May 11, 1981: Bob Marley dies at the age of 36
When it comes to reggae music, Bob Marley is the king. It’s hard to traverse through the lovely island of Jamaica without noticing his impact. The artist dominated the radio with hits like, “Jamming” and “I Shot the Sheriff”. Unfortunately, nothing in this world can last forever.
A shocking discovery
In 1977, Marley became an international superstar with the album Exodus. A month after its release, the artist discovered acral lentiginous melanoma underneath a toenail. If not treated right away, this condition can cut years from your life. Doctors suggested that Marley get the infected toe amputated to remove the cancer. Any other person would’ve hopped in the hospital bed in a nanosecond. Marley, however, refused to go under the knife. He was gearing up for a huge tour and wanted to be at his best. To meet them in the middle, Marley had his nail removed instead.
An unwanted return
Over the years, Marley continued touring with no hindrance to his performance. In 1980, Marley embarked on an iconic world tour in support of his album Uprising. One particular show in Milan found him performing in front of 100,000 diehard fans. Unfortunately, his toe cancer came back to put a huge wrench in things. His cancer spread to his liver, lungs, and brain. Fearful for his health, Marley was forced to cancel the remaining dates of his tour.
One last breath
Marley decided to get serious about his condition with treatments in Bavaria. Over time, however, Marley gave up on treatments and decided to fly back to Jamaica. During the flight, things got worse for his situation. Marley landed in Miami and was quickly rushed to the nearby Cedars of Lebanon Hospital. Unfortunately, he died in the hospital at the age of 36 on May 11, 1981. The music world was crushed at losing such a talented individual so young. In his home country, it was if they lost their king. While he’s no longer alive, his spirit still watches over Jamaica today. “Such a man cannot be erased from the mind. He is part of the collective consciousness of the nation,” Prime Minister Edward Seaga said at Marley’s funeral.