It has been 35 years since we lost one of the world’s most revered musical, political and social icons. Who has inspired millions of people around the world, all by spreading his general message of peace, love, and unity for all.
Robert Nesta Marley was born on February 6th, 1945 in Nine Mile, Jamaica. Marley started his music legacy with The Wailers, a group formed with Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer in 1963. Around the time of 1969 when Marley married Rita, he was introduced to Rastafarianism and became a devout rasta; which not only influenced the music of the group and the music of his solo career but also influenced reggae music in general. The group separated in 1974, but Marley along with the other members of The Wailers pursued successful solo careers, however, Marley had a very profound affect on the future of reggae music. With an impressive discography from “Catch a Fire” to “Exodus”, Bob Marley sold more than 20 million records throughout his career. He was also a major political advocate for the justice of all and especially the poverty-stricken people who he grew up with throughout a large portion of his life. In “I Shot the Sherrif” Marley speaks of the police brutality and political violence in Jamaica at the time, and in “War” he uses the famous words of Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie I, who is highly regarded in the Rastafarian faith,“Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned”. Marley’s music gave Jamaica a little hope during a time of political unrest when at the One Love Peace Concert, Marley brought political rivals Michael Manley (People’s National Party) and Edward Seaga (Jamaica Labor Party) together in a handshake. Along with that spectacular event, Bob even attended his Smile Jamaica concert only two days after being gunned down and shot during rehearsals. One of the more pivotal events of Marley’s career, as an advocate for a united and free Africa, was when he performed at Zimbabwe’s Independence celebration, which was ideal because his music inspired many of those citizens.
After many years since his death from Melanoma in 1981, Marley’s music continues to spread on a global scale. His music also influences the increase of the Rastafarian faith while promoting peace and harmony. Marley will forever be known as one of the most iconic people the world has ever seen, and his message of peace will always live on in his legacy and music even many years after his death.