It is the 33rd anniversary of reggae legend, Bob Marley, who lived between February 6, 1945 and May 11, 1981.
The Jamaican singer, songwriter, and guitarist achieved global fame and acclaim with his unique voice and poetic lyrical style.
Marley started solo, and then formed The Wailing Wailers in 1963. When the chequered group split in 1974, Marley pursued a solo career. In 1977, the album, Exodus, was released as his first creative offspring. With Exodus, Marley began growing his worldwide reputation, as he became one of the world’s best-selling artistes of all time, selling more than 75 million albums and singles.
Exodus topped the British album charts for 56 consecutive weeks, courtesy of four UK hit singles: Exodus, Waiting in Vain, Jamming, and One Love.
In his songs, Marley preached against oppression and highlighted the struggles of Africans, with tracks such as Zimbabwe, Africa Unite, Wake Up and Live, and Survival from his album Survival, released in 1979.
Marley was diagnosed of a type of malignant melanoma under the nail of a toe in 1977, as a symptom of an already-existing cancer. He turned down the advice to to amputate his toe, citing conflicting religious beliefs. With the disease spreading throughout his body, he died in 1981, aged 36. Redemption, one of his greatest hits, is considered Marley’s way of coming to terms with his impending mortality.
In all, Marley’s albums were Exodus (1977), Kaya (1978), Survival (1979), Uprising (1980), and the posthumously-released Confrontation (1983).
Before and after his death, he received numerous awards, some of which were:
The Peace Medal of the Third World from the United Nations (June, 1978)
Jamaica’s third highest honour, the Jamaican Order of Merit (February,1981)
Induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (March,1994)
Album of the Century for Exodus by Time Magazine (1999)
Starring on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (February 2001)
The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (February 2001)
The rating by Rolling Stone as No.11 on the list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time
The naming of One Love by BBC as song of the millennium (2004)
his emergence from a BBc poll as one of the greatest lyricists of all time
The unveiling of a blue plaque at his first UK residence in Ridgmount Gardens, London, dedicated to him by Nubian Jak community trust and supported by Her Majesty’s Foreign Office (2006)
The induction of Catch a Fire into the Grammy Hall of Fame (2010, Reggae Album)
The inauguration of a commemorative statue in his honour, next to the national stadium on Arthur Wint Drive.
Bob Marley lives on!