- NAME: Rita Marley
- OCCUPATION: Children's Activist, Singer
- BIRTH DATE: July 25, 1946 (Age: 66)
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
- Full Name: Alpharita Constantia Anderson
- Nickname: "Queen of Reggae"
- AKA: Rita Marley
- Nickname: "Nana Rita"
- AKA: Alpharita Anderson
- AKA: Alfarita Constantia Anderson
- AKA: Alfarita Anderson
- ZODIAC SIGN: Leo
Best Known For
Rita Marley, Bob Marley's widow, is best known for carrying on her late husband's musical legacy and for her own career as a solo artist.
Rita Marley - Band Attacks (2:13)
Bob Marley - The Creed (2:08)
Bob Marley - Lyceum Theater (2:07)
Performer and political activist Bob Marley's widow, Rita, recalls the violent attacks on their band in their native Jamaica.
Bandmates of The Wailers are interviewed and discuss how Marley's friendship with the band, and his beliefs regarding the Rasta Revolution.
Bob Marley saw his fame skyrocket during a time of political turbulence. In England, he was booked at the Lyceum Theater and Marley fans filled the theater to hear and feel Marley's message.
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In her 2004 autobiography, No Woman No Cry: My Life with Bob Marley, Rita Marley wrote: "I was very upset at first to learn about all this, though it's common in Jamaica. But since then, I've come to love both of these boys and to think of them as my sons." She would maintain this generous attitude toward the many other children Bob would father with other women over the years.
After the Wailers signed with Island Records in 1972,
things began to turn around for the band members, but not necessarily for the Marleys. The group had their first album with the label, Catch a Fire, released internationally the next year, and they began to attract critical attention. With their popularity on the rise, the Wailers toured the United States and Europe.
Not all was well, however. Rita's marriage was under a lot of stress: In addition to Bob often being away and seeing other women, Rita herself had embarked upon an extramarital affair. While she had been involved with both men before giving birth to her fourth child, daughter Stephanie, in 1974, she stated in her autobiography that Bob was the father. Around that same time, Rita—then a member of the female trio the I Threes—began performing with the Wailers after Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer left to pursue solo careers.
In 1976, the Marleys faced another hardship. A group of armed men attacked their home while the group was rehearsing there. Shielding her children, a bullet grazed Rita's head, and Bob was hit in the sternum and arm. Music manager Don Taylor, who had been hit several times, required surgery to fix his wounds. While no motivation for the attack was officially determined, many have speculated that it may have been politically motivated. Bob Marley was viewed as a supporter of the People's National Party, and the attack happened in the weeks leading up to an important national election.
The couple continued to face many ups and downs in the remaining years of Bob Marley’s life, but they bonded together as he battled against cancer—a disease that he would succumb to in 1981. Rita and many of Bob's children were with him when he died, on May 11, 1981, at a Miami, Florida, hospital. Following his death, Rita become engaged in a lengthy legal battle over Bob's estate since he had never written a will.
In honor of her late husband, Rita and other members of the Marley family established the Bob Marley Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to helping people and organizations in the developing world. Rita also works to preserve Bob's music and memory through numerous events, including the annual Bob Marley Birthday Celebration in Jamaica.
Rita Marley has also continued to pursue her solo career, releasing albums such as Sunshine After Rain (2003) and Play Play (2004), and performing live. In recent years, she joined Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt of the I Threes to perform at the Africa Unite concert in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
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Included In These Groups
From Babylon to Zion, they are the international artists who have revolutionized reggae, a musical genre that originated in Jamaica in the 1960s. At that time, the genre took on a more pop-based sound. Over the past several decades, however, reggae music has transformed to include various sub-genres such as rocksteady, roots reggae and steppa. Our list of Reggae Artists includes musicians of various styles and experiences, from Rastafarians to raggamuffins to sapps, to everyday mon; read about world-renowned musicians like Toots Hibbert, Peter Tosh, Judge Dread, Alton Ellis and Bob Marley.
Reggae Artists 19 people in this group
Famous Leos 527 people in this group
Famous Children's Activists 26 people in this group