Family reimagines Bob Marley classic ‘One Love’ for Covid-19 relief

  • All proceeds from the new version of the song will go to Unicef’s global campaign for coronavirus relief efforts
  • Jewellery brand Pandora says it will match every dollar raised from sales, giving up to US$1 million
Associated Press |

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Reggae legend Bob Marley originally released 'One Love' in 1977.

Bob Marley’s Grammy-winning children and chart-topping grandson have reimagined one of his biggest hits to help children affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Stephen Marley, Cedella Marley and her son, Skip Marley, have joined forces to produce a new version of One Love, which will be released on Friday and will also include special guest appearances from other musicians. A music video will also be released that day.

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All for charity

“Daddy wrote this song like 40 years ago, a long, long time. It just feels like right now in the world we need to have some different type of unity happening. Not just lip service, but real action,” Cedella Marley, 52, says. “I think we’re going to bring this song to a generation that needs to know we do care. We do care what happens. We’re going to do a nudge and push and a shove and hopefully the message will resonate.”

Bob Marley & The Wailers released One Love in 1977. Bob Marley died of cancer in 1981 at age 36.

All proceeds from the new version of One Love will support Reimagine, Unicef’s global campaign for coronavirus relief efforts focused on helping children around the world.

A meaningful message

“[The] song is very special because of [its] message. It’s a song of equality. One love meaning love for everyone, for all humanity. The colour, creed or social status or anything like that doesn’t matter. It’s appreciating the human family. ‘One love, one heart, let’s get together and feel all right’,” eight-time Grammy winner Stephen Marley says. “It’s a very important statement to my family.”

Jewellery brand Pandora says it will match every dollar raised from One Love, giving up to US$1 million.

Cedella Marley says they recorded the song at her house in Miami and they received Rita Marley’s blessing. “My mum, she came in and she listened, and she gave us a thumbs up and that seal of approval is priceless.”

The family of reggae legend Bob Marley are covering his song “One Love” to raise money for coronavirus relief efforts.

Skip Marley, the 24-year-old rising star who has collaborated with Katy Perry and Major Lazer, says recording the song reminded him of his first studio session.

“The first time I was ever in a studio recording, we were recording One Love. Actually, you remember, mum?” he said, looking to Cedella Marley.

“Yeah, it’s in my book,” the three-time Grammy winner says, referring to her children’s book called One Love.

“I remember that was my first time I was able to sing on the mic,” Skip Marley adds. “It’s just bringing me back. It’s just a mummy-son thing.”

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The Marley legacy

Skip Marley recently made history by becoming the first Jamaican artist to top Billboard’s adult R&B songs chart. He achieved the feat with the tune Slow Down, featuring R&B superstar H.E.R., and he will release an album next month.

“He put in the hard work,” Cedella Marley says. “He’s very disciplined. He loves what he does. His voice now can reach a different generation than my voice. I think we have to use the vessels that are in front of us, sometimes, to get our message across.”

“Still working. Still putting in the hard work,” Skip Marley adds. “We no stop working.”

Cedella Marley says she’s happy to see her son keep the family name active, and it’s important to her to keep her father’s legacy alive.

“It’s something that I actually enjoy. I’ve been doing it since I was like 13. It’s something that I’ve grown to love. I go into each day thinking, ‘How can Daddy’s voice bring about something? How can I make him more relevant today than he was yesterday?’” she said. “I always come up with some really cool ideas.”

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