Bob Marley's image could appear on drinks, stationery, hotels and videogames after his family signed a merchandising deal.

The late reggae star's family are keen to control the use of Marley's image, which has been used in a counterfeit merchandise industry worth an estimated $600 million (£415 million).

"We're open to licensing just about anything," said Marley's eldest child Cedella. But she added: "If it is not right, we will not do it."

She told BBC News: "This is a big business for bootleggers. We want to stop some of the nonsense, and make sure the great stuff upholds our standards. We're in control."

Ms Marley has already published a children's book entitled Three Little Birds based on her father's song while the family are considering plans for a "One Love" chain of cafes where people could "come, eat good Jamaican food, talk about the music, listen to the music, live bands".

The Marley family has signed a partnership with private equity firm Hilco to reduce the amount of bootlegging of the Exodus star's image and songs.

A chain of Marley hotels could spring from the Bob Marley Resort & Spa in the Bahamas while headphones, shoes and musical instruments could also feature in a line of official merchandise.

"The things that dad spoke about are still the things that we all need to fix and work on," Ms Marley said.

"Sometimes when you put on his records it's like he's talking about today, right now.

"The message is still about hope and peace and all of us coming together. That's what makes him special. All of us can relate to him."


11/02/2009 12:02:40