The Marleys, a golden family


Fifteen days. This is the time it took for the film Bob Marley: One Love, released in theaters on February 14, to cross the million admissions mark in France. Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, this biopic focuses primarily on two pivotal years in the singer’s career, from his assassination attempt in 1976 to his One Love Peace Concert in 1978 at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. The film also reached first place at the English and Jamaican box offices. Logically, listening to Bob Marley albums has exploded, whether on streaming platforms or through physical purchases.

If the feature film is distributed by Paramount Pictures, it is produced in partnership with part of the Marley family, including Rita, Bob’s wife. Married very young, the global reggae star had a total of – officially – eleven children, including four with Rita. It would be both tedious and ridiculous to want to count all the girlfriends that Bob Marley may have had throughout his life. Let us nevertheless mention the most famous, including the top models Sandra Kong, whom he met during a beauty contest in Paris, or Cindy Breakspeare, crowned Miss World in 1976, with whom he had a child, Damian. Lately accepted by the family, he was nevertheless considered for a time as the worthy successor of his father.

When he died of cancer on May 11, 1981, Bob Marley left neither will nor last wishes. Under Jamaican law, his wife gets 55% of the inheritance, with the rest shared among her legitimate children. In 2009, the entire family signed a lucrative agreement with the American company Hilco Consumer Capital, which obtained exclusive rights to worldwide exploitation of the license for the Marley name. According to the American magazine Forbes, rights holders earned more than 14 million dollars (12.8 million euros) in 2020.

Ziggy, the best known

While most of Bob Marley’s children still spend time in Jamaica, they all currently live in Florida, where they have rebuilt their lives. Custodians of an imposing heritage, many have tried to embrace a musical career in their turn.

Also co-producer of the film, Ziggy is undoubtedly the best known to the general public. Second son of Rita and Bob, he first appeared on stage at his father’s funeral in 1981. The following year, Ziggy formed a group, The Melody Makers, accompanied by Stephen, one of his brothers, and by Cedella and Sharon, two of his sisters. Little by little, the group forges its own sound, mixing reggae and different forms of contemporary music.

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