Bob Marley, who died in 1981 after a battle with cancer, would have turned 70 today, but his music is still with us and his legend looms larger than ever.
Decades after his death, Marley is the most followed deceased entertainer, with more than 70 million Facebook followers and an ever-lengthening list of accomplishments attributable to his music.
His songs, which identified oppressors and agitated for social change while simultaneously allowing listeners to forget their troubles and dance, are still loved by millions of people worldwide.
Bob Marley was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994; in December 1999, his 1977 album “Exodus” was named Album of the Century by Time Magazine and his song “One Love” was designated Song of the Millennium by the BBC. Since its release in 1984, Marley’s “Legend” compilation has annually sold over 250,000 copies according to Nielsen Sound Scan, and it is only the 17th album to exceed sales of 10 million copies since SoundScan began its tabulations in 1991.
The official site dedicated to the memory of this great artists writes about Bob Marley:
One of the 20th century’s most charismatic and challenging performers, Bob Marley’s renown now transcends the role of reggae luminary: he is regarded as a cultural icon who implored his people to know their history “coming from the root of King David, through the line of Solomon,” as he sang on “Blackman Redemption”; Bob urged his listeners to check out the “Real Situation” and to rebel against the vampiric “Babylon System”. “Bob had a rebel type of approach, but his rebelliousness had a clearly defined purpose to it,” acknowledges Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records, who played a pivotal role in the Bob Marley biography by introducing Marley and the Wailers to an international audience. “It wasn’t just mindless rebelliousness, he was rebelling against the circumstances in which he and so many people found themselves.”
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