*Alicia Keys teamed up with John Legend to pay tribute to late South African leader Nelson Mandela during a performance in Australia on Saturday (Dec. 7).
Keys took the stage with her tour mate to sing an acoustic rendition of Bob Marley’s classic “Redemption Song in honor of the anti-apartheid activist during their show in the Yarra Valley.
Keys told the audience, “We wanted to do something special for you in honor of the great Nelson Mandela, who I feel so moved by in every way. What an incredible life lived and what an inspiration for us to all carry forward.”
Remembering her performance at Mandela’s 91st birthday in 2009, Keys wrote in a post on her website, “I was in awe of a man whose soul was filled with an effortless and rare love that only comes once in a lifetime. He was a gentle man with a beautiful smile, and deep eyes that always saw the best in humanity. His legacy lives on in all of us!”
Watch Keys and Legend perform of “Redemption Song” below.
*The King of Pop is also the king of paper, according to Forbes.
The magazine crunched the numbers and the late Michael Jackson has earned more money in the past year than any other musician — dead or alive.
Between June 2012 and June 2013, Jackson’s estate earned $160 million. This surpassed the second-place earner Madonna, who made $125 million in that time span, by $35 million.
“It’s the third time in the past five years that the top-earning celebrity in the world has come from the graveyard,” reports Forbes.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Jackson’s earnings come from ”two Cirque du Soleil shows — one that tours, one housed at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Vegas — and his half of the Sony/ATV song catalog, which includes his own hits as well as tunes like ‘When a Man Loves a Woman.’”
On the list of deceased earners, Elvis Presley comes in a distant second (with $55 million), followed by Peanuts creator Charles Schultz ($37 million), Elizabeth Taylor ($25 million), and Bob Marley ($18 million).
*Bob Marley’s son Rohan has offered his support to ex-girlfriend Lauryn Hill as she prepares for her upcoming prison stint, reports TMZ.
Rohan says he will step up his parenting duties for their five children, ages five to 15, while Hill is serving three months in prison for tax evasion. The singer has been given until July 8 to turn herself in, and Marley has assured her he will be as involved as possible when she is behind bars.
“I will be there for my kids… I will be there even more while she is dealing with this… to make sure that everything is fine,” he said.
According to TMZ, the children will be living with extended family members during Hill’s incarceration.
Hill dated Marley for 13 years but they never married. She also has a son named Micah from another relationship.
*Snoop Dogg will perform as his reggae identity Snoop Lion during SXSW with a concert March 14 at Viceland in Austin, Texas. A first for the rapper, he wishes he could reach out to a particular reggae expert for advice.
“I’m one of the greatest hip-hop performers of all time — I was groomed by the best of them,” Snoop told Billboard in anticipation of the March 15 release of “Reincarnated,” the film that documents his journey to Jamaica. “I’m missing Bob Marley. I wish he was here to show me a few tricks on what to do. … The way he held the crowd, which is what I do in rap, so I would want to know how to do it in reggae. It may be the same thing; it may be the same juices.
“Guess I’m going to have to figure that out on the flizz-i and make it work.”
Diplo and his Major Lazer team produced the album and will be on hand for the concert, which follows the late afternoon screening of the film. It opens in seven cities and will be released on DVD around the release of the album on April 23.
Rapper Snoop Dogg aka Snoop Lion arriving on a flight at LAX airport in Los Angeles, California on January 2, 2012
*Bob Marley’s son Rohan Marley – who used to play for the Canadian Football League and has five children with Lauryn Hill – told TMZ recently that his later father would have loved Snoop Lion’s Rastafarian “reincarnation.”
The Rastafarian Millennium Council previously chastised Snoop, (previously known as Snoop Dogg), saying he’s done nothing more than jump on the Rasta bandwagon. Bunny Wailer, a former member of Bob Marley and the Wailers, is even going so far as to threaten to sue Snoop for what he says is a fraudulent claim to Rastafarianism.
But Rohan says none of this is in line with what his father would have thought.
“Our father’s name should not even be mentioned in this issue because, like a true Rasta, he would have embraced Snoop’s reincarnation and welcomed the positivity,” Rohan told TMZ. “Why condemn a man for his love of Rastafari and Bob Marley?”
Rohan said Snoop, who has stated that his new image is inspired by Bob Marley, will continue to have the family’s “blessings and support” in his reggae endeavors.
Snoop’s first reggae album, entitled “Reincarnated,” is due in spring 2013.
*Officials have removed a relaxation drink named after reggae icon Bob Marley after it made several students at a New Jersey school sick.
Marley’s Mellow Mood is promoted to reduce stress. The drink’s nutrition facts say it may cause drowsiness and is not intended for children. However, students at Satz Middle School and Holmdel High School were able to buy it on campus. Several middle school students were sickened on Friday.
It’s unclear what the students’ symptoms were.
The Asbury Park Press reports the school district’s food service provider has removed a manager pending an investigation. Chartwells School Dining Services also has removed the Marley product.
The company issued a statement in which it said it takes this situation very seriously.
*The ultimate feel good sexy music combo manifested over the weekend with Trey Songz and iconic R&B singer R.Kelly getting down on stage in Jamaica at the annual Reggae Sumfest.
The two rocked it among reggae notables like Damian Marley, Shabba Ranks, Lady Shaw and Tesanna Chin.
It was a three-night festival held in Montego Bay in celebration of Jamaica’s 50th year as an independent nation.
“I just want to do something special for y’all tonight,” Songz told the thousands of screaming fans. “This is my first time performing at Sumfest and this is a very big year for [Jamaica]—50 years of independence, so I want to ask if it’s alright that I give y’all a little love tonight.”
He then performed a cover of Bob Marley’s “Turn Your Lights Down Low,” invoking tons of cheers.
Songz, who is getting ready to release his newest album, “Chapter V,” of course wooed the crowed with his sensual favorites like “Say Aah.”
Not to be outdone, R&B legend R. Kelly turned Sumfest International Night into a spirited sing-along, according to the Jamaica Observer.
“Let me get my sound right or I can’t do this f***ing show!” he said, as he kicked off his show with “So Sexy” and “Snake.” The Write Me Back singer then launched into a female scream-inducing set that featured such Kellz classics as “Bump ‘N’ Grind,” “Sex In The Kitchen,” “Strip For You,” “Slow Wine,” “You Remind Me,” and “I Believe I Can Fly.”
Scientists discovered a new tiny blood-sucking parasite that infests fish on Caribbean coral reefs. The name: Gnathia marlyi – named after Bob Marley.
Some may view this a bit disturbing and maybe disrespectful, being that the famous reggae singer stood for love, peace and harmony. But marine biologist Paul Sikkel sees it as paying homage to the late great singer.
He said the name came from a deep place in his heart, out of “respect and admiration” for Marley.
*If Rohan Marley and Brazilian model Isabeli Fontana ever do decide to get married, the famous son of Bob Marley will bring his total number of biological and step-children to nine … at least that we know of.
As previously reported, the wedding was called off because the two don’t want to interrupt their current “intimate and romantic” phase with marriage vows, according to MSN Brazil. However, the same report also cites rumors suggesting that her two boys – Zion, 9, and Luke, 6 – don’t want contact with Marley’s seven other kids, five of whom are with Lauryn Hill.
Isabeli’s sons are too young to know or care about the legacy of their would-be late grandfather-in-law. And even though Rohan was just 9-years-old when his legendary father died, he has many fond memories of their special relationship – which he refers to as “the lion and the lamb.”
*It’s no coincidence that “Marley,” the critically-acclaimed new Bob Marley documentary, wafts into theaters (and On Demand) on April 20 – the unofficial holiday celebrating marijuana.
Director Kevin Macdonald said it was the studio’s idea to release the biopic on this day as a marketing tool. The film itself, however, delves much deeper than the singer’s pop culture image as a weed-smoking reggae legend.
The film shows how Marley was a savvy businessman, as well as a competitive dad that wouldn’t let even a first-grader win in a foot race. We see the horrifying poverty that surrounded him (he was born in a one-room shack to a Jamaican teen mother and white 60-year-old captain in the British marines), and how he dealt with the social stigma of being bi-racial and Rastafarian.
“Marley,” which has the full blessing of his family, is packed with rare footage, vintage performances and revelatory interviews with the people that knew him best.
Ziggy Marley in a still from the documentary "Marley"
Bob Marley’s son Ziggy – who appears in the film with his siblings and serves as an executive producer – says this documentary should now be considered the one and only “definitive” story of his father’s life.
“Definitive, meaning that everything else is secondary to this piece here,” Ziggy told us during interviews for the film this week. “[Out of] everything that has been done, every book that has been written – this documentary is the pinnacle of it all.”
Below, Ziggy explains how he came to discover a different side of his famous father during the course of production. [Scroll down to watch the trailer.]
*The Bob Marley documentary “Marley,” a production of Shangri-La Entertainment/Tuff Gong Pictures, will premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival this weekend.
The film is scheduled for theatrical release in North America and the UK on April 20, then will roll out worldwide throughout the summer to coincide with the 50th anniversary year of Jamaican Independence, according to Deadline.com.
Director Kevin Macdonald, Bob Marley’s son Rohan Marley and longtime collaborator Neville Garrick will be in Berlin to present the documentary on Feb. 12.
Filming took place in Ghana, Japan and the UK as well as in Jamaica and the U.S. It’s the first time Marley’s family has authorized use of their private archives.
*With the film “My Week With Marilyn” currently in theaters and NBC’s upcoming drama “Smash” about the mounting of a Marilyn Monroe Broadway musical, Rihanna is now jumping into the Marilyn resurgence by taking her “Thug Life”-tatted fingers and throwing down $160,000 for a portrait of the Hollywood icon made of 65,000 crystals.
The singer commissioned British artist Claire Milner to create the giant piece, which took four months to complete and weighs 182 pounds, reports Britain’s The Sun.
Milner tells the tabloid, “I tried to show the glitter of the public life and then the sadness in Marilyn’s eyes. Because of who Rihanna is, everything had to be done through her interior decorators. But they told me afterwards that she loved it.
“A 100 percent Swarovski crystal portrait is very luxurious – people stand and stare because it constantly changes color, sending rainbows round the room.”
Rihanna has reportedly spent a fortune decorating her Los Angeles home, which features a gun-shaped chandelier and a Bob Marley tribute painting in her red, yellow and green “reggae room.”
Rihanna arriving at the Armani Boutique after party in Milan. The singer will soon be launching her range of Emporio Armani Jeans in collabaration with the Italian designer, at Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores. (Dec. 12, 2011)
*Rihanna edged out reggae icon Bob Marley and rocker Avril Lavigne to become the “most liked’ celebrity on Facebook in 2011.
Marley and Lavigne placed second and third respectively, in the list of the fastest-growing pages and most shared media of the year.
Rihanna has 47,788,147 fans on Facebook, over two million more than Lady Gaga, seven million ahead of animated TV show “Family Guy” and surprisingly – considering he has over 15 million followers on twitter – 10 million more likes than Justin Bieber.
It is not only Rihanna’s Facebook page which was popular on the social networking website, her “We Found Love” single featuring Calvin Harris was the most listened to song of the year, beating singles from stars including Katy Perry, LMFAO, David Guetta and Adele.
Top 10 most popular music Facebook pages in 2011:
2. Bob Marley
3. Avril Lavigne
4. David Guetta
5. Enrique Iglesias
7. Lady Gaga
9. Green Day
10. Black Eyed Peas