Steve DiGioia

Rita Marley: The Legendary Singer Bob Marley’s Wife and His Legacy Keeper 

The legendary singer Bob Marley might have left us too soon, but his music and legacy still live through his family.

 

Bob Marley left his fans early, at the age of 36 in 1981 and yet the late “One Love” singer is remembered and loved as much as he was alive.

Their Story

Like the singer, his wife Rita Marley is a Jamaican singer and songwriter. Bob Marley’s biopic Bob Marley: One Love is releasing on February 14, 2024. Without Rita, his life’s story is incomplete.

The two met in the 1960s in Jamaica where they had spent most of their time in a recording studio. After about six years of dating, they got married but did not let the marriage interfere with their music careers.

Unfortunately, in 1981, Bob died due to acral lentiginous melanoma, which started from his toe, eventually affecting the rest of his organs.

Even after he left Rita too soon, she still believes and emphasizes the fact that he is still with her. In her 2002 interview with Rolling Stone, she told the magazine that she never called her his widow. She said, “I feel I’m still his partner.”

 

Her Career

She is a retired singer-songwriter and a recording artist. She was a part of the music band The Wailers in the 1960s and later joined The I Threes, providing backup vocals for Bob in some of his performances.

She has also worked with Ferge in 2006 for “Mary Jane Shoes.” However, in 2016 she retired from making music and moved to Miami.

She has been a singer and maintained Bob Marley’s legacy and the family’s reputation. She released her 2004 memoir, No Woman, No Cry: My Life with Bob Marley, and also reinvented her husband’s home into a museum, to keep his work thriving all these years.

Not only that, but she is also a humanitarian and created her foundation known as the Rita Marley Foundation, which helps people struggling with malnutrition and poverty in developing countries.

 

Her Kids

She has a total of six kids, sharing three with Bob Marley. Her first daughter, Sharon, was born in 1964 whom Bob adopted. The two shared Cedella, Ziggy and Stephen. During her extramarital relationship in 1974, with Ital, a soccer player, she had another daughter, Stephanie, and Bob adopted her as well.

 

The Biography

Kingsley Ben-Adir, who has previously worked in Barbie, Peaky Blinders, and One Night in Miami, will play Bob Marley in the biopic. 

Lashana Lynch who has worked in movies like Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, The Marvels, No Time to Die and The Woman King, will be playing Rita Marley in the biography.

Rita Marley has worked hard to honor her late husband’s legacy throughout the years, by managing his label Tuff Gong Studios and his estate. She is also the founder of the Bob Marley Foundation, which preserves the spiritual, cultural, and musical ideals that guided Bob throughout his life.

 

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