Cedella Booker, the mother of Jamaican music legend Bob Marley, has died, according to South Florida Times news partner NBC 6 and The Associated Press. She was 81.
Booker died in her sleep Tuesday night at her home in Miami, apparently from natural causes, family spokesman Jerome Hamilton said.
Booker, a Jamaica native, was 18 when she married Norval Marley, a British man 32 years her senior.
Their son brought Jamaican reggae music to international prominence, becoming its international image. Bob Marley died in Miami of a brain tumor in 1981 at age 36.
"Mrs. Booker was the matriarch of a movement so powerful that the mystical qualities of the
Marley musical legacy remain strong and potent," Jamaica Information Minister Olivia Grange said.
After Norval Marley died in 1955, Booker married an American man and settled in Delaware. She wrote two biographies of her famous son and recorded two albums, "Awake Zion!" and "Smilin' Island of Song."
Robert Lalah, a columnist for the Jamaica Gleaner, interviewed Booker in February while she celebrated her son's birthday.
Funeral arrangements have not been announced.
Photo: Cedella Booker