Bob Marley's Grandson Joseph 'Jo Mersa' Marley Dead at 31



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Joseph "Jo Mersa" Marley, the grandson of pioneering reggae legend Bob Marley, has died aged just 31, multiple sources have confirmed.

The tragic death was first confirmed by Joe Mersa's representatives in Rolling Stone on Tuesday (December 27), but news of his death initially broke via a Jamaican journalist on Twitter, who wrote: "Jamaican/American Artiste, Joseph Marley, who's also known as Jo Mersa [sic], was found dead today in the USA.


"Marley was found unresponsive in a vehicle. Marley is the son of Reggae Star Stephen Marley and the grandson of reggae legend, Bob Marley."

Several sources have reported that a cause of death has not yet been determined.


Despite being born in Jamaica, Jo Mersa spent much of his life in Miami, having moved there at the age of 11, PEOPLE detailed. In college, he studied studio engineering and released his first song 'My Girl - in collaboration with his cousin Daniel Bambaata Marley - in 2010.

Then, in 2014, Jo Mersa dropped his EP Comfortable. His second EP, Eternal, was released in 2021.

The EP featured several prominent artists in the reggae genre - including Kabaka Pyramid, Black-Am-I, and Busy Signal.


Speaking to Reggaeville to promote Eternal last year, Jo Mersa revealed how his family remembers his late grandfather - who died of melanoma in 1981 at the age of 36 - stating: "Family-wise, you would hear memories from my father or from our uncles, you would see them posting pictures or even just speaking to us in an environment talking about 'I remember when Daddy did this or when he came from Africa or when Daddy did this interview or when he was in Italy.'"

"So, we always hear those reflections, speaking about those things, about the role that he played not only as family member and father, but also in the world and the impact he had on the Reggae community and the Reggae culture, the roots, bringing forward the message of Rastafari and love, over all love..." he added.


Tributes for the talented Jo Mersa have come pouring in - including from Mark Golding, the leader of Jamaica's opposition, who tweeted: "I've just learned of the tragic loss of Joseph 'Jo Mersa' Marley. A talented young reggae artiste, son of Stephen Marley and 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."


Jamaica's Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange wrote: "I am deeply saddened by the news that artiste Joseph Marley, son of Reggae star, Stephen Marley and grand son of Reggae super star, Bob Marley has died. We were graced by Joseph, whose stage name was Jo Mersa, performing at our Jamaica 60 Launch in Miramar, Florida, USA in May."



Our thoughts are with the family, friends, and fans of Joseph Marley at this difficult time.




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