Today (May 11) marks Bob Marley’s 37th death anniversary.
The legendary reggae singer and cultural icon who passed on at the young age of 36 after losing a battle to skin cancer is one of the most influential and listened-to musicians of all time.
His basic biography (rose from poverty to international superstardom, then died too young) is fairly well-known so in honour of his passing, here are some unpopular facts you should know about the late icon.
No Bob Marley Song or Album Ever Won a Grammy, but Bob Marley Did
Despite being one of the best-selling artists of all time, Bob Marley never won a Grammy Award for any of his specific works. He did, however, win a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2001. His sons Ziggy Marley and Stephen Marley have each won five Grammy Awards, and his Damian has won three. Marley’s former Wailers bandmates Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer won one and three Grammy Awards, respectively.
He Is Sixth On Forbes’ List Of Highest-Earning Dead Celebrities
After his death in 1981, Marley’s music has continued to be played and loved—and therefore continues to rake in the money. In 2016, he was the sixth highest-earning dead celebrity in the world, according to Forbes, preceded by fellow musicians Prince, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson.
In 2014, the Bob Marley and the Wailers greatest hits album “Legend” cracked the Billboard Top 10 list after Google Play made it available for 99 cents.
The Name His Mother Gave Him
The man the world came to know as Bob Marley was actually born Nesta Robert Marley in St. Ann Parish, Jamaica, in 1945. According to Clash Music, his first and middle name was switched after people pointed out that “Nesta” seemed like a girl’s name.
Marley also earned the nickname “Tuff Gong” as a teenager for the toughness he showed growing up in Kingston’s Trench Town. He later called his record label Tuff Gong, which is now part of Island Records.
He Was Given The Peace Medal From The United Nations and An Order Of Merit From Jamaica
In 1978, the United Nations awarded Marley a Peace Medal in recognition of his advocacy for “disenfranchised blacks around the world,” according to his official website.
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 from cancer, Marley received the Order of Merit from Jamaica. 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,” according to the Jamaican government’s website.
The motto of the Order is “He that does truth comes into the light,” which is definitely something Marley embodied.
Bob Marley Reportedly Refused to Amputate His Toe Because of His Religious Beliefs