If he were alive, Bob Marley would be 75 years today. And yes, Bob Marley's music has been downloaded 27 more times than usual since the COVID-19 crisis came and messed up our social and work appointments for the foreseeable future.
This is happening at a time when total on-demand streaming has taken a significant hit due to the COVID-19 crisis.
But different musicians are suffering differently, and strangely, Bob Marley is thriving.
That's interesting, right?
Although he has been gone for decades and continues to rule the reggae genre even from the grave, the sudden increase in demand for his music is certainly noteworthy.
So, what's so special about Bob Marley's music that so many people would turn to it during the Coronavirus crisis?
1. Bob Marley's Music Is About Healing And Redemption
Although Bob Marley put out a few unforgettable feel-good tracks and love ballads, his most signature theme was redemption and healing.
And in all honesty, we have never needed it as much as we do during this crisis.
In times of trouble and crisis, we need the assurance that we can make it through, and that's exactly what his music does.
In his Exodus album, released in 1977, the musical legend gave us all-time favorites like "One Love". The album was inspired by an attempt on his life in 1976, and it included other crowd favorites like "Jamming", "Curtis Mayfield", and "Three Little Birds."
To welcome you into these beautiful and uplifting timeless masterpieces is "Natural Mystic", whose seductive off-beat rhythm, superb lyrics, powerful message, and intoxicating vibe create the spirit you need to see the light at the end of this dark and deadly Coronavirus tunnel.
2. Bob Marley Made Lots Of Uplifting Music
The musical icon asks important questions, but in the most thought-provoking and yet reassuring of ways. His ability to see the bigger picture and put overwhelming problems into perspective resonates with most people and lifts their spirits.
No wonder people feel so inspired by his music and want more of it during this crisis. We need believable and reassuring messages of hope, which are not so forthcoming with many political leaders confusing the masses further with every press briefing.
It doesn't take a purist or a die-hard reggae fan to see why people might be turning to Bob Marley's music at an age when the release of new music tracks has reached an all-time high.
For instance, here are the first few opening lines from "Natural Mystic."
"There is a natural mystic flowing through the air,
If you listen carefully now, you will hear,
This could be the first trumpet,
Might as well be the last,
Many more will have to suffer,
Many more will have to die,
Don't ask me why."
This otherworldly perspective on the pestilences we face in this life clearly helps explain why his music has grown more popular during the Coronavirus crisis.
In his music are apocalyptic insights into globally relevant themes, peppered with sobering realism and palpable optimism.
Music whose message can stand the test of time will always have ample listeners, as Bob Marley's music is proving. The universality of his artistic pieces has made his masterpieces dear to many music lovers throughout the world for this simple reason, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
3. Because It's Time For "Old Favorites" & "Comfort Music"
People are no longer commuting to work, at least not as much as they used to. They are anxious about the COVID-19 crisis and how it will change their lives and career prospects.
Several others have had to bury their loved ones too.
So, all around, people need hope and comfort, and a trip back to a place of familiar comfort, even if it's only psychological.
That's why it's not surprising that streaming statistics indicate that people are not as crazy about new releases as they usually are.
During this crisis, they are turning to "old favorites" and "comfort music" from legends like Bob Marley and Bob Dylan.
Bob Marley & The Wailers have had a notable increase in the number of people streaming their music. The messianic messages, calming appeals for perseverance, and soothing optimism have endeared this music to many.
Music can heal, and not just the mind and the heart, but also the body. Instinctively, we know this, and our music choices reflect what we need the most at the moment.
When depressed after a life-shattering breakup, you listen to sad music because it's more relatable. And after listening to that depressing track a dozen times, you finally start to emerge from your misery.
It's just the way we are wired, which is why it should hardly come as a surprise that we need Bob Marley's comforting and reassuring music tens of times more than we typically do, and it's all thanks to the devastating COVID-19 crisis.