- (Photo: Reuters/File)
Wednesday has arrived with what would have been Bob Marley's 68th birthday, and reggae fans everywhere are remembering the singer.
Born Nesta Robert Marley on Feb. 6, 1945, the Jamaican singer-songwriter went on to become a rhythm guitarist and lead singer of The Wailers, and eventually, a legendary artist.
Some of Marley's most famous songs include "No Woman, No Cry," "I Shot the Sheriff," "One Love," and "Three Little Birds," to name a few.
Marley died on May 11, 1981 at the age of 36 of a malignant melanoma.
In Toronto, Canada, there will be live music and awards distributed for "Bob Marley Day" on Wednesday, according to 680 News. The 22nd annual celebration, which began with former Mayor Art Eggleton, will honor Marley, "the global icon, musical prophet, whose words and vision forever changed the world."
Chairperson of the Bob Marley Day Committee Courtney Betty explained the relevance of the event while speaking to Toronto's radio station 98.1 CHFI.
"Bob Marley said 'One Love.' So each year we take time to honor the best of the best, people- acting in the diversity spirit of Bob Marley's One Love- who have worked hard to make our city a better place for all," said Betty.
During the ceremony at City Hall, humanitarian awards will go to eight Toronto residents, including rapper Aubrey Drake Graham, better known as Drake. A reception honoring the winners will follow.
Other award recipients Wednesday will include Rowan Barrett, executive vice president of the senior men's team at Basketball Canada, and Pamela Appelt, retired judge of Court of Canadian Citizenship.
Last year, Toronto's Mayor Rob Ford released a proclamation about Bob Markey Day.
"Bob Marley's brand of reggae music, both powerful and distinct, captivated people of all cultures and continues to be instantly recognizable around the world," the proclamation read.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world is also honoring Marley on his birthday Wednesday. The Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) is behind the "Mentor to Marley" activity planned for today at New Kingston's Emancipation Park.
"Bob Marley should have long been a national hero," said executive director and vice-chairman of the JaRIA Charles Campbell speaking to Jamaica's The Gleaner.
"He is still the most famous Jamaican ever," Campbell continued. "People who know nothing about Jamaica know about Bob. He is not just a local hero, he in an international icon."
Moreover, Twitter has been flooded with Marley fans that are paying respects to the "Redemption Song" singer on his birthday.
"Happy Bday to the legend Bob Marley," wrote DJ Scream. "My biggest influence for musical existence!!"
Black History Studies posted, "Happy Birthday to BOB MARLEY! He would have been 68 years old today. You are gone in physical but here in spirit through ur music & children."
Marley leaves behind eleven children including reggae musicians David "Ziggy" Marley and Damian Marley.