The business of Bob Marley

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Today, February 6, reggae legend Bob Marley would have celebrated his 72nd birthday.
Since his death in May 1981, Bob Marley has become a diverse, powerhouse brand on par with other pop legends like Elvis Presley and Jimi Hendrix.
There have been Marley-inspired footwear, a clothing line, organic coffee, and recently Marley Natural — a company that promotes ganja-based products.
Marley’s son, Stephen, is wary of his father’s image as a Third World rebel and freedom fighter being sullied by commercialism.
“Wi know wey wi a do. Wi nuh perfect, but as far as di integrity an’ views go, wi stay within. Yuh have one an’ few mistake, but overall, things work out,” he said.
Stephen Marley added that his father would have been pleased with what his family have accomplished.
“Robert Nesta Marley was a businessman…right ya so (the Marley Museum, his former home) was a record shop, studio, pressing plant; everything in one shop!” He exclaimed. “Bob used to have him van wha’ deliver records an’ him did a think ‘bout PA system. Gong was a businessman.”
The latest Marley venture, Marley Natural, was released last February. It encompasses a line of products that includes four ganja brands; body care items derived from hemp seed oil; smoking, storage and preparation accessories made from American black walnut wood; and heat-resistant, hand-blown glass.
Another ganja project, Kaya Fest, is a live show/forum headlined by Stephen Marley and his brothers. It takes place in Miami in April.
When Bob Marley died, his personal wealth was estimated at US$30 million. Two years ago TheRichest website reported his net worth at US$130 million.
Through reissue of his music and merchandise, his earnings consistently make him one of Forbes Magazine’s richest dead celebrities.

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