Did Bob Marley Really Get Shot? Here's What We Know!

D.M. - Author

Jul. 6 2023, Published 10:20 p.m. ET

Bob Marley performs on stage
Source: Getty Images

Singer Bob Marley is often regarded as one of the most popular Jamaican musicians of all time. Bob rose to fame in the 1970’s thanks to the success of his band, The Wailers, which he formed alongside Neville "Bunny" O'Riley Livingston and Peter McIntosh. According to Biography, The Wailers signed with Island Records in 1972 and released two albums, Catch a Fire and Burnin', a year later. The latter includes the hit song I Shot the Sheriff, which was later covered by Eric Clapton.

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Now, Bob’s life will be the subject of a biopic, titled Bob Marley: One Love. The film, directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, stars Kingsley Ben-Adir as the reggae pioneer. While The Woman King’s Lashana Lynch will appear as his wife, Rita Marley.

“Now is the time for the story of our father Bob Marley to be represented in a biopic,” Ziggy Marley said in a statement on Instagram. Adding, “We look forward to inspiring not only the long time fans but also the younger generation.”

Bob Marley (1945 - 1981) outside Marylebone Magistrates Court in London
Source: Getty Images
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Ziggy went on to reveal that the movie, which is set to be released in January 2024, was filmed in London and Jamaica and will feature scenes at locations Bob visited during his lifetime. Following the release, which shows a young Bob looking at bullet holes in a wall, fans of the Could You Be Loved singer are wondering if he was ever shot.

Bob Marley was the victim of an assassination attempt.

According to Yahoo, Bob was the victim of a heinous assassination attempt in 1976. The incident saw seven gunmen break into the singer’s Kingston home, and let out a barrage of bullets. Bob’s wife, Rita, was shot in the head. While Bob suffered gunshot wounds to his arm and chest. Bob’s manager, Don Taylor, and one of his band members were also injured in the shooting. Thankfully, everyone survived the attack.

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At the time of the tragic incident, Bob and his band were rehearsing for a free outdoor concert, with hopes of easing the country’s rising political tension. The shooters were later identified and tried in a Jamaican court. Before their executions, one of the assailants reportedly admitted that the CIA ordered the assassination in exchange for drugs and weapons, Far Out Magazine reports.

Bob Marley performs on stage, in a concert at Grona Lund, Stockholm
Source: Getty Images
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Bob Marley’s death was not related to the shooting.

Following the assassination attempt, Bob promised to return to the stage. Two days after the shooting, he performed at the Smile Jamaica concert, alongside The Wailers. A few years later, Bob passed away, but his death was not related to the assassination attempt. In May 1981, the Is This Love crooner died from skin cancer. According to The New Yorker, the reggae legend was diagnosed with Melanoma in 1977, but he did not immediately seek treatment.

Stephen Marley (L) and Ziggy Marley, sons of Bob Marley, perform onstage at the first stop of the "Roots, Rock, Reggae Tour 2004"
Source: Getty Images

After Bob’s death, his children quickly followed in his footsteps. Ziggy Marley, Stephen Marley, Sharon Marley, and Cedella Marley continued performing as Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers. And although the band was formed prior to Bob’s death, the group did not release their debut studio album until 1985.

Bob Marley: One Love is out on Jan 12, 2024.

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