Bob Marley’s family is teaming up with sports performance brand Oakley on an inspired new remake of Marley’s iconic anthem, “One Love.” The re-imagined song, part of Oakley’s new “For the Love of Sport” campaign, debuted this morning on SiriusXM’s Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong Radio channel, and is available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music. The official video, meantime, is up now on Oakley’s YouTube page and Oakley.com.
The Marley family chose the American-born, British-Jamaican singer-songwriter, Celeste, to perform the new version of “One Love.” The track features the recent Brit Rising Star Award winner putting a soulful spin on the melody, riding a sparse hip-hop beat that swells into a choir-led crescendo by the end of the song. As part of the collaboration with Oakley, the Marley family allowed some of the verses to be rewritten from the perspective of Oakley athletes, including WNBA player, Diamond DeShields, skateboarder Ryan Sheckler, Paralympic skier Oksana Masters, Australian cyclist Caroline Buchanan, and Brazilian surfer Ítalo Ferreira. Oakley calls the reinterpretation a “modern-day love song” that showcases the power of sports to unite people from around the world.
“Sports has the power to evoke emotion, whether you’re an athlete or a fan [and] during a time of uncertainty, we wanted to shed light on this love of sport, and spread a positive message,” Ben Goss, Oakley’s Global Marketing Director tells Rolling Stone. “By sharing what drives us and our athletes, this love of sport, our hope is that it can have a positive impact on uplifting the community during these uncertain times.”
For the Marley family, the chance to work with Oakley was something they believe their father would have been excited to do. “Sports, specifically soccer, was my dad’s second love after music, and it brought him a great deal of joy throughout his life,” says Ziggy Marley. “The world really needs love right now, and we’re thrilled to work with Oakley on this amazing reinterpretation of ‘One Love,’ so it can be meaningful to a new generation during a time when it’s needed most.”
First recorded by Bob Marley and The Wailers as a ska-tinged tune in 1965, “One Love” really came to prominence when it was re-recorded as a reggae song for the group’s 1977 album, Exodus. It’s since become one of Marley’s most iconic songs, recognized around the world for its delicate melody and inspirational lyrics that call out for love, acceptance and unity.
“The world is an uncertain and scary place right now [and] ‘One Love’ is such a positive, uplifting song that makes everyone feel good,” says Cedella Marley. “It felt like the perfect time to share a new version and remind people that we all have similar passions and goals, and we all need love. It’s great to see how cherished [the song] still is and that its message still resonates so strongly.”
The Oakley remake is part of a yearlong celebration of what would have been Bob Marley’s 75th birthday in 2020. The Marley family also approved a new fashion collaboration with Wrangler that’s in stores now, and Ziggy Marley recently paid tribute to his father in a live stream concert last month.