Before Bob Marley, reggae music was restricted to its native country Jamaica, a style which developed alongside the music genres ska and rocksteady. Born Nesta Robert Marley, Marley popularized reggae music as part of the band Bob Marley & The Wailers. The rhythmic musical style was introduced to a global audience, and with it, informed the world of the social and political issues faced in Jamaica.

One of Marley’s best known songs is One Love, a lighthearted rallying cry for unity and praising the Lord. One Love was selected by Time in 1999 as one of the best songs in the century, with its album Exodus also being selected as best album. Other well-known songs include I Shot The Sheriff, No Woman No Cry, Redemption Song, and Three Little Birds.

Bob Marley was a part of the Rastafari movement, an ideological movement that worships Haile Selassie as the reincarnated Jesus Christ. Rastas, as members of the movement are called, advocate the use of cannabis for spiritual purposes to become closer to God. Members of the Rastafari movement are also noted for their dreadlocks and a belief in vegetarianism.

Coming from a third world country, Marley and his band were one of the first musical activists that brought to light the struggles faced by those countries. He often sang about peace and resolving conflicts without violence, in light of the violence present in his native Jamaica. Though Marley was of mixed-race ancestry, he believed in the equality of all human beings, strongly asserting that the color of one’s skin does not define their place in the world.

Bob Marley will forever be remembered for his calming, yet powerful, meaningful music, and the way he dreamed and fought for a better world. His music continues to sell well worldwide.

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