When you think of reggae singer Ziggy Marley, marijuana is probably the first thing that comes to mind. After all, Bob Marley's eldest son is named after slang for a joint. But there's much more to the man than marijuana. So to celebrate his 48th birthday, we put together a list of eight facts about Ziggy that have nothing to do with cannabis.
1. His real name
Bob Marley's eldest son was actually born David Nesta Marley. But he's used the nickname given to him by his father since the 70s. But in 2012, he told Jimmy Fallon that he considers the nickname his real name now.
2. Bowie Fan
The origins of Ziggy's nickname is debated. In 2012, he credited his father with giving him the nickname Ziggy. But earlier in his career, he said that he gave it to himself in the 70s as an homage to David Bowie, whose glam rock alter-ego was Ziggy Stardust.
“Me name David but me big Bowie Fan. So at the time of the ‘Ziggy Stardust’ album, me call meself Ziggy and now everyone do,” he told Melody Maker in 1988.
Sadly, Ziggy hasn't recorded a reggae cover of "Starman" - yet.
3. New Wave Reggae
Ziggy's Grammy Award winning album Conscious Party (1988) was produced by Chris Frantz, the drummer for the famous new wave band The Talking Heads. The record included the hit song "Tomorrow People."
4. Children's Entertainer
Over the years, Ziggy has occasionally moonlighted on a children's entertainer. In 1991, he contributed the song "Give a Little Love" to the For Our Children, a charity album produced by Disney to raise money for treating paediatric AIDS. And in 2009, he released the Grammy Award winning children's album Family Time, which is like reggae meets Raffi.
5. Theme Song Singer
Of course, Ziggy's most enduring contribution to children's entertainment is probably the song "Believe in Yourself," which was the theme song of the hit cartoon Arthur for the past 20+ years.
Ziggy has also appeared on screen in guest appearances on Family Matters and Charmed, which makes his IMDb page one of the most eclectic. He also played Ernie the jellyfish in the animated movie Shark Tale.
7. Car Collector
In 2013, Ziggy appeared on an episode of the reality series Counting Cars, which follows a team of mechanics that fix up old vehicles. And while they worked on Bob Marley's old Mercedes, Ziggy toured of the auto shop, taking particular interest in the collection of vehicles from the era of alcohol prohibition.
8. Singing with Woody Harrelson
Ziggy has worked with a lot of celebrities over the years. But one of the most interesting collaborations was his duet with actor and cannabis activist Woody Harrleson on "Wild and Free" - a reggae track from Marley's 2011 album of the same name.
Zero points for guessing what these two cannabis connoisseurs wrote a song about.
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