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Bob Marley


1945

Bob Marley is born in St. Ann’s Parish in Jamaica.

1962

Bob Marley records his first single, “Judge Not,” at Federal Studios in Kingston, Jamaica.

1966

Bob Marley and Alpharita (“Rita”) Constantia Anderson get married.

1966

After eight months spent living in America with his mother, Bob Marley returns to Jamaica.

1970

The Wailers begin recording a series of classic recordings with producer Lee “Scratch” Perry in what would be a classic lineup

1971

Bob Marley visits Island Records’ head Chris Blackwell at his London office. The resulting association will make a superstar of Marley and establish Island as THE reggae label.

1972

‘Catch a Fire,’ by the Wailers, is released in the U.K. Heralded as “the first genuine reggae album in history,” it comes out in the U.S. the following year.

1974

Eric Clapton’s version of the Wailers’ “I Shot the Sheriff,” written by head Wailer Bob Marley, hits #1 and helps generate interest in reggae.

1975

Though Bob Marley has been recording prolifically in his native Jamaica since 1962, Natty Dread is the first album by Marley and the Wailers to make the U.S. charts, reaching #92.

1975

Bob Marley and the Wailers perform at the Lyceum in London. The concert is released in Britain as the album ‘Live!.’ After selling briskly as an import, it is released in the U.S. in October 1976.

1976

‘Rastaman Vibration,’ by Bob Marley and the Wailers – and featuring an American, Don Kinsey, on lead guitar – is released. It becomes Marley’s highest-charting album, reaching #8 in the U.S. and #15 in the U.K.

1976

Bob Marley and his entourage are attacked by gunman. A wounded but undeterred Marley electrifies a crowd two nights later at a free “Smile Jamaica” concert.

1977

Bob Marley and the Wailers cut new material in London, marking the first time they’ve recorded outside of Jamaica in six years. Of more than 20 songs recorded, ten turn up on ‘Exodus’ (1977) and ten on ‘Kaya’ (1978).

1978

Bob Marley orchestrates a Peace Concert in Jamaica that features key reggae acts, including the Wailers, in an attempt to cool down the violent conflicts that are tearing Jamaica apart.

1979

‘Survival,’ a militant new album by Bob Marley and the Wailers, is released as a 47-date tour kicks off at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre.

1980

A month after the release of the African-themed ‘Uprising,’ Bob Marley and the Wailers kick off the Tuff Gong Uprising tour, during which they’ll perform for a million people in 12 countries.

1980

Bob Marley suffers a stroke while jogging in Central Park. X-rays reveal a brain tumor.

1980

Bob Marley performs the final show of his career, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The tour’s remaining dates are canceled as Marley seeks treatment for his spreading cancers.

1980

Stevie Wonder’s tribute to Bob Marley, the reggaefied “Master Blaster (Jammin’),” enters the singles charts. It will top the R&B chart for seven weeks and peak at #5 on the pop chart.

1981

Bob Marley dies of brain, lung and stomach cancer

1981

Bob Marley is given a state funeral in Jamaica and buried at Nine Miles in St. Ann’s Parish, beside the house in which he was born.

1994

Bob Marley is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the ninth annual induction dinner. Bono of U2 is his presenter, and Rita Marley accepts the award on behalf of her late husband.

1999

‘Legend,’ Bob Marley and the Wailers’ greatest-hits collection, receives its 10th platinum certification, signifying sales of more than 10 million copies.

Bob Marley