Muhammad Ali – He didn’t count the days. He made the days count.

One of the greatest fighters of all time and an inspiration to millions passed away on June 3rd. I had the opportunity to meet Ali at the 1996 Olympic Games with Zakir and many others. Let's take a look back at the life of a legend, may the four winds blow him safely home.

July – 1996 – Olympic Opening Ceremony

“The drums are a call from all nations to come together and celebrate this historic moment.” ~Mickey Hart

Over 3.5 billion people watched the opening ceremony of the 1996 Olympic games. One of the most special moments for me was when Zakir, Giovanni and I were able to meet Muhammad Ali who carried the torch and lit the flame. We wrote the music for the opening ceremony, a composition called 'Call to All Nations'. We performed it with members of Planet Drum, the Tibetian Monks, a collection of vocalists from all over the world, and over 100 drummers from Atlanta. 

‘Call to All Nations’, composed by Mickey Hart, Philip Glass, Zakir Hussain, Giovanni Hidalgo can be found on the album – Over the Edge and Back.
Get the CD here. Download on iTunes here.

Click the image to watch drummers perform during the opening ceremony of the centennial Olympic Games on July 19th in Atlanta. A cast of 5,500 participated in the ceremony attended by US President Bill Clinton. 

Click the image to enjoy additional video highlights of the spectacular opening ceremony.

Click the image to watch an exclusive tribute by DJ Steve Porter for Muhammad Ali – the special guest of Team USA's 2012 Benefit Gala hosted at USA House the night before the London 2012 Opening Ceremony.

Click the image to watch Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier – Highlights! *HD* [Fight of the Century!]

A gigantic battle between two titans of boxing! Joe Frazier won the vacant Heavyweight Title which was stripped off Muhammad Ali when he refused to be inducted in the US Army. The two men battled a real thriller that has really become one of the best fights in Heavyweight history!Winner: Joe Frazier by U.D.

In The News:

Muhammad Ali dead at 74: Remembering his 10 greatest fights.

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who died Friday night at the age of 74, is widely hailed as one of the greatest boxers to ever live, with a career record of 56-5 and 37 KOs.

Some of his most famous quotes.

The best of Muhammad Ali's quotes on boxing, success and civil rights that mesmerised people all over the world.

The Guardian view on Muhammad Ali: a life of bravery.

The tributes paid since his death was announced on Saturday have confirmed that for more than half a century Muhammad Ali was many things to many people in many lands. But if there was one quality that ran through his life like an unbroken thread, it was his bravery.

Check out the ulitmate Ali playlist. Muhammad Ali and the songs he inspired.

As a cultural icon, Muhammad Ali permeated just about every medium during his lifetime, including music. He is named or referred to in literally hundreds of songs — including those by Kanye West, LL Cool J, Gang Starr and Billy Joel. Rather than list the mere mentions, here is a Daily News guide to songs that are about or inspired by The Greatest:

When We Were Kings Captures Muhammad Ali in His Prime

The death of boxing legend Muhammad Ali sent the world into mourning and fans looking for ways to remember him. Of the many attempts to capture Ali over the years, from a single sentence about his first fight to this weekend’s wall-to-wall coverage, Leon Gast’s 1996 film When We Were Kings perhaps came the closest to capturing the man in full.


Interesting Facts About The Greatest

  • Ali has appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated on 37 different occasions, second only to Michael Jordan.
  • Ali was named "Fighter of the Year" by Ring Magazine more times than any other fighter.
  • Ali and Frazier's first fight, held at the Garden on March 8, 1971, was nicknamed the "Fight of the Century". Watch the highlights below.
  • Ali and heavyweight champion George Foreman's fight  in Kinshasa, Zaire was nicknamed "The Rumble in the Jungle". 
  • On January 19, 1981, in Los Angeles, Ali talked a man down from jumping off a ninth-floor ledge, an event that made national news. Watch the video here.
  • In 1996, he had the honor of lighting the flame at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. Learn more below.
  • Ali influenced several elements of hip hop music, as a "rhyming trickster" in the 1960s with "funky delivery, the boasts, the comical trash talk, the endless quotable."
  • In 2002, for his contributions to the entertainment industry, Ali was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His star is the only one to be mounted on a vertical surface, out of deference to his request that his name not be walked upon.
  • On November 19, 2005 the $60 million non-profit Muhammad Ali Center opened in downtown Louisville. In addition to displaying his boxing memorabilia, the center focuses on core themes of peace, social responsibility, respect, and personal growth. Click the picture to learn more.


“Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you're going to be right." ~Muhammad Ali