*Toronto’s mayor Rob Ford, who has admitted to smoking crack cocaine and other drugs, declared Thursday as Bob Marley Day in the city.
Ford, was not at City Hall for the annual tribute to the reggae icon.
But this year’s celebration was newsworthy after the mayor admitted to smoking heavy drugs in a “drunken stupor,” and an earlier appearance in the city council chambers dancing to Bob Marley’s iconic song “One Love.”
*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.
*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.