Bob Marley birthday celebrations are set today. However, Bob Marley birthday honors are just one part of a big day today. By coincidence, the reggae icon was born 34 years after former President Ronald Reagan was. While the political world celebrates the late ex-President turning 100, the music world will honor the late reggae king turning 66. But the Reagan and Marley birthday wishes will have to go alongside the Super Bowl this year.
Today is a rather big day of celebration in America. Over 100 million will gather around for Super Bowl XLV between the Packers and Steelers. In the meantime, those in politics — especially Republicans — will gather for the centennial of a famed former President.
Yet the Marley birthday is playing third fiddle by comparison, although it is still a big deal in many circles. As America focuses on the Super Bowl and Reagan, Jamaica has already held several concerts to honor one of their favorite sons.
The famed musician became the symbol of reggae in the 1960s and 1970s, and remains one of the most beloved musical icons today. In addition, the pot culture has embraced him as one of their great symbols, as has the religion of Rastafarianism.
Today’s Marley birthday celebrations honor him turning 66. However, he died when he was only 36, as he succumbed to cancer in 1981. Despite dying at such a relatively young age, his fame and cultural impact has increased with each passing year.
On May 11, 2012, the 30th anniversary of his death will be marked and stands to be another big event in his honor. Yet he is honored pretty much every day, as his music and messages are embraced all over the world, and hundreds of millions are made off his image.
Even though the Marley birthday tributes may not match those for Reagan today, or those for the Super Bowl, he is still widely embraced by equally devoted audiences. The cult of Marley, just like the cult of Reagan and of football, is global and is a way of life for many people.
Both the reggae icon and the former President are propped up as gods by their followers, and have become bigger brands even after their deaths. The Reagan and Marley birthday wishes are further proof, as they will even carve their niches alongside Super Bowl Sunday today.
ABC News- “Jamaica to Celebrate Birthday of Reggae Great”
Jamaica Observer- “VIDEO: My favorite Bob Marley song”
Billboard- “The Business of Bob Marley”