Today, we sadly acknowledge the downfall of Bob Marley. And when I say downfall, I figuratively and literally mean it. On September 23, 1980, Bob Marley collapsed on stage during a concert at Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately for his fans, this would be the last time that Marley ever appeared on stage performing, and his fight with cancer would eventually end in May 1981.
The malignant melanoma was found in July 1977 under the nail of Marley’s toe, of all places. Turning down the notion of amputation, he cited his religious beliefs and instead continued his tour and release of the album Uprising in 1980. However, to be a buzzkill, the cancer spread across his whole body and during Marley’s flight home to Jamaica, his vitals worsened. In a layover in Miami, Bob Marley was rushed to the hospital for immediate medical attention where he eventually died at the young age of 36. His finals words to his son Ziggy were “Money can’t buy life.”
Bob Marley can be seen, without a doubt, as a key figure in the 20th century music scene. His songs brought forth the Rastafari message that was hidden from popular culture, and he used his music as a way to fight for the oppressed. Although we all know him as calling for love and peace, he always had a deeper meaning behind his lyrics. What made Bob Marley so revolutionary is that his messages are just as prevalent today as they were back then. He was a lover, a fighter, and will definitely be missed.
So as you’re cramming for your midterm tomorrow, listen to some Bob Marley and de-stress. I’ve got a feeling he would want you to listen to “Could You Be Loved” on your way to that exam you didn’t study for and think about life’s bigger plan.