Stephen Marley receives Key to the City of Wilmington Delaware

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Stephen Marley receives Key to the City of Wilmington Delaware

The City of Wilmington, Delaware, honored Bob Marley’s son, Stephen Marley, with the Key to the City. Stephen is the second eldest son of Bob and Rita Marley, and he has been instrumental in carrying on the Marley legacy with his brothers.

On Wednesday (March 21), Wilmington’s Mayor Mike Purzycki honored Stephen with the Key to the City in a ceremony at The One Love Park, attended by fans and some of the Marley family members. Wilmington is the first place in the U.S. where Bob Marley lived with his mother, Cedella Malcolm-Booker, who immigrated from Jamaica to Delaware in 1962.

It’s no surprise that Stephen Marley is the first Marley to be gifted the Key to the City since he was born in Wilmington on April 20, 1972, while Rita Marley was staying with Bob Marley’s mother following a tumultuous period in Jamaica. In fact, some Malcolm members of Cedella Booker’s family are still residing at her old residence on the first block of 24th St. in the City across from Tatnall Street Park, which was renamed in 2014 to One Love Park in honor of the late reggae legend.

“What’s really important to us is to reflect on our community,” Mayor Purzycki said to Stephen Marley at the “Key To The City” ceremony. “And when you see everybody here at this event, there is a depth of feeling that reminds us what community is all about. We appreciate that, and it’s a tribute to you that you have so many folks who want to be with you here today.”

In accepting the Key to the City, a humbled Stephen Marley said, “It’s a very emotional moment here. I do give thanks to everyone who made this possible…my family. Wilmington [is] home. I have fond memories of running across the street to the park and my father…I have fond memories here and thank you. I’m not a man of many words. I love you all. I feel at home.”

Stephen Marley started his musical career at age seven when he joined brother Ziggy Marley and sisters Cedella and Sharon Marley in the band Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers. Stephen would go on to win eight Grammy awards with three as a member of the band, three as a solo artist, and two as a producer on of his brother Damian Marley’s Grammy-winning albums, Halfway Tree and Welcome to Jamrock.