Rita Marley, famously known as Bob Marley’s widow, has had a fantastic musical career of her own. Rita was born in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, but was brought up in Trenchtown, Jamaica. Rita loved to sing along to the radio and when it was discovered that she was an incredible singer, she was asked to audition for the Soulettes. Rita’s cousin, Constantine ‘Dream’ Walker and friend, Marlene ‘Precious’ Gifford were the other members of the group. The trio later sang for the Wailing Wailers, a group that consisted of Bob Marley, Peter McIntosh and Bunny Livingstone. Through working together Rita’s and Bob’s relationship flourished and they fell in love, and they married in 1966. The pair moved around between America and Jamaica recording and trying to improve their financial situation.
Rita recorded with the Soulettes throughout the mid-60s and also released a few solo hits including her single, ‘Pied Piper’. Rita helped form the group ‘I Three’ in 1974. The group consisted of herself, Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt. They often sang with Bob Marley and the Wailers, as Peter McIntosh and Bunny Wailer had left the Wailers a year prior. I Three, Bob Marley and the Wailers first rose to international stardom in 1975 with the single ‘No Woman No Cry’, which was followed by the smash hit album ‘Rastaman Vibration’.