“Live for yourself and you will live in vain. Live for others, and you will live again.”
A day after the the occasion of Bob Marley’s 74th birthday, we remember the inspiration, the legend and the international musical and cultural icon, whose songs and immense legacy continues to rule the hearts of the people. With the urge to do something memorable, he created his own distinctive vocal style and started his journey in 1963 with the group The Wailers. His songs jumped on to the tip of the tongues of the audience worldwide, blending mostly reggae, ska, and rocksteady in his compositions.
Bob Marley was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994; in December 1999, his 1977 album “Exodus” was named Album of the Century by Time Magazine and his song “One Love” was designated Song of the Millennium by the BBC. Since its release in 1984, Marley’s “Legend” compilation has annually sold over 250,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan, and it is only the 17th album to exceed sales of 10 million. In 2001 he was bestowed The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
However, Bob Marley was more than just a musician. His love for life, his culture, life philosophies, and commitment to serve helped him cultivate his humanitarian and social side and the results are such, that people still idolize his efforts. Bob served as a symbol of Jamaican culture and identity. He was a member for some years of the Rastafari movement, whose culture was a key element in the development of reggae. Bob Marley became a whole-hearted enthusiast of Rastafari, taking its rich music from the underprivileged areas of Jamaica onto the international music arena. Inspired by his Rastafari religious beliefs, Marley was a Pan-Africanist and promoted the unity of African people worldwide. Bob Marley was a cultural icon, and he instilled the idea of knowing your history and drove the rebel against the uncompensated labor that was slavery, with his song Babylon System.
“Bob had a rebel type of approach, but his rebelliousness had a clearly defined purpose to it,” acknowledges Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records, who played a pivotal role in the Bob Marley biography by introducing Marley and the Wailers to an international audience. “It wasn’t just mindless rebelliousness, he was rebelling against the circumstances in which he and so many people found themselves.”
Even with his revolutionary and rebelling aura, Marley successfully carried out social welfare movements through his music and uniting ideologies. On June 15, 1978, he was awarded the Peace Medal of the Third World from the United Nations. The late singer and songwriter earned this distinction for his courageous work appealing for justice and peace during a time of political unrest in Jamaica. The award recognized Marley’s efforts on behalf of millions of disenfranchised blacks around the world. In February 1981, Marley was Awarded the Jamaican Order of Merit, then the nation's third highest honor, for his unparalleled contribution to Jamaican culture.
“With a legendary and ever-lengthening list of accomplishments attributable to both his life and music, Bob Marley advocated for social change while simultaneously allowing listeners to forget their troubles and dance”- from Bob Marley’s official website.
With all his tremendous achievements and lifetime glory, Bob Marley was an absolute wordsmith. There isn’t any tribute that is complete without his ever so moving sayings about life, love and happiness. Here, we take a sneak peek at 25 of his greatest quotes.
- “Love the life you live. Live the life you love.”
- “The day you stop racing, is the day you win the race.”
- “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
- “If she’s amazing, she won’t be easy. If she’s easy, she won’t be amazing. If she’s worth it, you won’t give up. If you give up, you’re not worthy.”
- “Don’t gain the world and lose your soul. Wisdom is better than silver and gold.”
- “Don’t trust people whose feelings change with time. Trust people whose feelings remain the same, even when the time changes.”
- “Beginnings are usually scary, and endings are usually sad, but it’s everything in between that makes it all worth living.”
- “Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.”
- “Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all the days of your life.”
- “When one door is closed, don’t you know that many more are open.”
- “The most beautiful curve on a woman’s body is her smile.”
- “Open your eyes and look within, are you satisfied with the life your living?”
- “I know I’m not perfect and I don’t claim to be, but before you start pointing fingers, make sure your hands are clean.”
- “Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you’re riding through the ruts don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts; put your vision to reality. Wake up and Live.”
- “Just because you are happy it does not mean that the day is perfect but that you have looked beyond its imperfections.”
- “Overcome the devils with a thing called LOVE.”
- “The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.”
- “Me only have one ambition, y’know. I only have one thing I really like to see happen. I like to see mankind live together – black, white, Chinese, everyone – that’s all.”
- “You say you love rain, but you use an umbrella to walk under it. You say you love sun, but you seek shelter when it is shining. You say you love wind, but when it comes you close your windows. So that’s why I’m scared when you say you love me.”
- “Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts.
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