Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy Birthday: Bob Marley

Jamaican singer-songwriter Bob Marley (February 6, 1945 – May 11, 1981) was born Nesta Robert Marley in Saint Ann, Jamaica. He got his start in 1963 with Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso, and Cherry Smith and formed the Ska/Rock Steady group called "The Teenagers". After several band name changes, the group finally ended up with the name "The Wailers" after meeting and recording with Coxsone Dodd of Studio One Records.

He was the rhythm guitarist and lead singer for The Wailers (1964–1974) and Bob Marley & The Wailers (1974–1981). Marley remains the most widely known and revered performer of reggae music, and is credited with helping spread both Jamaican music and the Rastafari movement to a worldwide audience.

Marley's music was heavily influenced by the social issues of his homeland, and he is considered to have given voice to the specific political and cultural nexus of Jamaica. His best-known hits include "I Shot the Sheriff", "No Woman, No Cry", "Could You Be Loved", "Stir It Up", "Jamming", "Redemption Song", "One Love" and, together with The Wailers, "Three Little Birds", as well as the posthumous releases "Buffalo Soldier" and "Iron Lion Zion". The compilation album Legend (1984), released three years after his death, is reggae's best-selling album, going ten times Platinum (Diamond) in the U.S., and selling 20 million copies worldwide.

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