Joseph “Jo Mersa” Marley, the grandson of legendary reggae singer Bob Marley, has passed away at just 31 years old.
The musician was reportedly found “unresponsive in a vehicle,” according to Jamaican journalist Abka Fitz-Henley. He explained in a shocking tweet on Tuesday morning:
“Jamaican/American Artiste, Joseph Marley, who’s also known as Jo Mersa (@JoMersaMarley), was found dead today in the USA. Marley was found unresponsive in a vehicle.”
Marley was found unresponsive in a vehicle.
Marley is the son of Reggae Star Stephen Marley & the grandson of reggae legend, Bob Marley. pic.twitter.com/jyH8A4YkK6
— Abka Fitz-Henley (@AbkaFitzHenley) December 27, 2022
While an exact cause of death was not immediately made available, South Florida radio station WZPP reported the young artist died as the result of an asthma attack. They explained in a Tuesday Instagram upload:
“Unfortunately, it has been confirmed that Jo’Mersa Marley, son of Stephen Marley and grandson of Bob Marley, has passed away unexpectedly from an asthma attack. He was found in his vehicle earlier this morning.”
Music streaming service TIDAL paid tribute to the late artist shortly after the news broke, writing in a tweet:
“Forever in our hearts. RIP Jo Mersa Marley.”
Forever in our hearts. RIP Jo Mersa Marley. ????️????️ pic.twitter.com/hWGbYxV9d5
— TIDAL (@TIDAL) December 27, 2022
Jo Mersa came from a line of musicians. His father Stephen Marley sang the hits Rock Stone, Who’s That Girl, and Hey Baby, among others.
And of course he was the grandson of late Jamaican superstar Bob Marley, a legend known for hits such as This Love, Everything’s Gonna Be Alright, and many, many more. Jo himself opened up to Reggaeville last year, where he spoke on his grandfather:
“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.”
Jo spent his formative years in Jamaica before traveling to Florida, where he eventually studied studio engineering at Miami-Dade College, according to a 2014 report by the Jamaica Observer. At the time, the celebrity kid told the outlet:
“My father has created a legacy by putting out songs with meaning. It’s something I have to live up to.”
The artist released his debut album, Comfortable, the same year. He became known for the songs Burn It Down and No Way Out.
In addition to leaving his father and siblings behind, Jo leaves his wife, and young daughter, Sunshine. See (below):
So, so sad. Rest in peace to an artist gone far too. Our hearts are with his family.
[Images via Bob Marley/YouTube & Johnny Louis/WENN]