MIAMI — Reggae musician Joseph “Jo Mersa” Marley, grandson of Bob Marley and son of Stephen Marley, has died at age 31.
His representative confirmed his death to Rolling Stone on Tuesday, but the cause of death was not immediately released.
Born in Jamaica and raised in Miami, Marley followed in his family’s musical footsteps and took the stage with his family’s band, Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers. He began writing music when he was in high school and made his musical debut in 2010 with the release of the single “My Girl,” on which he collaborated with his cousin Daniel Bambaata Marley. In 2016, he collaborated on a song with his father for the latter’s album “Revelation Part 2: The Fruit of Life”.
Marley grew up with his musician father and surrounded by Bob Marley’s other children, including Uncle Ziggy and Aunts Sharon and Cadella.
Jo Mersa Marley talked about how music wrapped up her upbringing in a previous interview with Rolling Stone.
“I would come home and try to do homework, but I would end up getting distracted and peeking into the study. You would always want to run in and run out to see what was going on,” she said.
He intended to create his own path and released his own debut album “Eternal” in 2021. He had studied studio engineering at Miami Dade College.
I’m one of the new generation of Marleys, but I’m still experimenting at the same time,” he had told Rolling Stone. “My plan is to do something new with my roots.”
News of Marley’s death sparked mourning on social media, including a post by Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
“Sincere condolences to Joseph’s friends and associates and to the reggae music fraternity and fans around the world,” Holness tweeted Tuesday. “Her untimely passing from him at the young age of 31. It’s a huge loss for music as we look to the next generation.”