Joseph “Jo Mersa” Marley died at age 31. Learn more about the late musician, who is the grandson of Bob Marley and son of Stephen Marley.
The Marley family has lost one of their own.
Joseph “Jo Mersa” Marley, who is the son of Stephen Marley and grandson of Bob Marley, has died at age 31, a rep for the late musician confirmed to Rolling Stone Dec. 27. A cause of death has not been revealed.
In the wake of his passing, public figures have voiced tributes for the Jamaican-born artist and the legacy he has left behind—one that was rich in music.
“My heartfelt sympathies to Joseph’s friends and associates and to the Reggae music fraternity and fans everywhere,” Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness wrote in a Dec. 27 tweet. “His untimely passing at the young age of 31y.o. is a huge loss to the music as we look to the next generation.”
Holness added in a follow-up message, “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.”
Meanwhile, Mark J. Golding, who serves as the president of the People’s National Party, also took to the app to mourn the “tragic loss” of Jo Mersa.
“A talented young reggae artiste, son of Stephen Marley & grandson of Bob Marley at only 31 yrs old,” Golding wrote on Twitter Dec. 27. “The loss of a child is a devastating blow no parent should face, my condolences to Stephen & the entire family.”
Having been born in the Marley family, which includes Ziggy, Sharon and Cedella Marley, Jo Mersa was no stranger to music from a very young age. Back in 2014, he recalled being brought up on stage at Melody Makers concerts to assist in performing the hit “Look Who’s Dancing.”
“We would get up on stage with my brothers and sisters,” Jo Mersa told Rolling Stone in 2014, “and there was a certain time where they would just give us the mic and we’d do our certain favorite part of the song.”
And it wouldn’t be long until Jo Mersa was putting out his own tracks. In 2014, he released his debut EP Comfortable, which, according to Rolling Stone, features dancehall, R&B and EDM sounds.
The project was a product of the fact that while Jo Mersa was essentially reggae royalty, he was looking to explore in music.
“I am one of the new generation of Marleys, but I am still experimenting at the same time,” he told Rolling Stone in 2014. “My plan is to do something new with my roots.”
That debut EP would not be the last work Jo Mersa would put out. In 2020, he would release Everlasting (Remixes) and in 2021, he would put out an EP titled Eternal, which features seven tracks.
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