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Bob Marley's Music and Magic Endure

The music and vibe of Bob Marley -- reggae music's first international superstar -- are unmistakable. On this day, 25 years ago, Marley died of cancer. He was 36.

Marley's influence is still heard in the music industry, his style emulated by countless artists and his songs regularly covered by folk, jazz, rock and country artists. The BBC chose one of Marley's seminal tunes, "One Love," as its "song of the century."

But the well-known song has had a long evolution, one that tracks Bob Marley's evolution as a singer, musician and cultural icon. It illustrates the arc of Marley's career from Jamaican ska musician to pioneering reggae stylist to pop superstar.

Michele Norris talks to Christopher John Farley, author of the new book Before the Legend: The Rise of Bob Marley, and reggae promoter and producer Dera Thompkins, about the birth and growth of "One Love" and Marley's enduring legacy. We also hear from Bob Marley fans around the world.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.