Bob Marley’s grandson Joseph ‘Jo Mersa’ Marley has died aged 31.
News of his death was confirmed to Rolling Stone on Tuesday. The cause of his death has not yet been confirmed.
Son of Stephen Marley, Joseph was also a musician in his own right having released an EP and a solo album.
Jamaican politicians paid tribute to her, with the country’s culture minister saying she was “deeply saddened by the news”.
The Honorable Olivia Grange wrote on Twitter: “We were honored by Joseph, whose stage name was Jo Mersa, at our Jamaica 60 launch in Miramar, Florida, USA in May.
“His untimely passing at the age of 31…is a huge loss for music as we look to the next generation. May he find eternal peace as we mourn his loss during this season of goodwill where we celebrate with family and friends our love for each other.”
Jamaican Opposition Leader Mark J Golding wrote on Twitter: “Just learned of the tragic loss of Joseph ‘Jo Mersa’ Marley. A talented young reggae artist, son of Stephen Marley and grandson of Bob Marley only 31 years old.
“The loss of a child is a devastating blow that no parent should suffer, my condolences to Stephen and the whole family.”
Born into the Marley family in Jamaica in 1992, Joseph moved to Miami when he was 11 years old.
Constantly surrounded by music since childhood, he sometimes took to the stage with his father, as well as his uncle Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers – his aunts Sharon and Cedella.
He started writing music as a young teenager and released his first official song, My Girl, a collaboration with his cousin Daniel Bambaata, in 2010.
Four years later released his first solo EP, Comfortable. In 2016, he joined his father on Revelation Party, a song from Stephen’s album Revelation Part 2: The Fruit of Life.
Joseph released his debut album, Eternal, featuring collaborations with reggae and dancehall artists like Busy Signal, Black-Am-I and Kabaka Pyramid, in 2021.
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In a 2014 interview with Rolling Stone, Marley talked about growing up in a musical environment.
“It was something very magical, to see these people come to the house and how the whole working process was going.
“I would come home and try to do my homework, but I would end up getting distracted and would go and have a look around the studio. You would always want to come in and out to see what was going on.”
Despite his famous ancestry, Joseph had spoken of his intention to chart his own path in the industry.
“I’m part of the new generation of Marley, but I’m still experimenting at the same time. My plan is to do something new with my roots.”