With hits like "Is This Love" and "Three Little Birds," Bob Marley's joyous spirit and incredible discography inspired a generation of artists and fans alike. Born in Jamaica in 1945, he began his music career in 1963, forming the band Bob Marley and the Wailers. From there, the rest is history. The late reggae artist has accumulated a number of accolades, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a posthumous induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.
Before his untimely skin cancer-related death in 1981, he and numerous partners welcomed 11 children, two of whom he adopted. Among them, nearly half have followed their famous father's footsteps to pursue music careers of their own, while the others have succeeded in different endeavors. Read on for an introduction to the large family.
1. Sharon is the oldest of his children.
Born to Rita Marley on Nov. 23, 1964, Sharon Marley is not Bob's biological daughter, but he adopted her after marrying Rita around February 1966. According to the official website, Sharon has won three Grammy awards, all with the now-disbanded group, Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers. She is currently the curator of the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston, Jamaica.
2. Cedella manages her father's foundation.
Born on Aug. 23, 1967, Cedella Marley was also a part of the Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, but the band split in 2002. She now serves as the acting director of the Bob Marley Foundation. Upon learning the Jamaican national soccer team was at risk of dissolving due to lack of funding, she used the foundation to raise enough money for team gear, a head coach and other expenses.
3. Ziggy had a successful solo career after the group split.
Perhaps Bob's most well-known son, Ziggy was born on Oct.17, 1968, to him and Rita. To date, he still has a successful music career, releasing seven solo albums. He is also the founder of Unlimited Resources Giving Enlightenment, a nonprofit that seeks to help children worldwide, especially in Jamaica and Ethiopia.
4. Stephen is an eight-time Grammy Award winner.
Born in Wilmington, Del., Stephen is the youngest of Bob and Rita's biological children. He has won three Grammys with Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, two more as a producer and three times as a solo artist. He has worked alongside the likes of Nas, the Fugees and Erykah Badu.
5. Robert Marley Jr. is not a career musician.
Born on May 16, 1972, Robert is Bob's son with Pat Williams. To not be confused for his father, he normally goes by Robbie.
6. Rohan is an entrepreneur and the co-founder of Marley Coffee.
Born exactly three days after Robbie, Rohan is Bob's son with Janet Hunt. Between 1996 and 2009, he was in a relationship with musician Lauryn Hill, and the two have five children together. In 2009, he co-founded Marley Coffee, a company committed to producing sustainably-farmed coffee.
7. Karen is a fashion designer.
8. Stephanie is Bob's second adopted child.
Born to Rita and a man named, Ital, on Aug. 17, 1974, Stephanie was adopted by Bob and bears the Marley name.
9. Julian was born in London.
Julian is the only one of Bob's sons to be born in the United Kingdom, where he grew up with his mother, Lucy Pounder. He is also a Grammy-nominated artist, earning a nod for Best Reggae Album for his 2019 project, As I Am.
10. Ky-Mani is also an entertainer.
11. Damian dabbles in more than just music.
The youngest of Bob's children, Damian was born to Miss World 1976, Cindy Breakspeare, on July 21, 1978. Of course, he is also a celebrated and Grammy-winning musician. As of late, he has also dabbled in the cannabis/CBD industry. According to Billboard, in 2016, he converted a California prison into a weed farm. He also owns a dispensary in Colorado.
While some decided to carry the legacy of their father and others forge their own path, it's incredible to witness the sort of personal and professional impact Bob Marley had on all his children. Though he passed away too soon, fans can be appreciative of the legacy he forever imprinted on music and his descendants.