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Album: UprisingReleased: 1980
This was Marley's last single before his death on May 11, 1981. It sums up his life and what he stood for in his songs: freedom and redemption. Marley was a very spiritual singer who gave hope to the downtrodden in his native Jamaica, and whose message spread to the United States and around the world when he became a star.
Marley completed this album (his last) in the summer of 1980. He was suffering from the cancer that would eventually kill him at age 36, but was very productive in his later years. He refused traditional medicine because of his Rastafarian beliefs and chose to make music and perform as long as he could.
This was the last song Marley performed. He sang it from a stool at a show in Pittsburgh on September 23, 1980.
This plays over the credits for the 2007 movie I Am Legend starring Will Smith. It was also sung by the character Sawyer in the season finale of the first season of the show Lost on ABC. (thanks, Rita - South Pas., Israel, and Layla - DC, DC)
Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer both covered this song. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
The song includes lyrics inspired by a speech given by civil-rights campaigner Marcus Garvey in 1937.
Barbadian singer Rihanna covered this for the Haiti Relief Fund after the earthquake that devastated the country. Urging fans to download the track she said: "This song for me, growing up, anytime there was a difficult situation, I always listened to this song because it was so liberating. Even now I listen to it when my back is up against the wall. I feel like the people of Haiti need to hear something inspiring."
Rihanna performed an acoustic version live on the Oprah Winfrey Show on January 20, 2010.