This Day in Black History: Jamaican legendary singer Bob Marley was born

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Jamaican Singer Bob Marley

HOUSTON — Jamaican singer, songwriter and legend — Robert Nesta Marley, or Bob Marley —  was born on Feb. 6, 1945 in Nine Mile, Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica.

Marley began his music career in the late 1950’s and formed a musical group with his friend, Neville Livingston, while in junior high school.

In 1962, Marley recorded four songs, “Judge Not,” “One Cup of Coffee,” “Do You Still Love Me?” and “Terror”  for music producer Leslie Kong.

In 1963, Marley, along with five other members — Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso and Cherry Smith — formed a group called The Teenagers, later renamed The Wailers.  In 1965, The Wailers debuted their first album The Wailing Wailers.

In 1966, Marley married Rita Anderson and moved to Wilmington, Delaware for a short period of time. Marley returned to Jamaica a few years later, converted to Rastafari and began to grow dreadlocks.

In 1974, The Wailers disbanded, but Marley decided to continue recording as “Bob Marley and The Wailers.” Natty Dread was Marley’s first studio album without the original member of The Wailers.

In 1977, Marley’s ninth studio album, Exodus, was released, featuring its famous hit “One Love.” In 1980, Marley released his final studio album, Uprising.

In July 1977, Marley discovered a rare type of melanoma under his toe nail. By 1980, Marley’s health started to deteriorate and it was discovered that the cancer had spread to his brain.

On May 11, 1981, Marley died at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Miami, Florida at the age of 36.

Marley last words were, “Money can’t buy life.”

Here’s a list of Bob Marley’s accomplishments and awards throughout the course of his inspirational career:

1976: Rolling Stone Band of the Year

June 1978: Awarded the Peace Medal of the Third World from the United Nations.

February 1981: Awarded the Jamaican Order of Merit

March 1994: Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

1999: Album of the Century for Exodus by Time Magazine

February 2001: Honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

February 2001: Awarded Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

Want more black history? See this fascinating feature on the story behind a 200-year-old oak tree in Missouri City.

Definitely a piece of history!