Perhaps best known as one-third of Bob Marley’s backup vocal trio the I-Threes, Marcia Griffiths has crafted a long and celebrated career in music. Known as the Empress of Reggae Music, Griffiths has spent the last 40 years performing for audiences around the world. As a warm-up to her Music in the Park free concert on Thursday, August 11, here are a handful of lesser-known tidbits about the reggae matriarch.

1. Marcia Griffiths was an internationally known musician when Bob Marley was still a rising star. As part of a vocal duo with Bob Andy, Griffiths had two UK chart-toppers with a remake of Nina Simone’s “Young, Gifted and Black” and the song “Pied Piper.” It would be years before she met and started working with Marley.

2. The “electric slide” dance was inspired by, and created to, Griffith’s song “Electric Boogie.” It became a smash hit and broke Griffiths into the U.S. Billboard 100.

3. Griffith’s first public performance was at a talent show in Kingston, Jamaica when she was in her early teens. She performed a cover of Carla Thomas’s “No Time to Lose.” The story goes that it was a huge hit and the audience demanded an encore, but since she had only rehearsed one song with the band, her fans would have to wait.

4. Griffiths opened many doors for women in reggae, both professionally and culturally. Before Griffiths, women vocalists in Jamaica were few. Of women in reggae Griffiths has said, “Its been a rough, tough job standing up as a woman in this business… Most of the new or upcoming female singers in reggae started out singing my songs before doing their own originals. I feel very good about that; to know that I have influenced my people positively.”

5. Griffith’s resume reads like a who’s who of reggae music. As a teenager she sang professionally with famed musician, producer and entrepreneur Byron Lee; she recorded “Feel Like Jumping” (along with many others) at the legendary Studio One under the supervision of super-producer Coxsone Dodd; she worked with one of the great treasures of reggae music, the inimitable producer Sonia “Mrs. P.” Pottinger; and she did all of this before joining forces with the international face and voice of reggae, Bob Marley.