Fervent fans mark Marley's birthday in Jamaica

Published On: Feb 06 2013 03:32:53 PM EST

KINGSTON, Jamaica -

Hundreds of tourists have joined Rastafarian priests and reggae musicians at Bob Marley's old house in Jamaica to mark the 68th anniversary of the late reggae icon's birth.

Since his death from cancer in 1981, Marley has become more than just Jamaica's most famous musical export. Marley's message of unity and respect remains a beacon of hope in this Caribbean nation struggling with joblessness and violence.

On Wednesday, some of Marley's relatives and old friends danced and chanted to the pounding of drums in the yard of his Kingston home, which is now a museum.

Culture Minister Lisa Hanna said his lyrics still call for Jamaicans to create a "more wholesome, caring, peaceful and progressive society."

Marley's popularity remains strong across the globe, and his music continues to sell steadily.

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