If Bob Marley was still alive, he would have celebrated his 75th birthday in what we would expect to be great fanfare all across the world.
This is so because many people see Robert Nesta Marley as the greatest export out of Jamaica after putting the small island in the middle of the Caribbean Sea on the map.
Any Jamaican will tell you, when in an overseas setting, having made it known they are Jamaican, the very next question usually involves Bob Marley.
Marley’s music is so popular that he consistently ranks in the top-selling artistes posthumously and usually outsells fellow reggae artistes who actively carry out the trade.
Marley made great music, whether it was with the Wailers or as a solo artiste. And, he still has the best-selling reggae album of all time in the form of Legend. He also has sales surpassing 75 million collectively.
His song One Love was named song of the 20th century by the BBC and his album Exodus was hailed as the album of the century by Time magazine.
His songs, such as Exodus, Buffalo Soldier, Stir it Up and perennial favourite One Love, have seemingly become anthems across the world. Marley’s legacy continues to be a dominant force not only for himself but also his descendants, a number of whom have become accomplished musicians in their own right.
Bob’s music usually came with a message reflective of his upbringings in the streets of Trench Town, Jamaica. He spoke of love, women’s rights and other socially conscious topics.
He was so powerful that he was able to bring the two opposing factions of Jamaica’s political spectrum to peace with his One Love Concert in 1978, getting Michael Manley and Edward Seaga to join hands during a period of political upheaval in the country
Unfortunately, Bob would only see his own greatness for a short period, as he died at the young age of 36 from melanoma. However, he lives on through his music that a lot of us still enjoy.