Making its North American premiere in Toronto in 2022, the Bob Marley One Love Experience celebrates the life, music and legacy of the global reggae icon.
The multi-room, experiential experience takes you on an intimate journey through Bob Marley’s life, showcasing never-before-seen photos and memorabilia.
However universally recognized Bob Marley is today, there are still plenty of lesser-known facts about him. Did you know these 10 facts about Bob Marley?
Born in St. Ann Parish, Jamaica, in 1945, Bob Marley’s mother originally named him Nesta Robert Marley. However, people commented that Nesta seemed like a girl’s name, so she switched Robert with Nesta, and registered his name as Robert Nesta Marley.
Bob Marley was born on February 6th, 1945. However, it took his mother a while to officially register his birth. This means the date given on his birth certificate, April 6th, was incorrect.
When he was four years old, it was discovered that Bob Marley could read palms and give accurate predictions. However, at the age of seven he stopped reading palms. Why? He had decided to become a singer.
While Bob Marley was at school, his best subject was mathematics. He didn’t stay in school for long, however. He managed to secure himself a position as an apprentice welder at a young age. He left this job after a dangerous injury in which a piece of metal flew into his eye.
Desmond Dekker and Bob Marley worked together as apprentice welders. Dekker was an aspiring musician, and successfully auditioned with Beverley's Records. While recording, he thought of Marley's talent, and asked him to record a song.
Bob Marley was 16 at this time, and wrote and recorded “Judge Not” in 1962. The song was about Marley’s experience being poor and biracial. His talent was apparent, and noticed by others. Marley would always be grateful to Dekker for this opportunity.
At 8:30pm on December 3, 1976 - only two days before the Smile Jamaica Concert - seven armed men entered Bob Marley's house at 56 Hope Road. Marley's wife, Rita, was shot in the head in her car in the driveway. Marley was shot in the chest and arm. His manager, Don Taylor, was shot in the legs and torso. Band employee Louis Griffiths was shot in the torso. Thankfully, there were no fatalities. It is believed that the attack was politically motivated.
In 1978, Bob Marley received a Peace Medal from the United Nations. According to his official website, it was awarded in recognition of his advocacy for “disenfranchised blacks around the world”. He received the medal from African delegates to the United Nations in a ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
Shortly before his death, Bob Marley received the Order of Merit from Jamaica. According to the Jamaican government’s website, this award can be given to any citizen of Jamaica “who has achieved eminent international distinction in the field of science, the arts, literature or any other endeavour”.
Bob Marley passed away in 1981 at the age of 36 due to skin cancer. He was diagnosed in 1977, when a soccer injury to his toe tooke unusually long to heal. Marley was advised to amputate the toe, but decided against this for religious reasons.
Bob Marley wished to spend his final days in Jamaica. Unfortunately, he would not survive the journey home. At the time he was undergoing treatment in Germany, but once it became apparent that the treatment wasn’t working, he decided to go home. On the flight from Germany to Miami, his condition worsened. He was rushed to the hospital upon arriving in Miami. He passed away on May 11th, 1981.
Bonus fact: Bob Marley’s legacy is alive and well
Bob Marley was ranked 11th on Forbes’ 2021 list of Highest-Paid Dead Celebrities. His brand includes speakers, turntables, headphones, clothing, psychedelics, and more. According to Forbes, his songs are streamed 1 billion times per year in the US - showcasing the enduring love for his music.
The Bob Marley One Love Experience presented by Lighthouse Immersive at Lighthouse ArtSpace Toronto, explored the man, the music and the legend.