Bob Marley’s great-grandson, Joseph Mersa’ Marley, died at the age of 31.
Rolling Stone received confirmation Tuesday that he had died. His cause of death is still unknown.
Joseph Marley was the son of Stephen Marley. He also released an album and EP as a solo artist.
Jamaican politicians paid tribute, with the culture minister expressing her sadness at the news.
On Twitter, Olivia Grange, the Honourable, wrote: “We were graced with Joseph, whose stagename was Jo Mersa performing at our Jamaica 60 launch in Miramar (Florida), USA in May.
“His premature passing at the tender age of 31… is a devastating loss for the music and we look forward to the next generation.” We pray that he finds Eternal Peace during this season of goodwill, when we remember our shared love and celebrate it with family members and friends.
Mark J Golding, Jamaica’s opposition leader, posted on Twitter: “I just learned about the tragic loss Joseph ‘Jo’ Mersa” Marley. At just 31 years old, Stephen Marley’s son and grandson Bob Marley was a talented young reggae artist.
“The death of a child should be a terrible blow for any parent. My condolences to Stephen, his family and friends.”
Joseph was born into the Marley family Jamaica 1992 and moved to Miami at age 11.
As a child, he was always surrounded by music and would often go on stage with his dad, his uncle Ziggy Marley, and the Melody Makers, his aunts Sharon, and Cedella.
As a teenager, he began to write music and his first song, My Girl, was released in 2010. It was a collaboration between his cousin Daniel Bambaata.
Comfortable, his first solo album, was released four years later. He joined his father for Revelation Party in 2016, a song taken from Stephen’s album Revelation Part 2 : The Fruit of Life.
Joseph released Eternal in 2021, his debut album. It features collaborations with dancehall and reggae artists such as Busy Signal, Black-Am-I and Kabaka Pyramid.
Marley talked about growing up in a musical family during a Rolling Stone interview in 2014.
“It was very magical to see those people come to our house and how the entire work process would unfold.
“I used to come home from school and do my homework. But, I would get distracted and look in the studio.” It would be a natural instinct to want to get out and see what was happening.
Joseph spoke of his desire to forge his own path in the industry, despite his famed forefathers.
“I am a new generation of Marleys but I am still trying to figure out how it all works.” I plan to do something with my roots.