Bob Marley’s iconic "One Love" anthem "reimagined" to help kids hit by coronavirus pandemic

“One love, one heart,” Jamaican reggae superstar Bob Marley sang in his iconic 1977 hit, “One Love/People Get Ready.” It was a call for peace and social unity, and on Friday, the United Nations joined forces with Marley’s children Stephen and Cedella Marley, and her son Skip, to release a reimagined version of the song to raise money for children affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Marley was born 75 years ago, the same year the U.N. was founded, and rose to global popularity before his death in 1981 at the age of just 32. His children have pledged proceeds from the “One Love” remake to the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF). 

“I listen to a lot of music, and sometimes I feel things, and sometimes I don’t,” Cedella Marley said in an interview on CBSN. “But with this one, I had to listen to it over and over, because it was really that good.”

She said that 100% of the proceeds from the song would go to UNICEF. “It all goes to helping children that have been affected by this pandemic. It’s in UNICEF’s hands. We’re doing our part and we know they’re going to do their part,” Cedella said.

The Marleys lead the artistic effort along with the family brand, Tuff Gong International, and Amplified Music. The unifying remake of the hit record will help support UNICEF’s “Reimagine” campaign. It’s a global fundraiser aiming to “reimagine” a fair and safe world for children who have been harshly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore called “One Love” one of the world’s “most iconic solidarity anthems,” adding that the song is also “about children, and their hopes and dreams for a better, more united and equal world.”

The new version features artists from across the globe, including some of the countries struggling now with the virus and global conflict. There are singers from Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Jamaica, Mali, New Zealand, Nigeria, Sudan, Syria, the United Kingdom and the United States. 

The collaboration began last month when the agency officially launched the campaign in response to the pandemic, spokesperson Kurtis Cooper told CBS News. They put out a call to ask for help, and the Marley family reached out with a plan to re-record the classic song.

The money raised will help UNICEF respond to the immediate needs of children by providing personal protective essentials, including soap, masks, gloves, hygiene kits, protective equipment and life-saving information for children and their families. The fundraiser will also help support education, protection and healthcare systems. UNICEF hopes the project will help prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from becoming a lasting crisis for millions of children.

“We need everyone’s help,” Cedella told CBSN. “It’s a collective voice that needs to come together to make this campaign successful.”
UNICEF’s Cooper told CBS News that his agency and the Marley family agreed that, “given the challenges that the world is facing today, the only way that we’re going to get through this is together, with solidarity. This is a crisis that’s not going to be over for anybody until it’s over for everybody.”

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