Reggae Legend Marley’s Mother Dies…

Cedella Marley Booker, mother of late reggae icon Bob Marley, died Tuesday night at her South Florida home after a long illness. She was 81.

Booker was surrounded by loved ones inside her home and was said to be ”happy,” according to a report on CBS4.com.

Booker’s grandson, Ky-Mani Marley, an accomplished musician himself, told The Miami Herald she “has always been a very loving, caring and supporting person in my life. She was always there to help me — even when I didn’t ask for help, she knew I needed help. She had that instinct to know when things were wrong and had the courage to fix it.”

Marley said the family was fortunate to be by Booker’s side.

”We all live very close by, really just blocks away, so we were all in the vicinity,” he said.

And though Booker had been struggling recently, her death still came as somewhat of a shock, her grandson said.

”We knew she was sick, and she’d keep fighting and pulling through,” he said. “So it was expected but unexpected. It’s a great loss.”

Booker was best-known for her famous son, but she was also an author and musician. Her two books about Bob Marley — 1997′s Bob Marley: An Intimate Portrait by His Mother and Bob Marley, My Son in 2003 — offered glimpses into his personal life, shedding light on his relationships with his wife Rita and bandmates such as Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer.

Booker released two albums, Awake Zion in 1991 and the following year a collection of Caribbean folk songs for children called Smilin’ Island of Song.

She also frequently performed with Bob Marley’s sons Ky-Mani, Ziggy, Stephen, Damian and Julian. Although she didn’t perform at the family’s annual Caribbean Fest concert in Miami in early March, Ky-Mani Marley said she was still performing as recently as ”about a year ago” in Jamaica.

Family members are making arrangements for a memorial.

Source: BY MICHAEL HAMERSLY
mhamersly@MiamiHerald.com

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