Born on February 6, 1945, in Nine Mile, Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica, Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley would have been 71 years old today. At the age of 12, he moved to Trenchtown, a neighborhood in Kingston, where he soon joined a vocal group. During these early years, reggae musician Joe Higgs served as a great mentor to youth in music. In addition to helping foster the group’s vocal techniques, Higgs also taught Marley how to play the guitar. Originally called The Teenagers in 1963, the group name was later changed to The Wailers. The group disbanded in 1974, but the singer-songwriter continued to perform under Bob Marley and the Wailers. It was his 1977 release of the album *Exodus*, which included hits like ‘One Love’ and ‘Waiting in Vain’, that established him as one of the best-selling artists of all time. News of his death on May 11, 1981 in Miami devastated fans across the world. He had contracted a type of melanoma skin cancer four years prior and it had unfortunately spread throughout his body. Despite this, *The Richmond Globe* and other sites claimed that the body of a homeless man discovered behind a fast food restaurant in Jamaican turned out to be the real Bob Marley. Is this even possible? Continue reading to learn more.Bob Marley once sang, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” It was through his reggae music that he was was able to hit listeners with healing and positivity.
Despite his death officially dated May 11, 1981, The Richmond Globe published an article titled ‘DNA Shocker! Body Of Homeless Man Found In Fast Food Restaurant Was BOB MARLEY!’ just last year. They included this photo of Juici Patties.
According to the article, there was no identification found on the body. “Indeed, the only possessions the old man had on him were a faded photograph of the Houses of Parliament in London, a dented tin containing a small quantity of marijuana and a battered old guitar,” they wrote.
While it might seem strange, we know that Bob Marley could strum and he was often photographed in clouds of smoke.
The musician was also a well known Rastafarian. In this religion, it is not uncommon for followers to keep their hair long or smoke marijuana, referred to as the holy herb, for spiritual purposes.
As for the Houses of Parliament photograph, he stayed in London for some time when he signed with CBS Records. It’s a stretch, but not impossible.
“With no leads to go on, the authorities turned to Jamaica’s national DNA database,” the story continued.
The article quoted Jacob Chambers, reportedly the chief coroner, expressing his disbelief upon learning that the body belonged to none other than Bob Marley. He thought that it was a joke.
Other sites focused on the reasons for why Bob Marley would have faked his own death in 1981. They wrote that he wanted to find a way out of the starlight and posed as a beggar. They also claimed that the Jamaican government knew about it all along.
Although some people would like to believe that Bob Marley was alive after all this time, Snopes and other fact checking sites have condemned the story as false. It was written for entertainment purposes only. Here is a photograph of his official funeral in the early 1980s.
Four years before his death, Bob Marley was diagnosed with acral melanoma, a rare yet fast-growing skin cancer. This type of cancer is named for its location, ‘of or belonging to the extremities of peripheral body parts,’ in this case under Marley’s toenail.
According to an article by Dr. Cleland Gooding, doctors advised Marley that treatment for the cancer would be amputation of the toe or even the foot. He refused, citing his religious beliefs against cutting the flesh, and opted instead for a surgical excision and skin graft. He continued to tour despite his condition.
Another website published an article called ‘Shocking DNA Results Revealed: Body Of Elderly Homeless Man Identified As Elvis Presley.’
The story provided details of an 80-year-old man found dead underneath an overpass in San Diego, California. They claimed DNA testing revealed his true identity as Elvis Aaron Presley and that he had been in the witness protection program since 1977. This is also false. Elvis passed away at the young age of 42 on August 16, 1977, after his heart stopped. Some suspect that it was an overdose of prescription drugs.
“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.” May false stories never cloud his legacy again. May he rest in peace.