Rita Marley is set to ring in her 75th birthday this Sunday with a virtual celebration rooted in community and activism. Presented by Tuff Gong Radio – which was founded by her late husband and reggae legend Bob Marley – the livestream (titled Mystic of a Queen) will feature a variety of events, ranging from a tribute concert, to a virtual tour of the Rita Marley exhibit at the Bob Marley Museum, and to the announcement of her namesake scholarship for 2021.
Broadcasting from Kingston, Jamaica, this weekend’s events underscore the Marley matriarch’s lifelong humanitarian work, and will be available to the public on Tuff Gong’s YouTube channel starting at 5 p.m. E.T. on Sunday, July 25.
Former I-Three singer Marcia Griffiths, who sang backing vocals for Bob Marley and the Wailers in the mid-'70s, is one of the acts slated to perform at the tribute concert. A longtime friend of Dr. Rita Marley, Griffiths shares how much of an impact Marley and her philanthropic work have had on the local community in Jamaica. “Yes, she has preserved and protected Bob Marley’s legacy, but on a larger scale, she has not only inspired generations worldwide, but has also increased tourism to our country. In a real way, the companies she founded have created jobs that help people improve their lives and provide for their families,” the singer tells Billboard. “Even in the international market, she has built and donated facilities and contributed funding to help the elderly and children in African countries,” adds Griffiths.