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Alpharita Constantia Anderson (born 25 July 1946), better known as Rita Marley, and sometimes called "Nana Rita", is the widow of reggae legend/musician Bob Marley, and a member of the trio the I Threes, Bob Marley's backup singers.
Rita was born July 25, 1946 in Santiago de Cuba to Leroy Anderson and Cynthia "Beda" Jarrett. She grew up in the upper level of Beachwood Avenue, located in Kingston, Jamaica. In her book No Woman, No Cry: My Life with Bob Marley Rita describes how she was raised by her Aunt Viola on Greenwich Park Road. Bob was from the lower level of Trenchtown.
In the mid 1960s, Rita met Bob after meeting Peter Tosh. After it was learned that she was a singer, she was asked to audition for the Soulettes, later known as the I Threes. The group included Rita, her cousin Constantine "Dream" Walker, and Marlene "Precious" Giffordwas. Bob became the group's mentor and manager and through working together, he and Rita fell in love.
The two married 10 February 1966. However, the reason for their marriage was said to have been a way to make it easier for Rita to immigrate to the US should Bob have decided to live in the US following a visit with his mother in Delaware. Raised Christian, she became involved in the Rastafari Movement prior to witnessing stigmata during Haile Selassie's visit to Jamaica on 21 April 1966. She remains, however, an active member of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
After Marley's death, she recorded a few albums under her name with some success in the United Kingdom.
In 1986, Rita made the decision to convert Bob Marley's home into the Bob Marley Museum. She is also the Founder and Chairperson of the Robert Marley Foundation, Bob Marley Trust, and the Bob Marley Group of Companies. She founded the Rita Marley Foundation in 2000. She has also adopted 35 children in Ethiopia and has assisted over 200 children in Konkonuru Methodist School in Ghana and made a commitment to positively impact their lives.