Brazil celebrates, this Wednesday (11), the “National Day of Reggae”. The commemorative date for the musical genre of Jamaican origin was established in 2012.
“May 11 is established as National Reggae Day, the date on which the musical rhythm spread worldwide by Robert Nesta Marley will be honored”, writes the text of the law sanctioned by then President Dilma Rousseff (PT).
The date coincides with the day of the death of singer Bob Marley, the greatest exponent of reggae, who died 41 years ago, in 1981, a victim of cancer.
In Brazil, the genre received wide incorporation into the national culture through the works of artists such as Gilberto Gil, Natiruts and Chico César, for example.
The Central Office of Collection and Distribution (Ecad) made a survey, on account of the date, on the most played songs by Bob Marley in Brazil in the last five years.
According to Ecad, “Is This Love” was the artist’s most played hit in the country during this period. The ranking is followed by “Could You Be Loved”, “Stir It Up”, “Get Up Stand Up” and “Three Little Birds”.
The singer has 635 songs and 1,893 recordings registered in the Ecad database. And, in this period, more than 75% of the royalties income came from the radio, concert, live music and television segments.
“When the Jamaican’s songs are played in Brazil, his heirs continue to receive the copyright for 70 years after his death, as determined by Brazilian copyright law,” reported Ecad.
“Composers and other foreign artists have their rights guaranteed in the country through representation or reciprocity contracts between their societies and Brazilian music associations,” he added.
Robert Nesta Marley was born on February 6, 1945, in the village of Nine Mile, Jamaica.
In 1963, he joined the band The Waillers, which would accompany him throughout his artistic career. In 1975, the group’s work gained international notoriety for the album “Natty Dread”, mainly for the song “No Woman, No Cry”.
The following year, Marley had his home invaded by gunmen days before a performance scheduled to ease the country’s sociopolitical tension. There was an intensification of tension between the majority political parties that disputed control of the country, while the artist fought for peace.
According to the University of Washington, hundreds died during the riots in the 1976 election period.
In the break-in episode, Bob Marley was shot in the chest and arm, his wife was grazed in the head, but they both survived – and the scheduled show took place.
In 1977, when he broke a big toe during a football game in Paris, France, doctors discovered cancer in his toe. A supporter of the Rastafarian religious movement, surgical intervention on the finger would violate Rastafarian principles.
On September 21, 1980, Bob Marley passed out while running in Central Park, New York, United States. He found that the cancer had already spread to the lungs, liver and brain.
On September 23 of the same year, he played his last show, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
On May 11, 1981, Bob Marley died in a hospital in Miami, USA. His body was taken to Jamaica, where he had a funeral with music, prayers and speeches in his honor, which was attended by more than 6,000 people.
* Beatriz Evaristo and Jéssica Gonçalves, from Agência Brasil, contributed to this report
Source: CNN Brasil