Bob Marley passed away on this day

By: Cerone White

On this day in Caribbean history May 11, 1981 Jamaican reggae artist Robert Nesta Marley died. Marley died of cancer in a Miami hospital. In 1977 he was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. During his illness kept on working, releasing album “Kaya” which did well on the charts. It is reported that he was jogging and he collapsed, he was taking into the hospital and it was found out that the cancer had spread to his brain, liver, and lungs. Marley wen to Germany to see a cancer specialist and on his way he had to make an emergency stop in Miami for medical care. He died at the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital on May 11, 1981, at the age of 36.

Marley was born born February 6, 1945 in Nine Miles, St. Ann in Jamaica. The reggae icon got his start in 1961 when he formed a group called “The Teenagers” with fellow bandmate Neville “Bunny” Livingston, and Peter McIntosh. Among the group’s first single were “Terror” and “One Cup of Coffee” among others. Later on they formed a new group called the ‘Wailers’. In 1973, the Wailers released their first album, “Catch a Fire.” In 1974, the group disbanded but Marley’s success was not stymied; he went solo and he changed the face of music as we know it today. He broke down walls and introduced the world to Jamaican music.

February in 2001, Marley was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and on February 1981, he was awarded Jamaica’s third highest honor, the Jamaican Order of Merit. Bob married Rita Anderson in 1966 and together they both had six children. Today, his legacy continues and indeed he is “Jammin”, looking down at how his work has help cement the pathways for fellow Jamaican artists such as Elephantman, Sean Paul, and others.


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