You can’t take it with you … or can you? Bob Marley is one of the highest-paid dead celebrities, who is currently making more money posthumously than most of us will in our lifetimes. This is because no one can stop his music, even when he has shuffled off this mortal coil.
His music has influenced several generations for at least four decades, and his empire continues to grow exponentially since his death. That’s why it should come as no surprise that Bob Marley has been ranked at number eight on Forbes list of The Highest-Paid Dead Celebrities of 2020.
According to the list, the Marley family has been extremely innovative with the legend’s legacy and this year raked in US $14 million.
It’s not just his music, which accumulated a billion streams around the world, that continues to feed his family but the family’s merchandising effort as well.
The well-known brand, House of Marley, has a line of speakers, turntables, and headphones. They’ve also added T-shirts and lighters, which have brought in over $3 million.
Marley, who died in 1981 of cancer, is considered one of the founding fathers of reggae and was largely responsible for helping the genre to gain worldwide recognition.
His following when he was alive and after death could rival any mainstream artist alive today.
The singer, songwriter, and musician is held in high regard by Reggae lovers, and his music was famously known for fusing elements of reggae, ska, and rocksteady.
He’s also revered among the Rastafarian community.
Marley’s debut studio album The Wailing Wailers in 1965 cemented his place in the genre as the single “One Love/People Get Ready” became globally popular. They would go on to produce 11 albums.
Following his death, the album Legend, which was released in 1984, became the best-selling reggae album of all time. He is also ranked as one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with estimated sales of more than 75 million records worldwide.
In 1994, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Rolling Stone has ranked him No. 11 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
This year Marley would have celebrated his 75th birthday, and the Marley family in collaboration with Universal Music Enterprises, have been releasing a year’s worth of content to celebrate the phenomenal singer’s legacy.
A brand new animated music video for “Redemption Song,” including various events and parties surrounding Grammy week, was released on his birthday, February 6.
They’ve also released a series of mini-documentaries, called Bob Marley – Legacy, which also started in February.
A New ‘Redemption Song’ Video has also been released, and some archived footage of Rita Marley’s interviews have been included.
The video also featured new interviews with the other two members of the Marley backup singers, the I-Threes, Marcia Griffiths, and Judy Mowatt.
The short documentary-style video explores the formation of the I-Threes, and gives some deeper understanding of some of Marley’s hits like “No Woman No Cry” and “Redemption Song.”
His deep wisdom and passion for spirituality continue to attract new listeners, which means that the Marley estate will not be slowing down anytime soon.
His children and their offspring have also been rising in the genre and are now well-known names. It’s clear that the Marley dynasty will provide for generations to come.
Some other notable names on the list include Prince (US $10 million), Kobe Bryant (US$ 20 million), and Michael Jackson, who topped the list with earnings of US $48 million.