MUHAMMAD ALI (1942-2016)

The world says goodbye to yet another icon, Muhammad Ali (1942-2016). Not only a great sporting icon, but one of the greatest men that ever lived. In his own words, to a press-packed boxing gym:

“I’m young, I’m handsome, I’m fast, I’m pretty…”



And indeed he was. Famous for his self-promoting statements before and after his world-title fights he competed at the highest level. His boxing ability was never doubted but he was a man made for posters, newspaper headlines and more. A man that even after the dust settled on his successful career, would continue to be part of modern day pop culture.



Back in 1964 Cassius Clay (as Muhammad Ali was then known) invited The Beatles to his gym in Miami during their first USA trip. They were originally out there for a well earned break following a tour and the legendary Ed Sullivan performance. But the photo opportunity with the charismatic Clay is arguably as iconic. All five of them on top form, combined to make a superpower. It has been reported that The Beatles were not keen on the original idea, but they would go on to immortalise him on the cover of Sgt Pepper.


So an icon for sure with Ali going on to create thousands more photo opportunities (Elvis included pursuing and taking the chance in 1973), an Oscar-nominated biopic in his honour, he will continue to adorn the walls of our youth, appear on the covers of video games and inspire musicians such as Bob Dylan (I Shall Be Free No. 10), LL Cool J (Mama Said Knock You Out) and Billy Joel (Zanzibar) – the list goes on and long may it continue.

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2 thoughts on “POP ICON: MUHAMMAD ALI

  1. A true legend ?

  2. Ali influenced several elements of hip hop music , as a “rhyming trickster” in the 19 with “funky delivery, the boasts, the comical trash talk, the endless quotables”.

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