A new Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for Bob Marley was presented to the late reggae singer's eldest son Ziggy and daughter Karen last night. The event took place immediately after a Recording Academy screening of the feature film documentary Marley, which was held in Hollywood at the Los Angeles Film School on Sunset Boulevard. The award was a replacement for the statue that had been awarded to Marley posthumously in 2001, as part of the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards. The backstory began when members of The Recording Academy were visiting Jamaica, and they saw that the award had been damaged. Last night's presentation was a surprise. Five-time Grammy Award winner Ziggy beamed when the replacement was handed to him.
Recording Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow called Bob Marley's music "songs of faith, devotion and revolution." He stated the evening was poignant for him, because of several reasons.
Regarding one of them, Portnow commented that returning to the site of the film school was emotional for him, as it used to be the location of the now defunct RCA Records, where he had once worked as a producer for the label.
Portnow also noted that during his tenure in A&R at EMI, Ziggy was among the artists on the roster of artists there.
While he did not mention it, the building was also the home of the RCA studio, where artists including the Jefferson Airplane laid down historic rock albums.
In another example of its iconic history, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards recorded a version of reggae artist Jimmy Cliff's "The Harder They Come" there.
Portnow expressed great respect and admiration for the Marley family, who have been dedicated to preserving the late reggae singer's memory, while also achieving other accomplishments.
At a reception held prior to the screening of the film Marley, an elaborate reception table was filled with red, yellow and green cookies, the colors of the Rastafarian flag. Many of the cookies were decorated with lyrics from Marley's songs.
Marley Coffee, grown in Jamaica, was also served.
Ending the evening, a question and answer session was held, in which Los Angeles Recording Academy Chapter President MC Lyte briefly queried Karen and Ziggy.
Ziggy said he decided to make the film a reality when "a friend in the music business" suggested the idea. "I wanted it to tell the real story," said Ziggy.
Marley was diagnosed with skin cancer in one of his toes in 1977, and died in 1981 after his melanoma had metasthesized.
Ziggy also made a point of saying that his father's marijuana use was for spiritual reasons, commenting, "It's mystical, it's magical," and "There was a lot of herb smoking." He added, "It was a spiritual thing, a godly purpose. When you play that music, it was was very spiritual."
The film focuses on the immense international impact that Marley's music has had. It also documents details of his personal life and recording career, and includes several live performances.
Among her questions, Lyte asked Karen about her clothing line.
Many of those who have seen the film Marley predict that the feature film documentary will receive a nomination in the category of Best Long Form Music Video for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, slated for February 10, 2013 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Ziggy and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell served as the film’s Executive Producers. The critically-acclaimed movie was directed by Academy Award-winning Kevin MacDonald.
Steve Bing of Shangri-La Entertainment and Charles Steel produced “Marley.” Bing has produced films including the Rolling Stones/Martin Scorsese concert "Shine A Light."