Bob Marley’s Wife: Get to Know the Late Reggae Singer’s Spouse Rita Marley

Like the ‘One Love’ artist, Rita is a Jamaican singer-songwriter. Learn more about her before watching the upcoming biopic about Bob. 

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Even though Bob Marley is no longer with us, his music and legacy live on today. The late “One Love” singer died in 1981 at the age of 36 and is survived by his wife, Rita Constantia Marley, and their children. With the new biopic Bob Marley: One Love coming to theaters on February 14, 2024, fans of the reggae artist want to learn more about his personal life and career. 

How Long Were Bob and Rita Marley Married? 

The pair first met in the early 1960s and spent time together in a recording studio in Jamaica. In 1966, Bob and Rita got married, and they continued with their respective music career throughout their marriage. 

Rita and Bob stayed together until he died in 1981 from acral lentiginous melanoma, which eventually spread from his toe to the rest of his vital organs. 

Despite his death, Rita emphasized during a 2000 interview with Rolling Stone that she “never” views herself “as Bob Marley’s widow,” while adding, “I still feel I’m working with him. I feel I’m still his partner.”

Rita Marley releasing her memoir
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What Does Rita Marley Do for a Living? 

Rita is a retired singer-songwriter and recording artist. In the 1960s, she joined the music group The Wailers followed by The I Threes, who provided backup vocals for Bob in some of his performances. 

From 1966 to 2006, Rita released music and even collaborated with “Fergalicious” hitmaker Fergie in 2006 for “Mary Jane Shoes.” In 2016, Rita reportedly stepped down from making music. 

Apart from singing and performing, Rita has also released books, such as her 2004 memoir, No Woman, No Cry: My Life with Bob Marley. Not only that, but the Cuba native is also an entrepreneur, having reinvented her late husband’s home into the Bob Marley Museum. Thanks to her, the Marley family’s businesses and foundations have maintained their reputations and success. 

The “Three Little Birds” artist also later created the Rita Marley Foundation, which strives to help those in developing countries struggling with malnutrition and poverty.  

Where Is Rita Marley Now? 

According to PEOPLE, Rita has been living in Miami following her retirement from music. 

Does Rita Marley Have Kids? 

Rita is a mother to six children altogether, sharing three with Bob. She welcomed her first child, daughter Sharon, in 1964 from a previous relationship. Bob adopted Sharon. Later, Rita welcomed daughter Cedella in 1967, Ziggy in 1968 and Stephen in 1972, all of whom she shares with the “Sun Is Sining” singer. In 1974, Rita welcomed daughter Stephanie, during an extramarital relationship with a soccer player named Ital. Nevertheless, Bob adopted her as well. 

Rita’s youngest child is daughter Stephanie, whom she shares with Ital. 

Who Plays Bob Marley in the 2024 Biopic? 

Actor Kingsley Ben-Adir is playing the role of Bob in Bob Marley: One Love. The British actor has been seen in projects such as Barbie, One Night in Miami, Peaky Blinders and Secret Invasion. 

Who Plays Rita Marley in ‘Bob Marley: One Love’? 

Actress Lashana Lynch is playing Rita. Lashana has established herself as the ultimate action movie star, heaving appeared in Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, The Marvels, No Time to Die and The Woman King.