by Emma Lewis
Bob Marley’s Earthstrong is Celebrated Around The World as Bob Marley Day.
Bob Marley remains an enduring icon and legacy in Jamaica, but as musical tastes and trends change, some Jamaicans wonder if the spirit of traditional roots reggae may be fading.
Reggae icon Bob (Robert Nesta) Marley was born on February 6, 1945. This year, he would have turned 73 years old. His hometown of Kingston, Jamaica, is now recognized by UNESCO as a Creative City of Music.
As the anointed birthplace of reggae music, music-lovers from all over the world make the pilgrimage to the Bob Marley Museum in uptown Kingston, the site of Marley’s former home. Visitors also head downtown to tour Tuff Gong Studios, founded by Marley in 1965, and the “Culture Yard” in Trench Town, where Marley grew up, learned to play guitar and formed his band, the Wailers.
Are young Jamaicans missing the reggae vibes?
Bob Marley’s Earthstrong sparked celebratory social media posts from the Jamaican diaspora as well as non-Jamaican individuals and organisations around the world. Young Jamaicans were relatively quiet online during the celebrations.
Winston Barnes, a Florida-based Jamaican who hosts a radio talk show for the diaspora, bemoaned a perceived declining interest in reggae music, blaming the embrace of Western music styles such as hip hop:
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