Just as he predicted over 40 years ago in the opening lines of Bad Card, Bob Marley won’t be kept out of the race—anytime soon—as his music continues to endure. In their annual year-end charts published today, Billboard displayed the Reggae legend’s face at No. 1 on their Year-End Reggae Albums Artists chart, for the second year in a row.
The publication also revealed that Bob Marley & The Wailers’ Legend: The Best Of Bob Marley & The Wailers was at No. 1, again for the second year in a row, on their Year-End Reggae Albums chart, as well as at No. 60 on the Year-End Billboard 200 Album chart which ranks albums from all genres.
Billboard’s year-end 2021 music charts recap aggregated metrics for artists and albums from the weekly charts dated Nov. 21, 2020, through Nov. 13, 2021, based on equivalent albums units, airplay, sales and streaming in the United States, as reported by MRC Data.
According to Billboard, Legend also copped No. 6 on the Year-End Top R&B Albums chart and No. 32 on the Year-End Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums for albums sold in the US for 2021.
Bob Marley & The Wailers were also the only Jamaican artists with a placement on the Top R&B Artists Year-End chart at No. 15, on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Artists – Duo/Group Year-End chart at No. 2, on the Billboard 200 Artists – Duo/Group Year-End chart at No. 7, on the Top R&B Albums Artists Year-End chart at No. 7, and the Catalog Artists Year-End chart at No. 10.
Back on the Year-End Reggae Albums Artists chart, which covers metrics from all albums released by each artist during the period, Stick Figure, Shaggy, and Sean Paul occupy the No. 2, 3, and 4 spots, respectively. UB-40, Rebelution, and Jason Mraz are at No. 5, 6, and 7, respectively, while Bob’s grandson, Skip Marley, copped the No. 8 spot. Columbian singer Muluma took the No. 9 spot, while Dancehall deejay Popcaan concluded the year-end list at No. 10.
On the Year-End Reggae Albums chart, which covers metrics from the top 25 individual albums, Best Of Shaggy: The Boombastic Collection by Shaggy was at No. 2, followed by World On Fire by Stick Figure at No. 3, Dutty Classics Collection by Sean Paul at No. 4, Set In Stone by Stick Figure at No. 5, Greatest Hits by UB40 at No. 6, Look For The Good by Jason Mraz at No. 7, Dutty Rock by Sean Paul at No. 8, Gold by Bob Marley And The Wailers at No. 9, Higher Place by Skip Marley at No. 10, In The Moment by Rebelution at No. 11, Live At Red Rocks by Rebelution at No. 12, #7DJ (7 Dias En Jamaica) by Maluma at No. 13, Fixtape by Popcaan at No. 14, The Trinity by Sean Paul at No. 15, Exodus by Bob Marley And The Wailers at No. 16, Count Me In by Rebelution at No. 17, Sublime Meets Scientist & Mad Professor: Inna L.B.C. by Sublime at No. 18, Fire & Stone by Prince Fatty Presents Stick Figure at No. 19, Courage To Grow by Rebelution at No. 20, Time Bomb by Iration at No. 21, Beauty In The Silence by SOJO at No. 22, The Capitol Session ’73 by Bob Marley And The Wailers at No. 23, Top Prize by Alkaline at No. 24, and Falling Into Place by Rebelution at No. 25.
Marley’s two-year domination of the Reggae charts comes as no surprise because, on any given week, the 15x Platinum compilation album Legend continues to sell (and stream) almost as much as the other 9 entries on the weekly Billboard Reggae chart, combined.
It is the best-selling reggae album of all time, with over 15 million copies sold in the US, over 3.9 million copies in the UK, and an estimated 33 million copies sold globally. In 2003, the album was No. 46 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, maintaining the rating in a 2012 revised list.
First released on May 8, 1984, Legend debuted at No. 54 on the Billboard 200, bearing 14 tracks of Marley’s most-loved tunes such as Is This Love, No Woman No Cry, Three Little Birds, Get Up Stand Up, Buffalo Soldier, Exodus, I Shot the Sheriff, Stir it Up; BBC’s song of the Century One Love, Redemption Song, Jamming and Waiting in Vain.
It was a regular fixture on the 200 chart, until 1991 when Billboard made “old” albums ineligible for the listing. In 2009, Billboard repealed that rule and the album returned to chart and later peaked at No. 5 in 2014.
Come next week, Legend is set to continue its reign at the No. 1 spot for the 100th week in a row on the weekly Billboard Reggae Albums chart. Billboard had similarly amended their rules, allowing the 37-year-old album to rule the weekly Reggae chart, unopposed, since January 2020.
As of November 30, 2021, Legend has spent 1,005 weeks in the top 100 of the UK Albums Chart—the third-longest run in that chart’s history, and 706 weeks on the US Billboard 200 weekly chart—the second album, after Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, to hit 13 years on that chart.
Marley died in 1981, but ‘them a-go’ tired to see his face.