|Bob Marley was born in a small village in Jamaica on February 6, 1945. At birth he was named Nesta Robert Marley but a Jamaican passport official later swapped his first and middle names.|
Bob Marley’s father was a white Jamaican of English descent and he was a Marine officer and a plantation overseer by profession. Marley’s mother was a black Jamaican. When Marley was 10 years old, his father died of a heart attack in 1955. Throughout his youth, Marley was a victim of racial prejudice because of his mixed heritage and he suffered from a racial identity crisis throughout his life.
After the death of his father, Marley moved to Kingston with his mother where he became friends with Neville “Bunny” Livingston, later known as Bunny Wailer, and he started to play music. Marley left school at the age of 14 to work as an apprentice at a welder’s shop. In his free time, he played music with Livingston and Joe Higgs, a local singer and Rastafari. Many consider Higgs to be Marley’s mentor.
While Marley was in a jam session with Livingston and Higgs, he met Peter McIntosh, who wanted to be a musician just like Marley. In 1962, Marley recorded his first two singles, Judge Not and One Cup of Coffee with a local music producer under the name of Bobby Martell. However, these two songs did not receive too much attention.
Then in 1963, Bob Marley formed a ska and rocksteady group with Livingston, McIntosh, Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso and Cherry Smith named The Teenagers. The group later changed their name to The Wailing Rudeboys, then to The Wailing Wailers and finally they settled on the name The Wailers. However, by 1966, The Wailers were left with just Marley, Livingston and McIntosh after Braithwaite, Kelso and Smith left the group.
Bob Marley is best known for his reggae songs which include famous hits like I Shot the Sheriff, No Woman No Cry, Exodus, Could You Be Loved, Redemption Song and One Love. After his death on May 11, 1981, a posthumous album, Legend, was compiled which is the best selling reggae album ever.