London honours legendary reggae artist Bob Marley with heritage plaque Print

Nubian Jak – Thursday, 26 October 2006

Legendary reggae artist Bob Marley will be honoured today with a heritage plaque at his first London residence of 34 Ridgmount Gardens, Camden, WC1E. Years after his death, the iconic reggae musician has millions of fans across the world, but this is the first plaque honouring the life of Bob Marley internationally. The plaque has been organised by the Nubian Jak Community Trust and is supported by the Mayor of London.

The plaque has been commended by the wife of Bob Marley, Mrs Rita Marley.

Rita Marley said: "My husband's music is loved all around the world, although he had a special affinity with London. The family is pleased that he is being honoured with a commemorative plaque in London and we truly look forward to seeing it the next time we are in London. Jah bless you all. One love."

Mayor Ken Livingstone said: "Like many people I have appreciated and admired the work of Bob Marley for decades. He was quite simply a musical genius, and he remains a much loved international, iconic reggae artist. I am proud that we will now have a plaque in his honour in London, officially marking the remarkable achievements of this hugely talented man."

Jak Beula of Nubian Jak said: "It has taken two years of research and behind the scenes negotiating to achieve this tribute to Bob Marley. As someone who also shared the same manager as Bob, it is an honour to be involved with this project because I personally feel linked to Bob. Nubian Jak is proud to be creating the first commemorative plaque to Bob Marley, and it's timely that it should be unveiled in the 25th anniversary year of his passing."

34 Ridgmount Gardens was the first official London address of the star in 1972. He later moved with his fellow band members the Wailers to various other locations in London including Old Church Street, Chelsea, and Queensborough Terrace, Bayswater.

Jak Beula, Sharon Saunders, Lee Jasper

Attending the plaque unveiling will be Jak Beula, Director, Nubian Jak, Lee Jasper, Director of Equalities, Mayor of London, Acting Jamaican High Commissioner, Mrs Sharon Saunders, Dennis Morris, a photographer who worked extensively with Bob during his career and Kwame Dawes, author of "Bob Marley: Lyrical Genius."

There are only a small number of plaques across London in honour of African Caribbean people. Present plaques include nurse Mary Seacole, Oluadah Equiano, and Robert Browning.

Plaque

Robert Nesta Marley (Bob Marley's full name) was born in Rhoden Hall, Nine Miles in the parish of St Anns, Jamaica, on 6 February 1945 to Cedella Marley, a Jamaican woman and an English army captain. Affectionately known to everyone as Bob, he had from an early age developed a love for music.

By the time Bob Marley was a teenager he had formed a local band with three other members, Bunny Livingstone, Peter McIntosh and Junior Braithwaite, collectively known as the Wailers. It was while plying their trade around the island, as well as working with renowned producer Lee Perry, that they began to develop a reputation that increasingly spread to overseas. The three, with backing vocals from Rita (Bob's future wife) and Beverley Kelso helped with the popularisation of reggae music on the world stage. The rest as they say is history.