Bob Marley’s Reggae Music

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Reggae music legend Bob Marley’s best songs and albums, including his famous catchphrase “One Love.”

Who Was Bob Marley?

Bob Marley was a Jamaican singer-songwriter who became an international musical and cultural icon, blending elements of reggae, ska, and rocksteady in his compositions. Marley’s music was very influential to the development of the reggae genre; his Tuff Gong record label continued to sign musicians after his death in 1981.

The Origins of Reggae Music

Reggae is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s. The term reggae was first used to refer to a style of Jamaican music that developed from ska and rocksteady. Reggae is normally characterized by a 4/4 time signature,Use of the Wailers offbeat guitar, and repetition of phrases.

Bob Marley is one of the most famous musicians in reggae history, and his band The Wailers helped to popularize the genre around the world in the 1970s. Marley’s distinctive vocal style and catchy songwriting made him an international star, and he remains one of the best-selling artists of all time with over 75 million records sold.

The Influence of Reggae Music

Bob Marley’s reggae music had a profound and lasting impact on the world. His music helped to bring people together, to promote peace and love, and to raise awareness of social and political issues. Reggae music is still popular today, and its influence can be seen in many different genres of music.

The Legacy of Bob Marley

Reggae is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s. The term also denotes the modern popular music of Jamaica and its diaspora. A 1968 single by Toots and the Maytals, “Do the Reggae”, was the first popular song to use the word “reggae”, effectively naming the genre and introducing it to a global audience. While sometimes used in a broad sense to refer to all types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly specifies a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady. Reggae is based on a rhythm style characterized by regular beats on off-beats, and often this is accompanied by syncopated fragments played on guitar or piano.

Bob Marley was born on February 6, 1945, in St. Ann Parish, Jamaica. He began his professional musical career in 1963, when he formed Bob Marley & The Wailers. The group released its debut album The Wailing Wailers in 1965, which contained the hit single “Simmer Down”. Throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, The Wailers became one of the most popular groups in Jamaica; they recorded for seminal reggae label Trojan Records and their popularity won them a crossover audience appeal that led to tours with such mainstream rock acts as Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Santana, and Steve Miller Band.

The band achieved international success with its 1974 album Natty Dread, which contained the singles “I Shot the Sheriff” (a cover of Eric Clapton’s hit) and “No Woman No Cry”. Rastaman Vibration followed in 1976 and contained successful singles “Roots, Rock, Reggae” and “Jamming”. In 1977, Marley was diagnosed with cancer; he died of the disease on May 11, 1981 at age 36.

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