Bob Marley is one of the biggest and most influential artists of all-time. The Jamaican reggae singer, guitarist and songwriter would’ve turned 79 today. He is considered one of the pioneers of the genre due to his music fusing elements of reggae, ska and rocksteady. Marley was also well known for his distinctive vocal and songwriting styles. His contribution to music undoubtedly increased the visibility of Jamaican music worldwide, while also making him a global figure in popular culture. Over the course of his almost 20 year career, Marley became a Rastafarian icon and infused his music with a sense of spirituality. As a global symbol of Jamaican music, culture and identity, Marley was controversial in his outspoken support for democratic social reforms. The “Get Up, Stand Up” artist also supported legalisation of cannabis and advocated for Pan-Africanism.
Next week (February 14), Paramount Pictures will release Bob Marley: One Love. The film (in which Bob’s son Ziggy, his mother Rita and sister Cedella Marley served as a producers) is based on the life of the world renowned singer, songwriter and activist, from his rise to fame up until his death in the early 1980s. From stage performances to intimate time with his family to his assassination attempt, viewers will get an in-depth viewpoint of the different stages of life that made Marley a global phenomenon. You can check out the trailer here:
Considering the fact that it is Black History Month, his birthday and about a week away from the movie being released, it’s a great time to highlight how he grew up and the mark he left on the world. Check out a gallery of facts on the icon that you may not have known. HAPPY HEAVENLY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE GOATS!
Get Up, Stand Up: Interesting Facts About Bob Marley On What Would Have Been HIs 79th Birthday was originally published on globalgrind.com
1. His Real NameSource:Getty
Bob Marley’s real name is Nesta Robert Marley. Growing up he opted to use his middle name when someone pointed out that Nesta sounded feminine. Robert Marley then became the well-known Bob Marley!
In 1994, Bob Marley was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with Elton John, John Lennon and Rod Stewart. Bob Marley was inducted by Bono, and his backing singers The I-Threes performed ‘Redemption Song’ as part of the ceremony.
3. Medal ManSource:Getty
In 1978 Bob Marley was awarded The United Nations Peace Medal of the Third World for his courageous work fighting for peace and justice in Jamaica during a time of great political unrest.
Although Bob decided early on that he wanted to be a singer, he spent a short time reading palms…and was actually pretty good at it! He gave it up when he was seven and refused to read anyone’s palm after.
The posthumous album ‘Legend’ was released in 1984, three years after Bob Marley’s death, and went on to be the best-selling reggae album of all time, with more than 12 million copies sold worldwide.
The Order of Merit is a high honor awarded to Jamaican citizens who have achieved notable international success. The motto of the merit is ‘He that does truth comes into the light’.
Bob Marley received this honor in 1981 for his outstanding contribution to Jamaican culture. Bandmate Bunny Wailer also received the Order of Merit in 2017.
7. Can’t Stop, Won’t StopSource:Getty
While rehearsing for a free concert in Jamaica, an anonymous gunman (who perceived the concert as a political demonstration) shot at the singer. Bob was shot in the arm, his wife Rita was shot in the head and his manager Don Taylor was shot in the chest. Thankfully, they all survived.
The concert was scheduled for two days after the incident and Bob Marley still showed up and played the show. The incident is referred to in his song ‘Jamming’, with the line “No bullet can stop us now”.
8. Both SidesSource:Getty
Bob was born to a 60 year-old white British naval captain (Norval Sinclair Marley) and 18-year-old black country village girl (Cedella Malcolm, later Cedella Marley).
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