Jamaican lawmakers are demanding that Bob Marley be named an official country hero

A Jamaican lawmaker has called for reggae legend Bob Marley to be named the country’s national hero.

Lawmaker Lisa Hanna is asking the nation’s legislature to make the legendary songwriter and performer an official national hero, a move that’s one of many trying to honor the country’s history outside of its harsh colonial past in recent times .

The English-speaking Caribbean nation is one of many countries in the region with a history of violence from European invasion. Now many want to reclaim their inheritance and part with it.

The Marley proposal came from Hanna and if accepted, it would make the “No Woman No Cry” singer a national hero – officially. That title is already held by seven Jamaicans, including black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey and the nation’s first prime minister, Alexander Bustamante. Reuters reports.

“Bob Marley deserves this recognition because he lived a very short life that changed the way people think around the world,” Hanna told the news outlet.

The move comes months after Barbados gave similar recognition to current pop star Rihanna during a November ceremony on the island, which also has ties to British colonialism and the monarchy.

It’s currently unclear whether Parliament will accept Hanna’s motion, but lawmakers are hoping it will be passed in time for the 60th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence on August 6.

Born in 1945 in rural St. Ann to a white English father and black Jamaican mother, Marley moved to Trench Town in Kingston when he was 12. It was there that he and other musicians developed their reggae sound.

Marley died of melanoma, skin cancer, in 1981.

Marcia Griffiths, who has sung with Marley for years, including on “No Woman, No Cry”, supports Hanna. Griffiths says, “Bob is a legend and an icon who has done so much for the world.

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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