It’s 1:00 AM, on Friday, February 7, Bob Marley’s birthday had ended, but the celebrations continued at his former home on old Hope Road.
The crowd by this time has spilled over into the streets, unable to see what was happening on the stage, but were contented to just hear the reggae music that blasted through speakers.
Inside, people from all walks of life, ethnicities and countries, were rocking to the music, the poignant scent of marijuana clouded the air.
On stage, his sons; Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley, Julian Marley, Stephen Marley, Rohan Marley, embracing, led the crowd into singing Bob Marley’s Could This Be Love.
And as the diverse crowd belted their voices, it was evident that although the night was ending, the conversations about the 75th birthday celebration of the King of reggae, would go on for days to come.
Veteran and upcoming artistes
The celebrations had brought together veteran and upcoming reggae artistes to pay homage to the man who made it all possible.
They showcased their gratitude in song tributes, and praises.
Marcia Griffiths, the reigning queen of reggae graced the stage with veteran Nadine Sutherland and performed a duet of He’s A Legend.
And the crowd song along in agreement.
Marcia Griffiths then performed a crowd favourite-I Shall Sing, and did a beautiful rendition of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song.
The stage was then taken over by Richie Spice, who kept the crowd grooving to hits like Grooving My Girl and Earth A Run Red.
He brought out the upcoming star, Snatcher Lion on stage, much to the excitement of the crowd.
Grub Cooper, drummer, producer, and songwriter from the band Fab Five, surprised the audience with a performance.
He told the crowd that Rita Marley, wife of the late Bob Marley gave him a special request to perform One Draw, a song he wrote for her.
The crowd was then treated to the powerful vocals of Cherise Ramson, a Trinidadian reggae singer.
Bongo Herman, a staple at the Bob Marley birthday celebrations was next on stage. He took the crowd on a trip down memory lane, recalling stories of times he had shared with Bob.
The talented percussionist then took the crowd on a historical journey of the making of the unique sounds of reggae music, using instruments such as the tambourine, and even a chimney pot, to create the sounds that the world has come to love.
Fast rising reggae star, Mortimer then graced the stage with his smooth vocals. Delivering songs from his recent Fight The Fight EP, he kept the crowd entranced with his seemingly effortless performance.
The calm atmosphere that Mortimer created was then quickly disrupted when Jesse Royal hit the stage, and delivered a powerful set.
The crowd sang along to his hits like, Modern Day Judas, and Lion Order. And he brought out the ‘lioness’ Kellisa on stage, who performed her hit single Lioness Order.
After this lively performance, the atmosphere was again transformed as singer, Sherita, graced the stage. The crowd went quiet, entranced by her powerful and soulful vocals, as she performed songs from her newly released EP, Conversations.
A juggling session was then introduced, as DJ Franco played reggae hits after hits, keeping the crowd interested as they awaited the entry of the Marley brothers.
The Marley brothers
It was the Junior Gong himself who led this segment. After leading the crowd into a Jah Rastafari! chant, he then went straight into his hit song, Nail Pon Cross, which the crowd joined him in singing word for word.
His older brother, Stephen Marley entered the stage, and proceeded to chase the Crazy Bald Head out of town. And then Julian Marley also came on stage and performed, Natty Dread.
Junior Gong then went into a solo set, performing hits like Medication, and Shoot Out,
The crowd went into a frenzy when surprise guest artiste, Capleton came on stage and in his usual style, set the place ablaze.
That frenzy further intensified when dancehall artiste Popcaan, entered the stage, and had the crowd feeling sentimental with his single Family.
Reggae artistes, Eye Water, and Ibo Mar followed suit and gave short but high energy performances.
Kabaka Pyramid, was the last guest artiste for the night, and performed Well Done. He was then joined on stage by Junior Gong and they performed their hit collab, Kontraband.
The Marley brothers; Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley, Julian Marley, Stephen Marley, and Rohan Marley were by now all back on stage.
And it was obvious that there was in fact, love. Love for Bob Marley, love for his legacy, love for reggae music.