Reggae legend Bob Marley’s grandson and Grammy-winning musician Stephen Marley’s son, Jamaican-American artist Joseph Mersa Marley, was found dead at the age of 31. According to a tweet by journalist Abka Fitz-Henley, Jo was discovered unresponsive in a vehicle on December 27, Tuesday. A subsequent report by a radio station in Florida, WZPP, stated that the cause of his death was an asthma attack.
Jo Marley was born on March 12, 1991, in Jamaica. He was a musician who made his first public appearance onstage with his father when he was just four years old. He relocated to the United States while he was a senior in high school. He attended Miami Dade College to pursue a degree in studio engineering. In 2010, Bob Marley and Daniel Bambaata collaborated on the recording of “My Girl,” which became Marley’s debut official single. After that, Marley also published his first extended play (EP), titled Comfortable, when he was 23 years old.
Marley’s career took off in a big way in 2016 with the release of “Burn It Down,” on which he collaborated with his brother Yohan. Jo Mersa was exploring various musical styles early because he was born into the Marley family, including Ziggy, Sharon, and Cedella Marley.
That self-titled debut EP was not the final piece of music that Jo Mersa would ever release. In the year 2020, he released “Everlasting (Remixes),” and in the year 2021, he would give an extended play (EP) titled “Eternal,” which will include seven tracks.
Although Jo Mersa was practically royalty in the reggae genre, he wanted to broaden his musical horizons, which led to the conception of this project. According to an interview with Rolling Stone in 2014, he said, “I am one of the new generations of Marleys, but I am still experimenting at the same time” “My plan is to do something new with my roots.”
Mark J. Golding, a politician in Jamaica, expressed his grief over the passing of Jo Mersa on Tuesday by posting a touching message on his Twitter account. He wrote, “I’ve just learned of the tragic loss of Joseph “Jo Mersa” Marley. A talented young reggae artiste, son of Stephen Marley & grandson of Bob Marley at only 31 yrs old. The loss of a child is a devastating blow no parent should face, my condolences to Stephen & the entire family.”
Andrew Holness, the prime minister of Jamaica, also paid tribute to Jo Mersa when he passed away. He said, “My heartfelt sympathies to Joseph’s friends and associates and to the Reggae music fraternity and fans everywhere. His untimely passing at the young age of 31y.o. is a huge loss to the music as we look to the next generation.”
His wife, daughter, and sister Mystic Marley, a singer, are the only members of Jo Mersa’s family to survive him.