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USA | Oct 3, 2022

Rita Marley ‘doing well’ as she receives Lifetime Achievement Award in South Florida

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Marley matriarch honoured at NDTC performance last week

Steve Golding pays a visit with Rita Marley.

Rita Marley, wife of the legendary Bob Marley and matriarch to the Marley Estate has received the Jamaican Consulate General’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

She received the award from Jamaica’s Consul General to Miami, Oliver Mair on Saturday. Marley, a famed musician in her own right, was also honoured by the South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center during Jamaica’s National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC) performance last week.

The NDTC performance was organised by the Louise Bennett Coverley Heritage Council under the patronage of Jamaica’s Consul General to Miami. Some of Mrs Marley’s songs, such as Love Iyah, Good Morning Jah, A Jah Jah, Thank You Lord and Harambe were put to dance.

Not long after her husband’s death in May 1981, Rita Marley re-launched her solo career. Working mainly with the Fabulous Five Band, she scored a number of hit songs that proved she was more than Bob Marley’s wife.

Rita Marley

According to Rita’s daughter, Sharon, who also attended the NDTC dance performance, her mother was overwhelmed by the performances. According to her, “I was watching her very closely to see if she would have started to cry. A lot of work went into those songs, she built a lot of friendships during that time. Ricky (Walters), who wrote that Love Iyah piece, died this year, so it celebrated him as well and Steve Golding, who wrote My Kind of War for her, was also there.”

Walters, a guitarist with Fab Five, died in South Florida in June. Golding, also a guitarist, collaborated with Rita during the early 1980s when she became a star in her own right. Sharon, Mrs Marley’s eldest child, disclosed that her mother is doing well after suffering a series of strokes in recent years. She is pleased that the Marley matriarch is getting her due recognition.

“We want to express our appreciation to the Jamaican Consulate for considering her for this Lifetime Achievement Award. It’s coming on to Heroes Week (in Jamaica) and it’s also our 60th year of independence, so she recognises the importance of this time,” she said in concluding her brief remarks.

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