The Marley legacy continues to live on through his children, and his eldest son, Ziggy Marley, can add yet another accolade to his already vast amount of achievements. His latest accomplishment has to do with both his musical prowess and recognition of his wholesome approach to helping others and making a positive impact about tackling global issues of injustice.
The eight-time Grammy winner will receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the Medgar Evers College, located in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Ziggy is well accomplished and is also an Emmy winner, producer, activist, and humanitarian. He’s always tried to bend the reggae genre to incorporate more sounds, and throughout his 40-year career, he has done so by borrowing the sounds of blues, rock, and other genres to create his unique sound.
He’s also been able to achieve something that not a lot of artists can boast of, and that is owning his own masters and publishing rights. It’s taken him about fifteen years to achieve that.
The award is expected to be presented to him this Thursday, June 3, as the college also gives out undergraduate degrees. It will be a joint commencement ceremony for the classes of 2020 and 2021 and is a special celebration as the college celebrates its 51st year. The ceremony will be held online and will officially recognize 2,662 students.
According to the City University of New York’s press release, Medgar Evers College awards honorary degrees to: “distinguished individuals whose lives exemplify the College’s shared principles of professional excellence and personal success, and whose achievements reflect our institution’s mission of social and economic justice as well as a commitment to service.”
Based on these criteria, Ziggy is more than deserving of the honor. He’s used his platform to help those in need and has served as a goodwill youth ambassador for the United Nations. He is also still very active in the causes undertaken by the Bob Marley Foundation globally. The “Love is My Religion” singer also founded his own charity, URGE (Unlimited Resources Giving Enlightenment), which is a non-profit organization that seeks to help uplift the lives of children in Jamaica, Africa, and throughout the world. The organization supports education, health, and the environment.
U.R.G.E is committed to building new schools, operating health clinics, and already support beneficiaries like the One Love Youth Camp, Chepstowe Basic School in Jamaica, and HOLA (Heart of Los Angeles). His charitable work has been recognized before and the most recent example of this is his winning of Global Icon Achievement Award presented to him by the Black Press of America’s.
He was also the first reggae artist to ever receive the George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement. He got the honor in 2017. Becoming the first reggae artist to do it was quite an achievement considering the awards have been around for over 30 years. He’s also appeared on television several times to spread his message of positivity.