- 2.Nasty [Explicit]
- 3.That Way (Feat. Jeremih & Rick Ross) [Explicit]
- 4.I'm So Paid
- 5.Quote the raven
- 6.I-Illy Bomb On Em
- 7.Still Standing (feat. Jill Scott)
- 8.Miami Nights [Explicit]
- 9.Nasty [Explicit]
The Billion Dollar Rasta, " Marley’s" empire could be worth a billion dollars''
He was born in a Jamaican hill town without electricity and grew up in Kingston’s most notorious slum. Even as an adult, he often walked around barefoot. But now, in death, Bob Marley has transcended his humble roots and become one of thebiggest earners on the planet. And with a new documentary and a slew of Marley-inspired products on the way, the reggae legend is about to become even more valuable.
Puff on this: Marley’s empire could be worth a billion dollars.
Once known mostly as the patron saint of college dorm rooms, Marley is now going high-end. Gone are the days of chintzy trinkets with Marley’s name on them in favor of selling the singer as a “lifestyle” brand.
“It’s been an evolution,” says Courtney White, a brand manager for the Marley family, which controls the rastaman’s empire. “What they were doing four years ago were more souvenir items: a lot of lighters, apparel. We’ve moved away from that in favor of products that focus on every aspect of your life.”
House of Marley recently introduced a line of electronics, including earbud and over-ear headphones with names like Zion and Exodus. (Prices range from $30 to $300.) There’s also the $350 “Get Up, Stand Up” iPod dock, a new line of swimwear, and watches and bags will come later in 2012.
Last year, Marley Beverage Company launched Marley’s Mellow Mood sodas and teas, made with herbs such as valerian root and chamomile that are said to have a calming effect.
“I thought it was the perfect time, because everyone was Red Bulling it,” says Cedella Marley, daughter of Bob and his wife Rita. “There were too many hyper people running around in the world, ya know?”
And then there is the movie, “Marley,” opening Friday. The years-in-the-making documentary is meant to be the definitive story of the singer and was created in cooperation with the family. Martin Scorsese was originally attached in 2008, but he dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. The film was finally completed under the direction of Kevin Macdonald of “The Last King of Scotland.”
“I liked the way he went into it,” Cedella says of Macdonald. “It wasn’t going to be a glossy documentary filled with the same old people telling the same old stories. He wanted to get different perspectives about what Dad was.”
The movie concludes with a montage of fans all over the world listening to Marley’s music, even in what appear to be remote parts of Asia. His appeal, even 31 years after his death from melanoma at age 36, remains incredibly powerful, which is perhaps why he is such a marketer’s dream.
Sanjay Sood, a UCLA marketing professor and faculty director of the Center for Management of Enterprise in Media, Entertainment & Sports, says that Marley ranks among the top five dead celebrities in terms of dollar sales, joining Michael Jackson, Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and Andy Warhol. In 2009, the family struck a licensing deal with a Canadian private equity firm called Hilco Consumer Capital, which estimated that the brand would be racking up sales of $1 billion by this year. (The family declined to reveal earnings.)
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