Joseph "Jo Mersa" Marley, the grandson of reggae legend Bob Marley and the son of musician Stephen Marley, has reportedly died aged 31 under mysterious circumstances. According to the streaming service TIDAL, the musician was discovered unconscious in a car in the US on Tuesday. The exact location of Joseph's death hasn't yet been made public.
The musician, who went by the stage name Jo Mersa, reportedly battled asthma his entire life and passed away as a result of an asthma attack, according to Florida radio station WZPP. However, there is no official confirmation about the exact cause of his death. Police have launched an investigation into Jo Mersa's death.
Jo Merse had battled asthma since childhood but still carved a successful career in music. His death is likely from an asthma attack, according to initial reports. However, police are yet to make an official announcement. South Florida radio station WZPP was the first to confirm Jo Mersa's death.
The radio station posted on Instagram that the musician died of an asthma attack. It also noted that the singer leaves behind a wife and daughter.
Jo Mersa's grandfather Bob Marley a pioneer in the reggae movement. He was famous for songs like "Everything's Gonna Be Alright," "Get Up, Stand Up," "Is This Love," "I Shot the Sheriff," "No Woman, No Cry," and others.
Bob Marley died in 1981 at the age of 36 from melanoma. He fathered 11 children in total with seven different women.
Stephen Marley also has a daughter Mystic Marley, who is also a musician. Stephen's siblings included Ziggy Marley, a musician, and Rohan Marley, an entrepreneur.
Joseph Mersa Marley spent his childhood in Jamaica and attended Saints Peter and Paul Preparatory School. After that, he relocated to Florida and enrolled at Palmetto High School. He majored in studio engineering while attending Miami Dade College.
He also released the EP titled "Comfortable" in 2014, while Eternal was his album that year.
Death Still a Mystery
Marley is considered a legend who pioneered and revolutionized reggae. A new film on Bob Marley is now in production. The renowned singer will be portrayed by Kingsley Ben-Adir in the film, which will be directed by King Richard filmmaker Reinaldo Marcus Green and produced by Rita Marley, her son Ziggy, and daughter Cedella Marley.
Rita, the widow of Bob Marley, will be played by Lashana Lynch, the No Time To Die actress who played MI6 agent Nomi in the James Bond epic.
Jo Mersa also was a star in his own right. He talked about his songwriting skills in an interview with the Jamaica Gleaner in 2021 that was timed to the release of his second EP, "Eternal," which included Melii, Black-Am-I, Busy Signal, and Kabaka Pyramid.
"In all honesty, it depends on the vibe because sometimes you will have a tune or idea, like a whole tune is in your head but no beat, and other times, you have a beat and no tune," he said. "That's for me, of course. I can't speak for everyone. Some songs I am able to finish in a night, and some take longer."
He claimed that it was difficult to follow in his father's footsteps in an interview with the Jamaica Observer in 2014. "My father has created a legacy by putting out songs with meaning," he said. "It's something I have to live up to."
However, Jo Mersa did claim that there was "no pressure" to live up to his last name in a different interview. "There's things that you have to overcome and things you just have to do and that's how it is. We have to go through life you know? There's no pressure for me," he told the entertainment site Pier in 2014.
"I give thanks for being a Marley. I'm very appreciative and thankful that I am born where I am born and put where God has decided. I'm very thankful about it and proud."
In 2021, he also discussed his grandfather's legacy, adding that his family frequently reflected on it on the anniversary of his death.