The Legend Lives On

by K-Dean

Bob Marley's legacy carries on decades later, with a large and loyal fan base around the world.

Nesta Robert “Bob” Marley was a Jamaican reggae musician credited with worldwide popularization of reggae music and the Rastafari movement. A compilation album of his work, Legend, is one of the best selling albums of all time. He toured and recorded extensively over his long career, even after being diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 1977.

After injuring his toe playing soccer, he developed accrual lentiginous melanoma under his nail, but continued to plan a world tour for 1980. He managed to complete the entire Europe leg of the tour, which had his largest concert ever with more than 100,000 people in Milan, and also two Madison Square Garden shows in New York prior to falling extremely ill. His cancer had spread to most of his body.

Marley then cancelled the world tour and lived out most of his remaining days in a German clinic. When treatments were unsuccessful, he aimed to fly home to Jamaica but died in a Miami hospital before his final flight home. He was only 36 years old.

He was survived by numerous children, one of whom was present at his deathbed. His last words to his son, Ziggy, were “Money can’t buy life”. Marley received a funeral combining aspects of Rastafarian tradition with the Ethiopian Orthodoxy.

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