Bob Marley was a strict dad.

Bob Marley

Bob Marley

Although the late pioneer of reggae - who died in 1981 at the age of 36 - was known as the king of chill, his son Ziggy, 51, admitted he could be a tough parent because he was aware of the "danger" of life in Jamaica.

He said: "Growing up in Jamaica in the 1970s could be dangerous. There were guns everywhere. But as a kid the danger felt exciting. Every day was an adventure. I did not understand the seriousness of the situation. There were times when my father would tell me not to play on the street because he wanted to keep me safe. If I disobeyed him, he would give me a spanking.

"People think Bob was laid back about everything, but he was tough when it came to discipline.

"That is a traditional type of Caribbean parenting -- old-school. Kids grow up very differently today."

Bob had 11 children with seven different partners and Ziggy says his mother Rita, 74, Bob's widow, treated them all like her own.

He told the Sunday Times magazine: "Some people didn't approve of Bob seeing other women while he was married to my mother, but I didn't know too much about it, so it never bothered me. I know that my mother didn't like it, but she wasn't the kind of person to be vindictive or jealous.

"As far as she was concerned, Damian [whose mother is Cindy Breakspeare, a former Miss World] was Bob's child and all of Bob's children were her children too."

Meanwhile, Ziggy admitted he thinks it's plausible that Bob - who passed away in 1981 at the age of 36 after developing a malignant melanoma - "was murdered" for his political beliefs.

He said: "I was 12 years old when my daddy passed away. People say it was cancer [a malignant melanoma spread from the big toe on Marley's right foot]. Somebody stepped on his toe and that caused an injury, then he dies of cancer? In my mind it doesn't add up.

"I don't know all the facts, but it's plausible that he was murdered. Yeah, man, definitely. He was still a serious threat at that time. Bob never took sides, but his music carried a message all over the world and that was a problem for the geopolitical powers.

"The political system wanted to divide the people of Jamaica, but Bob was a unifier. He could have been prime minister and the system was threatened by him. I believe that is why there was an assassination attempt in 1976. He was shot twice. They shot my mother. Somebody wanted them out of the way."


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