Bob Marley's reggae artist grandson Jo Mersa dies aged 31

No cause of death given as representative confirms death of young father

Musician Joseph 'Jo Mersa' Marley spent his childhood around reggae royalty. Getty Images
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Bob Marley's musician grandson has died aged 31.

Joseph Marley, who performed under the stage name Jo Mersa, was found unresponsive in a vehicle, according to Jamaican journalist Abka Fitz-Henley. He is believed to have died in the US on Tuesday, but further details are yet to be revealed.

A representative for the Jamaican-American reggae star confirmed the death to Rolling Stone, though no cause of death was given.

He leaves behind a wife and daughter.

Joseph was the eldest son of Stephen Marley, an eight-time Grammy-winning reggae singer. Born in Jamaica in 1992, Joseph moved to Miami with his family aged 11. Growing up, he said he was surrounded by music and his family’s reggae legacy.

“It was a very magical thing, seeing those people come around to the house and how the whole work process would happen,” he told Rolling Stone in a 2014 interview.

“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.”

Joseph, a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, released his first song My Girl in 2010, and in 2014 he released his debut solo EP Comfortable. He came to further prominence in 2016 for his single Burn It Down, featuring his brother Yohan, the same year he joined his father on Revelation Party.

Last year, Joseph released Eternal, a seven-track EP featuring collaborations with reggae artists such Busy Signal, Black-Am-I and Kabaka Pyramid.

“I am one of the new generation of Marleys, but I am still experimenting at the same time. My plan is to do something new with my roots,” he told Rolling Stone.

Jamaican-American artist Shaggy posted his condolences on Instagram, writing: “So saddened by the news of the passing of this young king Jo Mersa Marley sending prayers and condolences to the Marley family."

Jamaica's president of the People’s National Party Mark J Golding also tweeted a tribute.

“I've just learned of the tragic loss of Jospeh 'Jo Mersa' Marley," he wrote. "A talented young reggae artiste, son of Stephen Marley and grandson of Bob Marley at only 31 yrs old," he wrote. "The loss of a child is a devastating blow no parent should face, my condolences to Stephen and the entire family.”

Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sport added: “I am deeply saddened by the news that artiste Joseph Marley, son of Reggae star, Stephen Marley and grandson of reggae superstar, Bob Marley has died.

“His untimely passing at the young age of 31 is a huge loss to the music as we look to the next generation. May he find eternal peace as we mourn his loss during this season of goodwill when we celebrate with family and friends our love for each other.”

Scroll through the gallery below to see other famous people who have died in 2022

Updated: December 28, 2022, 7:14 AM