During a tumultuous time in 1976 Jamaica, Bob Marley organized Smile Jamaica, a free concert meant to ease tension amid the fear and political violence. However, three days before the event, three armed men stormed onto Marley’s property and shot the legendary singer and his wife Rita.
On Oprah: Where Are They Now?, Ziggy Marley recounted the assassination attempt against his parents and the night police swept him away with his siblings.
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“She got shot in her head. She got a bullet in her head, one inch from the brain, during the time of the assassination attempt,” Ziggy said of his mother. “My father got shot in the hand.” Fortunately, the then 8-year-old Ziggy wasn’t home; he learned about the shooting later along with his siblings, when police swept them away in the middle of the night.
“The night they got shot, we were awoken by a knocking at the door. It was the police, and they swooped us up. They kind of carried us and took us to this hideaway up, way up in the hills outside of Kingston,” he revealed. Thankfully, Bob and Rita survived the attempt.
While some musicians decided not to attend the concert following the assassination attempt, the Marleys showed up. “This is the type of woman that my mother is,” Ziggy said. “Even a bullet in her head couldn’t stop her from serving that higher purpose.”