THE Jamaican government will declare Bob Marley's Kingston home a national monument, 25 years after the reggae legend's death.

Minister of Education and Culture Maxine Henry Wilson said the tribute was in recognition of all Marley had done to promote his Caribbean homeland overseas.

Marley, who died of cancer in the United States in 1981, would have turned 61 this week.

Known as Tuff Gong International, Marley's home is now a music studio and a leading tourist attraction.

Marley, who remains one of the most recognisable stars of pop music, was given Jamaica's third-highest national honour, the Order of Merit, shortly before his death. But government officials have repeatedly shied away from calls to name him a national hero.

As a devout Rastafarian, and someone who used marijuana as part of his religious beliefs, Marley ran a long-running crusade for the legalisation of the herb known locally as ganja.

No official date has been set yet for the ceremony in which Tuff Gong, which translates loosely from Jamaican slang to tough sound, will be designated a national monument.