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Family mourning death of Jo Mersa Marley

Family mourning death of Jo Mersa Marley

Posted  376 Views updated 1 year ago

The family of Joseph ‘Jo Mersa’ Marley is mourning the sudden death of the reggae artiste who passed away on Tuesday. Joe Mersa, the first child of Stephen Marley and grandson of Bob and Rita Marley, was also the nephew of Dancehall Queen Carlene.

Reports are that the musician, who was asthmatic, was found dead in a vehicle. He was living in the United States.

“He is my youngest sister’s first child. I was there when he was born at Nuttall Hospital weighing 10 pounds 2 ounces. This is so sudden,” a distraught Carlene Smith shared.

She said that her sister, Kerry, is beside herself with grief.

“Right now, all I can do is be there for her and try to comfort her through this pain. She is crying ... crying. He had asthma from he was a child ... and yuh know how we stay ... that little one going to get a little special treatment. It feels unreal right now. I spoke to him earlier this year and he had plans to come to Jamaica. He was even working on an album,” Carlene added.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, has led the entertainment fraternity in mourning the death of the artiste “whose untimely passing at the young age of 31 years old is a huge loss to the music as we look to the next generation”.

Minister Grange said in a release that she was “deeply saddened by the news” and shared that Jo Mersa was part of Jamaica’s grand 60th celebrations earlier this year.

“We were graced by Joseph, whose stage name was Jo Mersa, performing at our Jamaica 60 Launch in Miramar, Florida, United States in May this year. I extend my deepest condolences to Stephen; Jo’s mom, Kerry, the Marleys and other family members. My heartfelt sympathies to Joseph’s friends and associates and to the reggae music fraternity and fans everywhere,” Grange said.

Dancehall artiste Bounty Killer took to social media to extend his condolences. “Jah know star, let’s all just cherish each moment from here on since none of us never know the time. My deepest sincere condolences goes out to #StephenRagga and the whole Marley family.”

Producer Walshy Fire wrote, “Jah knows. His talent and intelligence was insane. Love you, king. So glad I got to work with you.”

Born on March 12, 1991, Joe Mersa Marley spent his early years in Jamaica, where he attended Saints Peter and Paul Preparatory School, before moving to Florida at age 11 “where he keenly observed his father and his uncle Damian as they created music in Stephen’s Lion’s Den studio”.

His bio on womex.com states that “by the time he was four years old, Jo was appearing onstage alongside his father, his uncle Ziggy and aunts Cedella and Sharon and their children as part of the group’s rousing concert finales with Jo often taking the mic and chanting the lyrics to the Melody Makers’ biggest songs, much to the delight of their audiences”.

He attended Palmetto High School and Miami Dade College where he studied studio engineering.

Jo Mersa made his debut in 2014 with the five-track EP titled Comfortable, which was released on the Marley family’s imprint Ghetto Youths International. He also appeared on a Grammy-winning album Strictly Roots by Morgan Heritage.

Joe Mersa was married with one daughter.

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