Besides the tribute concert, the broadcast will showcase a digital tour of the new, permanently installed Rita Marley exhibit at the Bob Marley Museum and will announce the 2021 Rita Marley scholarship. Specifically catered to young women and single mothers, the scholarship will be offered to one student enrolled at the Women Centre of Jamaica and two students from the University of Technology Nursing. The application form is due on Aug. 9 and is available on the Rita Marley Foundation website.
In a statement to Billboard, Sharon Marley – Rita Marley’s oldest daughter – shares how fostering the next generation of women is one of her mother’s big priorities. “Providing scholarships for young women needing assistance to complete their educational goals — thus maintaining and bringing high standards to their communities — is a big part of Dr. Rita Marley’s vision,” says Sharon Marley, who was a singer in her family’s group Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers. She continues on to note how, “Programs created by The Rita Marley foundation are giving voices to hundreds of youths.”
As Marley’s closest colleagues, friends and family planned the festivities, Myshjua Allen Murray, executive label manager at Tuff Gong International, reflects on her friend’s 75th birthday and gives Billboard a special peek into who Dr. Rita Marley is behind the scenes.
“When I first went to work at Tuff Gong in Jamaica, I saw how Rita Marley spent hours at the office and then at the studio to record an album. I saw how she got up at sunrise to run on the beach, stop at the market on the way home, and then play with her kids and grandkids with a smile. That’s when I understood the level of strength, grace, faith, ingenuity and flat out gangsta that it takes for a woman – let alone a Black woman – to bring a vision to life in this world while raising babies, raising yourself, and trying to love someone else who is in the same damn boat.” says Murray.
For SiriusXM subscribers, the celebration will also be livestreamed on Tuff Gong radio.