On April 8th, 2008, Cedella Marley Booker, or “Mama B” as she was affectionately known, passed away peacefully in her sleep, surrounded by her loved ones, at her home in Miami, Florida, at the age of 81.
Although her final home was in Miami, where she lived close to her musical grandchildren, she spent several years living in Delaware with her second husband Mr. Edward Booker, where she ran The Roots record shop.
She was also known to reside from time to time at her original home in Nine Mile, Jamaica, which is now the Bob Marley museum and his final resting place.
Cedella, a Jamaican, was married to Norval Marley, from Great Britain, who was 32 years her senior, and they lived together in the early 1950’s. From this union, Bob was conceived. Cedella was the primary caregiver in Bob’s life and remained staunchly by his side during his meteoric rise to fame.
She wrote two biographies about her famous son entitled, Bob Marley: An Intimate Portrait by His Mother (1997), and Bob Marley, My Son (2003).
Besides being an author, and the mother of one of the most influential musicians of all time, she was also a musician in her own right. She recorded three albums, entitled “Awake Zion!,” “Smilin’ Island of Song: A Musical Adventure for Children” and “Woman Divine.” Her song “Brown Girl In The Ring” is the title track on a World Music compilation CD for children in the “Music For Little People” Series. As a grandmother of 52, her penchant for children was widely recognized.
Cedella is survived by two children from her second marriage, Claudette Livingston and Richard Booker, and 52 Grandchildren.
A loving, maternal woman of remarkable courage and strength, having prematurely buried two of her sons, Cedella undoubtedly reunited with her two deceased children in Zion.
Rest In Peace Mama B.