Former guitarist with famous U-B 40, Tope Babayemi, has described Bob Marley as a music colossus with the biggest phenomenal impact in reggae.

Babayemi, the Vice President of Actor’s Guild of Nigeria, Southwest zone, told newsmen on Friday in Lagos that the music industry the world over must commemorate the death of
Bob Marley, who died 37 years ago.

Bob Marley, a Jamaican reggae singer and songwriter with the group — “the Wailers” — was born in February 1945 and died on May 11, 1981 in the U.S.

Babayemi, the Coordinator of Artiste’s Village, Lagos, said Bob Marley changed the face of Reggae globally, especially with the release of the album — Exodus — in 1977.

He added that the music icon established worldwide reputation and elevated his status as one of the world’s best reggae brand that stood out.

He said “reggae music is significantly Bob Marley’s contributions to the world’s popular music, with Chris Blackwell who established Island records with the aim of blending indigenous music with western music.

“Bob Marley, when he got to England, with promotion by the Island records, changed the face of reggae globally.”

Babayemi, who was with UB 40, which he described as the last surviving music big band from 1977 to 1979, said though Bob Marley died 37 years ago, his memories could not be forgotten.

He explained that “after Bob Marley, we’ve had other reggae artists like Lucky Dube of South Africa,
Nigeria’s Majek Fashek, and a host of them, but non could be compared to Bob Marley.

“The world cannot forget him so easily because he made phenomenal impact: his tracts were and are still relevant: be it contemporary or old school music lovers.”

The reggae artist noted that though Bob Marley was gone, the world had not yet recovered from his philosophy.

Also known as Robert Nesta Marley, Bob Marley was born on Feb. 6, 1945 on the farm of his maternal grandfather.

The committed Rastafari who infused music with spirituality, died on May 11, 1981 after being diagnosed with Acral Lentiginous Melanoma in 1977 in Miami, USA, at the age of 36.

Some of his albums include Kaya, Is this love?, Legend, which he released in 1984, three years before his death which subsequently became the best-selling reggae album of all time.

Credited with popularising reggae music around the world, Bob Marley had been a symbol of Jamaican culture and identity.

The musician also evolved into global symbol and inspired numerous items of merchandise.



Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.