Political figures in Jamaica paid tribute to the musician, whose father is Bob’s son Stephen Marley, after reports emerged claiming Joseph died in Florida on Tuesday morning.
South Florida radio station WZPP RADIO was among the first to report the news and claimed Joseph was found unresponsive in a vehicle. A rep for Joseph later confirmed the news to Rolling Stone.
She added: ‘His untimely passing at the young age of 31y.o. 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.’
Jamaica’s leader of the opposition, Mark J Golding, also said: ‘I’ve just learned of the tragic loss of Joseph “Jo Mersa” Marley. A talented young reggae artiste, son of Stephen Marley & 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.’
Tidal, the streaming service part-owned by Jay Z, also tweeted: ‘Forever in our hearts. RIP Jo Mersa Marley.’
Hailing from music royalty as part of the Marley family, Joseph was also a musician in his own right having released his debut EP, Comfortable, in 2014. Boasting six songs, the record featured guest appearances from reggae musicians Wayne Marshall and Jemere Morgan.
His second album, Eternal, was released in 2021 and featured the likes of Busy Signal and Melii.
As well as collaborating with his father Stephen, Joseph appeared on the Grammy-winning album Strictly Roots by Morgan Heritage.
The singer was raised in Jamaica, where he attended Saints Peter and Paul Preparatory School, before moving to Florida where he was a student at
Palmetto High School.
He studied studio engineering while at Miami Dade College.
Joseph’s grandfather, reggae legend Bob, died in 1981 at the age of 36 following a battle with cancer.
Bob is one of the most celebrated musical figures and is best known for songs such as No Woman No Cry, One Love, Jamming and Could You Be Loved.
Joseph is survived by a wife and daughter.