The reggae world is in shock as Jo Mersa Marley, the grandson of the legendary Bob Marley has been reported dead at the age of 31.
According to reports, a representative for the young singer confirmed his passing to Rolling Stone. This was after Kingston, Jamaica-based journalist Abka Fitz-Henley first reported on the passing via his Twitter account, stating that Marley had passed away in the U.S. after being “found unresponsive in a vehicle.” He leaves behind a wife and daughter.
WZPP, a South Florida radio station, would report on the “Burn It Down” singer’s death in a post on Instagram stating that it was due to an asthma attack without adding further details. Marley’s representative did not provide further comment when first contacted by the press.
The grandson of Bob and Rita Marley and son of Stephen Marley, Jo Mersa was born Joseph Marley March 12 in Kingston, Jamaica. He moved to Florida during his high school years and studied audio engineering at Miami Dade College. He made his musical debut in 2010 on the song “My Girl,” a collaborative track with his cousin, Daniel Bambaataa Marley. He would go on to release an EP entitled Comfortable in 2014 and release his debut album Eternal in 2021.
In an interview with Rolling Stone at the time of his debut, the young Marley spoke about his iconic grandfather and family legacy. “I am one of the new generation of Marleys, but I am still experimenting at the same time,” he said, adding: “My plan is to do something new with my roots.”
In another interview with the outlet Reggaeville in 2021, he would talk further about that impact. “We always hear those reflections, speaking about those things, about the role that he played not only as family member and father, but also in the world and the impact he had on the Reggae community and the Reggae culture, the roots, bringing forward the message of Rastafari and love, over all love.”