastasized and spread throughout his entire body.

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Photo Courtesy: [Grunge/YouTube]

Bob was a fighter and put up a great battle with cancer, yet unfortunately lost it after eight months of treatment. Although he wanted to finish his days in his native home of Jamaica, he didn't make it, and on May 11, 1981, Bob Marley passed away.


Ten days after his death, Bob Marley was given a state funeral and was deemed by the citizens and official government of Jamaica as the Honorable Robert Nesta Marley. Many prominent people attended his massive funeral including Prime Minister Edward Seaga and the People's National Party leader, Michael Manley. There were close to 300,000 people that witnessed the home-going service of Bob Marley.

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Photo Courtesy: [Jasonbook99/Wikimedia Commons]

The streets were lined with his fellow native Jamaicans, as well as featured singers and entertainers from various countries. Bob Marley was peacefully laid to rest in a mausoleum in his birthplace of Nine Mile, St. Ann Parish, Jamaica.

The Legacy of Bob Marley

Bob Marley's music still lives in the hearts and minds of any listener who hears his music, even 40 years after his passing. His songs with The Wailers are still played with hundreds of thousands of downloads per month via several streaming platforms today.

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Photo Courtesy: [Bob Marley - Topic/YouTube]

His music tells the story of trials and hardship that he and his fellow African diaspora brethren had to endure, yet still uplifted spirits and brought unity to many countries around the world. Bob Marley's life has continuously been celebrated and has proven to be the ultimate redemption for those who keep his name alive.

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