By Benjamin Flowers: Today would have marked the 77th birthday of one of the greatest contributors to music of any generation, the late great Bob Marley.
The legend who gave the world timeless classics such as “Redemption Song” and “Buffalo Soldier,” was born Robert Nesta Marley, in Jamaica on February 6, 1945.
Beginning his music career at the age of 16, Marley would use his platform, his beloved Reggae music, to share his thoughts and feelings on a variety of topics including brotherly love, romantic love, social injustice, and faith in the divine.
Bob Marley started his career with the Wailers, a group he formed with Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston in 1963. In 1966, Marley married Rita Marley who would introduce him to Rastafarianism, a belief he fully embraced by 1969, which had a huge influence on his music.
In 1976 Marley and the Wailers would be honored as the Band of the Year by Rolling Stone. In 1978, Marley was awarded the “Peace Medal of the Third World” from the United Nations. In February 1981 he was awarded Jamaica’s third-highest honour, the Jamaican Order of Merit.
Marley would, unfortunately, die on May 11, 1981, at the age of 36, from melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer which has a median survival of less than a year, according to a 2019 article published by medscape.com.
Though his career may have been cut short, the lasting impression he left on the world would see him win various awards posthumously, including: being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame(1994); the album “Exodus” being named Album of the Century by Time Magazine (1999); earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2001), Awarded Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (2001); and being ranked No. 11 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time (also 2001) among many other accolades.
U Discover Music reports that, to honor his memory this year, his family held a number of in-person, virtual, and philanthropic events, culminating on his birthday today.
Though Marely has passed, the impact of his work, the message that he brought, and the stance he took on many issues continues to inspire people all over the world.