MIAMI (AP) — Reggae musician Joseph “Jo Mersa” Marley, Bob Marley’s grandson and Stephen Marley’s son, has died at 31.
His representative confirmed his death to Rolling Stone on Tuesday but a cause of death was not immediately disclosed.
Born in Jamaica and raised in Miami, Marley followed in his family’s musical footsteps, taking the stage with his family’s band, Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers. He began writing music when in middle 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 spoke of how music enveloped his upbringing in a previous interview with Rolling Stone.
“I would come home and try to do homework, but I’d end up getting distracted and go peek in the studio. You would always want to run in and run out to see what was going on,” he said.
He was intent on creating his own path, and released his own debut album “Eternal” in 2021. He had studied studio engineering at Miami Dade College.
“I am one of the new generation of Marleys, but I am 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 elicited mourning on social media, including a post from Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
“My heartfelt sympathies to Joseph’s friends and associates and to the Reggae music fraternity and fans everywhere,” Holness tweeted Tuesday. “His untimely passing at the young age of 31y.o. is a huge loss to the music as we look to the next generation.”