Bob Marley’s wife, Rita Marley once took a bullet to the head that was aimed at Marley in an attempted assassination in Kingston. Despite being shot in the head, she survived, due to her thick dreadlocks minimizing the impact of the bullet.
The attempted assassination of Bob Marley occurred in Jamaica on December 3, 1976, when seven armed men raided the house of reggae musician Bob Marley two days before he was to stage a concert in an attempt to quell recent violence. Politicians from across the political spectrum hoped to capitalize on Marley’s support. While Marley remained neutral, many viewed him as tacitly supporting the prime minister Michael Manley and his democratic socialist People’s National Party. Marley and three others were shot, but all survived. The gunmen were caught, tried, and executed.
“She got shot in her head,” Ziggy Marley said of his mother. “She got a bullet in her head, one inch from the brain, during the time of the assassination attempt. My father got shot in the hand.”
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Either by good fortune or poor aim, the bullet aimed at Marley skidded off his chest, lodging in his arm rather while wife Rita, although shot in the head while disembarking from a vehicle, survived the hit. Marley’s manager Don Taylor sustained serious injuries from being shot in the leg. It’s believed Rita’s super dense dreadlocks blocked the bullet and minimized the impact. They were all rushed to the University Hospital and treated.
The nation was shocked about the attempt on Marley’s life at a time he had become a national treasure. Nonetheless, many ordinary folks wished to see him perform and he did perform. Fans waited over four hours before Marley, with his Wailers, arrived to a tumultuous welcome from about 8,000 people leading to the performance at the National Heroes Park in Kingston on December 5, 1976,
Ziggy Marley, who was eight at the time of the incident, notes: “This is the type of woman that my mother is. Even a bullet in her head couldn’t stop her from serving that higher.