Bob Marley was a Jamaican singer, musician, and songwriter. He served as a world ambassador for reggae music and sold more than 20 million records in his career. Making him the first superstar to come from the third world. Which is developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Bob Marley a man who started a great starting bloom in global culture.
Bob Marley was born on February 6, 1945, in St. Ann Parish, Jamaica. In 1963 Bob Marley formed a group with his friends called Wailing Wailers. The Wailers’ break came in 1972, once they done a contract with Island Records. Bob Marley had sold 20 million plus records with in his career, making him the first international superstar. Which is where he had come from the Third World. He had died in Miami, Florida, on May 11, 1981.
Bob Marley helped introduce reggae music into the world and still is one of the genre’s most beloved artist to this day. The son of a black teenage mother and very older, later absent white father, he spent his younger years at St. Ann Parish, in the rural village known to be Nine Miles. One of his friends as a child in St. Ann was Neville “Bunny” O’Riley Livingston. Bob Marley and Neville went to the same school and also shared a love for music. Later Livingston’s father and Marley’s mother became involved. They had all lived together for a time in kingston, according to Christopher John Farley’s “Before the legend: The Rise of Bob Marley.”
Coming into kingston in the late 1950s, Marley lived in Trench Town, one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. He struggled in poverty, but he found inspiration in the music all around him. Trench town had a number of successful local performers and was considered the Motown of Jamaica. Sounds from the U.S. also come over the radio and throughout jukeboxes. Marley liked the artists Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, and the Drifters. Marley and Livingston put most of their time with music.
A local record producer with the name of Leslie Kong, liked Marley’s vocals and had him record a few singles, the first one was called “Judge Not,” released in 1962. While he did not do well being a solo artist, Marley found some success joining forces with his friends. In 1963, Marley, Livingston, and Mcintosh formed the band Wailing Wailers. Their first single, “Simmer Down,” went on the top of the Jamaican charts in January 1964. By this time, the group also included Junior Brathwaite, Beverley Kelso, and Cherry Smith.
The group became very popular in Jamaica, but they had difficulty making it financially. Braithwaite, Kelso, and Smith left the group. The remaining members went apart for a long time. Marley had gone to the U.S. where his mother was now living. However, before he left, he married Rita Anderson on February 10, 1966.
After eight months, Marley returned to Jamaica. He grouped up with Livingston and Macintosh to form the Wailers. Around the time Marley was exploring his spiritual side and shown an interest. The Rastafari movement started in Jamaica in 1930s and got its beliefs from many places, including Jamaican nationalist Marcus Garvey, the Old Testament, and their African heritage and culture.
For a long period of time in the late 1960s, Marley worked with pop singer Johnny Nash. Nash scored a worldwide hit with Marley’s song “stir It Up.” The Wailers had also worked with producer Lee Perry during this time of era; some of their successful songs together were “Trench-town Rock,” “Soul Rebel” and “Four Hundred Years.” The Wailers added two new members in 1970: bassist Aston “Family Man” Barrett and his brother, drummer Carlton “Carlie” Barrett. The following year, Marley worked on a movie soundtrack in Sweden with Johnny Nash.
The Wailers got their break in 1972 when they had landed a contract with Island Records, discovered by Chris Blackwell. For the first time, the group had gone to the studios to record a full album. The result was the critically acclaimed “Catch a Fire.” To support the record, the Wailers toured throughout Britain and the U.S. in 1973, performing in an opening act for both Bruce Springsteen and Sly and the Family Stone. That same year, the group released their second full album, “Burnin”, featuring the hit song “I Shot the Sheriff.” Rock legend Eric Clapton had given a cover of the song in 1974, and it had became a Number one hit in the U.S.
Already a much-admired star in Jamaica, Marley was going on his way to becoming an international music icon. He made the U.S. music charts with an album Rastaman Vibration in 1976. One track stands out as an expression of his devotion to his faith and his interest in the political change: “War.” The song’s lyrics were taken from the speech by Haile Selassie, the 20th century Ethiopian emperor who has been seen as a spiritual leader in the Rastafarian movement. A battle cry for freedom from oppression, the song discusses a new Africa, one without the racial hierarchy enforced by colonial rule.
Marley had a health scare in 1977. He got treatment in July of that year on a toe he had injured earlier that year. After discovering cancerous cells in his toe, doctors suggested amputation. Marley refused to have surgery, however, because his religious beliefs banned amputation.
Traveling to Europe, Bob Marley past unbelieved treatment in Germany, and was after that he able to fight off the cancer for months. It soon became clear that Marley didn’t have that much time to live, however, so Bob Marley set out to return to his beloved Jamaica one last time. Sadly, he would not manage to complete the journey, dying in Miami, Florida, on May 11, 1981. Shortly before his death, Marley had received the Order of Merit from the Jamaican government. He had also been awarded the Medal of Peace from the U.N. in 1980. Loved by the people of Jamaica Bob Marley was given a hero’s send-off. More than 30,000 people paid their respects to the musician during his memorial service, held within the National Arena in Kingston, Jamaica. Rita Marley, Marcia Griffiths, Judy Mowatt sang and the Wailers performed at the ceremony.
Bob Marley achieved several great accomplishments during his lifetime, including becoming a world ambassador for reggae music, earning process onto the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame in 1994, and selling more than 20 million records - making him the first international superstar to come from the Third World.