Bob Marley is a legend not just in the music world but in general because of his generosity and activism. Through out his life he was known for being a simple minded and straightforward person who sang about freedom and equality. He’s today famous for his endorsement of marijuana and the large number of wives and children that he had, but this image doesn’t do justice to his legend. Here is an attempt to explore some interesting facts about the musical legend who will live the hearts of music buffs for ages.
10. His Father was a White British Naval Captain:
Norval Sinclair Marley was a white British Naval Captain who fathered Bob Marley. Bob’s mother was a young black village girl, Cedella, who lived in a small Jamaican Village. Marley was born on February 6th 1945 as a mixed race child. For this he was often called “white boy” in his childhood.
9. His Original Name was “Nesta”:
His original name was Nesta Robert Marley. His father had insisted on this name but it’s not known from where it comes. Later a Jamaican immigration officer suggested using his middle name instead because Nesta sounded like a girl’s name. He gave himself the nickname Tuff Gong.
8. He was a Talented Football Player:
Bob Marley wasn’t just a gifted musician but also a talented football player. It is said that he was good enough to have played at the international level had he pursued the sport. He was also a very good table tennis player. Among his other talents, he was also known to have the ability to read palms when he was young.
7. He was a Rastafarian:
Bob Marley was a devoted Rastafarian. Rastafarians don’t technically belong to a religion but follow a way of life. It is based on the Old Testament and they view Ethiopia to be the promised land of Zion. They also support marijuana and long hair along with detesting greed and materialism.
6. He Lived in Delaware for Some Time:
Bob Marley was known as an ambassador of Jamaica and he openly despised America but when he was young he lived in Delaware for some time with his mother. He even worked at a Chrysler plant and later as a laboratory assistant for DuPont Chemical.
5. He Played a Free Concert One Day after Being Shot:
Bob Marley was shot in the arm in 1976 during a politically motivated assassination attempt. Everybody, including his band, wanted to disappear for a while, fearing their security, but Bob decided to play a free concert for 80,000 people the very next day. He famously said, “The people who are trying to make this world worse aren’t taking a day off. How can I?”
4. He Predicted His Own Death:
Bob was considered a Rastafarian prophet among his family and friends. He is even known to have prophesized his own death. He had told a friend of his that he would die at the age of 36. When asked why he would say such a thing he said that Jesus had also lived only until he was 36.
3. He Died of Cancer:
Bob Marley died of a cancer that is not common among black people but due to his mixed race he suffered from acral lentiginous melanoma, a form of skin cancer. It started on his toe and he might have survived if he had let the doctors amputate the toe. But he refused because of his religious views.
2. He Never Won a Grammy in his Life:
Despite being one of the greatest musicians to ever live he never won a Grammy while he was alive. None of his songs or albums won a Grammy which could have been a result of political intervention as his songs were very popular. He was only awarded the lifetime achievement award posthumously in 2001.
1. His Album “Exodus” was Briefly the Best Album of the 20th Century:
His not winning a Grammy wouldn’t have affected him much as he wasn’t in it for the fame and money. But there is no doubt that his songs were and still are massively popular. In 1999 Time magazine names his album “Exodus” the greatest album of the century. For some reason in 2006 they changes their mind when they listed the 100 greatest album of the century and Exodus was nowhere on the list.