Visitors walk by photographs on display on the opening day of the exhibit "Bob Marley, Messenger" at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles May 11, 2011. The exhibit celebrates the life and music of Bob Marley. (Photo : REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni )
Today the world is paying tribute to the musical prophet and cultural icon that propelled Reggae music into the mainstream, Bob Marley. Marley would have turned 68 on February 6, but he died from cancer in 1981 at the age of 36.
Marley received international recognition for his songs "One Love," "I Shot the Sheriff", "No Woman, No Cry", and "Buffalo Solider" among others. The Legend album, which was released three years after his death in 1984, became reggae's biggest selling album selling more than 10 million copies in the US and about 25 million worldwide. The Jamaican musician received BBC's song of the millenium for "One Love" after his death and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. In 1999, Time Magazine named Bob Marley & The Wailers' "Exodus" as the greatest album of the 20th century. According to Forbes, the iconic singer made $17 million after he died, far more than he earned throughout his 18 year career as a musician.
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Marley is also famed for introducing the Rastafarian movement to a worldwide audience and for infusing his music with messages of peace, love and of course, marijuana advocacy. Marley was quoted as saying "herb is the healing of a nation, alcohol is the destruction" and "When you smoke the herb, it reveals you to yourself."
Marley's son Ziggy associates the Reggae artist with another symbolic date, 4/20, which is celebrated by marijuana users. "I think 4/20 is a special day. Of course, with our culture we use herb for so many different things, not just for smoking. I think it's something that we're not going to hide from, and I think it's appropriate because it's a part of our culture and a part of Bob's music. If you love Bob's music, well guess what, herb is a part of Bob's music," said Ziggy.
Besides Ziggy, Marley is survied by his 10 other children, Sharon, Cedella, Stephen, Robbie, Rohan, Karen, Stephanie, Julian, Ky-Mani and Damian.