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Bob Marley would have been a Christian were he alive today says Judy Mowatt

Published:Tuesday | August 25, 2015 | 12:00 AMShereita Grizzle
Marcia Griffiths (left) and Judy Mowatt
A Peter Simon picture of Bob Marley performing with an image of Emperor Haile Selassie I in the background.
The I-Threes back in the days. (From left) Judy Mowatt, Rita Marley and Marcia Griffiths in performance.
(From left)The I-Threes, from left: Judy Mowatt, Rita Marley and Marcia Griffiths

Grammy-nominated reggae singer Judy Mowatt is making the rounds on the Worldwide Web after comments she made in a recent interview with Britain's The Voice newspaper. In the interview posted online on Tuesday, Mowatt who was part of the reggae group, The I-Threes, said that she believes that if reggae legend Bob Marley was alive today, he would have converted to Christianity.

The singer, who rose to fame as a member of Marley's backing group, The I-Threes, is also a devoted Christian today, after converting in 1988. She was a Rastafarian for 22 years before making the transition.

In the interview, Mowatt said that a conversation she had with Marley's widow Rita, led her to believe that the late singer may have been converting to Christianity before his death.

"I think Bob Marley would be at the same place (as me)," she said. "I say this because I remember when he was in his transition (when he was leaving this Earth), he was in such excruciating pain. I remember his wife telling me that she went to the hospital and he (Marley) said, 'Jesus, take me.' At the time, I wondered: 'What is the meaning of that?' I didn't mention to Rita that I was curious, but I knew I would get the answer someday."


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Mowatt continued: "Years later, a friend of mine, Bunny Brown from The Chosen Few (reggae/soul vocal group), said to me that his sister was a nurse at the hospital where Bob was and he told me that his sister had led him (Marley) to the Lord. She told him about Jesus and she led him to the Lord. So when Rita heard him say, 'Jesus, take me', it made sense. You cannot call on the name of Jesus without knowing Him."

When asked if she had ever shared her thoughts with Rita (who was also a member of The I-Threes, along with singer Marcia Griffiths), Mowatt said she used to remind her (Rita) of their conversation when she (Rita) mentioned that Marley had been calling on the name of Jesus before he died.

"I think I've reminded her of that [conversation we had] and she said she didn't remember saying it. But that is something that I will never forget. Sometimes, people might say something to you, but they say it in passing, not realising the impact of what they're saying is having on you."

Following her conversion, Mowatt, who earned a Grammy nomination for her 1985 solo album, Working Wonders, took a break from the music industry so she could become a more devoted Christian. Still committed to the faith, serving as the worship leader at her church, Mowatt recently returned to the music scene. She will embark on a UK tour this week alongside her former I-Threes group member Marcia Griffiths and fellow reggae stars Bob Andy, Richie Spice and Tanya Stephens.