In a rare photo shoot, GQ Style caught up with Bob’s living legacy: the Marley sons, daughters, and grandchildren who are keeping Tuff Gong tougher than ever.
Essential Album: Conscious Party (1988), produced by members of Talking Heads
Ziggy is Jamaican musician and leader of the band, Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers. His essential album is Conscious Party (1988) and His 15th album, Ziggy Marley, was released May 20th
She’s a Business, Woman: Cedella spearheads Tuff Gong enterprises and cannabis brand Marley Natural, among other projects
Jamaican singer, dancer, fashion designer, actress, and entrepreneur. She is the first-born daughter of reggae singers Bob Marley and Rita Marley. She’s a Business, Woman: Cedella spearheads Tuff Gong enterprises and cannabis brand Marley Natural, among other projects.
She is the glue that holds the family together, Cedella is the undisputed queen bee, the driving force behind the many businesses that bear the Marley name.
Robert “Robbie” Marley
PURSUITS: Graphic arts, motorcycles
Vest, $245, Boss
Shirt, $385, Burberry
Ring, Degs & Sal
Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley
Musical Role: Ambassador to the streets
Jamaican reggae artist. Damian is the youngest son of reggae legend Bob Marley. Damian was 2 years old when his father died; he is the only child born to Marley and Cindy Breakspeare, Miss World 1976.
Damian’s nickname Junior Gong is derived from his father’s nickname of Tuff Gong. Damian has been performing since the age of 13.
Musically he is the Ambassador to the streets. his instant-classic 2005 record Welcome to Jamrock, which spawned a monster hit in the title track. (You know it: Out in the streets, they call it muuuurder.)
Damian says, “I was kind of missing that real live roots reggae sound.” So his next album, due later this year, will include “more ballads, more singing…more what you might think of hearing from my brothers.”
Stephen “Ragga” Marley
Essential Summer Jam: “All Night,” his collaboration with brother Damian
The younger of Bob and Rita’s sons and our host for this photo shoot, Stephen performed onstage with Bob at his legendary Zimbabwe Independence concert at the tender age of 8. At Reggae Sunsplash ’81—the year Bob passed—he bravely dedicated “Sugar Pie” to “all the pretty girls out there.” It was a precocious preview of his adult catalog, known for smoldering duets, including “No Cigarette Smoking (in My Room)” with Melanie Fiona and “In Love with You” on Erykah Badu’s LPMama’s Gun. Big brother Ziggy describes him as “the bridge” between the kids who knew Bob and the Marleys who came after, and Stephen lends production to many of his siblings’ releases from his Lion’s Den home studio. This summer he’s slated to drop his own album, Revelation Part II: The Fruit of Life,which just might win him his ninth Grammy.
FOUNDER OF: Marley Coffee
FATHER OF: Seven children, five with Lauryn Hill
Suit, $1,045, and shirt, $165, Boss
Rohan Anthony Marley is an entrepreneur and former American football player. He is the son of reggae artist Bob Marley and Janet Hunt. He was born during his father’s marriage to Rita, and went to live with her from the age of four then lived with Marley’s mother after his father died of cancer in Miami in 1981.
Marley met musician Lauryn Hill in 1996. They had five children: Zion David (b. August 1997); Selah Louise (b. September 1998); Joshua Omaru (b. 2002) John Nesta (b. 2003); and Sarah (b. 2008). Marley and Hill lived apart for most of their relationship, which ended for good in 2009. Marley took temporary custody of their five children while Hill served a three-month prison sentence for tax evasion in 2013. For years, Hill referred to Marley as her husband, but they never married through the court system.
In 2009, he co-founded Marley Coffee, an organic coffee plantation and “sustainable” farming business in Jamaica’s Blue Mountains, although the majority of coffee sourced through Marley Coffee is from Ethiopia. The business is run on a 52-acre estate in Portland Parish. In 2011, Marley Coffee went public under the name Jammin Java Corp.
MOST RECENT ALBUM: Awake (2009)
Jumpsuit, $2,195, Valentino
Shoes, $1,660, Berluti
Julian Marley, son of reggae legend Bob Marley and Barbados-born Lucy Pounder is a Grammy award nominated, roots-reggae musician, singer-songwriter, producer and humanitarian. In the same tradition as his father, Julian “Ju Ju” Marley is a devout Rastafarian whose music is inspired by life and spirituality.
Born in London, England on June 4, 1975, Julian is the only son of Bob Marley born and raised in the U.K. Having been raised in England by his mother, Julian frequently visited his family and brothers Ziggy, Stephen, Damian and Kymani in Jamaica. Growing up as a youth in a musical atmosphere Julian quickly adopted a musical lifestyle and at an early age and became a skillful, self-taught musician mastering the bass, drums, guitar and keyboards. By the tender age of five, Marley recorded his first demo at the Marley family home in Kingston, Jamaica. Julian reflects, “From a small age music has been in my life, it was just a natural thing.”
Provenance: Son of Cedella, grandson of Bob, grandnephew of Marcia Griffiths (of I-Threes fame)
He may’ve grown up in the definitive musical family, but it wasn’t until one night on his uncle Stephen’s tour that everyone realized Skip had the knack. When he got onstage for a chorus of “One Love,” Cedella says, “it was like a jaw-drop moment.” That led to his debut single, “Cry to Me,” which sits upon a skittery post-Timbaland modern R&B track. Currently working on an EP (and fresh off appearing in a Gap campaign), Skip has the eerie ghost-of-Bob rasp that is his birthright, filtered through a kid who loves “Kendrick Lamar, Cold
play, Major Lazer, and Diplo.”
Joseph “Jo Mersa” Marley
PROVENANCE: Grandson of Bob, son of Stephen
Shirt, $600, Jeffrey Rüdes
Pants, $1,100, and shoes, $795, Salvatore Ferragamo
ACTOR IN: The films Shottas and One Love
Jacket, $3,495, Ermenegildo Zegna
Ky-Mani is a Jamaican reggae and hip-hop artist. His name is of East African origin, and means “Adventurous Traveler”. He is the only child of Bob Marley with Anita Belnavis, a Jamaican table tennis champion.
Ky-Mani was born in Falmouth, Jamaica, but at the age of nine, he relocated to the inner-city of Miami . During his youth, Ky-Mani was unaware of his musical abilities, sports being his first love. With his mother’s direction, he took piano and guitar lessons and played trumpet in his high school band.
Ky-Mani released his debut album in 1996 titled Like Father Like Son, and several singles: “Judge Not” with Patra. He has since released 6 albums and has acting work included lead roles in the Jamaican films Shottas and One Love.
*What a beautiful family, the Marleys!