Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery None but ourselves can free our minds How long shall they kill our prophets While we stand aside and look ... - Redemption Song

Bob Marley's lyrics and legacy continue to stand the test of time. Hailed as a prophet and a revolutionary, Marley, together with the Wailers, introduced the reggae and Rastafari experience of love and peace to an international audience in the '70s. As his fame spread beyond his homeland of Jamaica, Marley became an ambassador for brotherhood and justice. Songs such as "One Love," "Get Up, Stand Up" and "Redemption Song" became anthems for peace and rights movements across the globe and in 1978 he received the UN Peace and Freedom Medal for his humanitarian achievements.

Perhaps being fathered by a middle-aged white man and a teenage black mother left a need in Bob Marley for the need for reconciliation between different peoples. Whatever the reason, Marley's message was well-formed from the outset; his first recording at the age of 16 was an original single called "Judge Not" The song received little notice and Marley returned to the music tutorials of Joe Higgs, who also coached Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingstone, who eventually became The Wailers. The three signed a recording contract with Jamaica's now-famous Studio One in 1963 and over the next two and a half years recorded more than a hundred songs, many of them number-one hits in Jamaica.

An Island Records deal they signed in 1972 helped bring reggae to the world. By 1975, Tosh and Livingstone had moved on and Marley stood as bandleader and standard bearer for the reggae movement, a movement that by this time had inherited much of the '60s activist energy and was at the forefront of the interest in enlightenment through marijuana.

After an attempt on his life in 1976, Marley left Jamaica for two years, releasing the widely successful "Exodus" in '77. In '78, he traveled to Africa, then returned to Jamaica to perform in the One Love Peace Concert, an event which brought the Prime Minister and opposition leader of Jamaica together.

After battling cancer for eight months, Bob Marley died in Miami in 1981 at the age of 36. His legend continues through his children, his music, the spirit of Rastafari and reggae festivals worldwide.

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