Damian Marley is a famous reggae artist from Jamaica. He earned a great deal of his popularity from the fact that his father is Bob Marley, probably one of the most famous reggae artists ever.

Early years

Damian’s full name is a bit longer than his stage name and it’s Damian Robert Nesta “Jr. Gong” Marley. His nickname is actually a twist of his father’s nickname so that’s how he got it.

He was born on July 21st in 1978 in his hometown Kingston, Jamaica.

He wasn’t really aware of his father ever, though, because he had only lived through his second birthday when his father died.

His mother, Cindy Breakspeare, helped her son live through similar steps that his father made.

She was Miss World of 1975 and later she got into singing when she met Bob. Her son, Damian, started to perform when he was only 13. She taught him everything his father used to say was important.

Fron an early age, in year 1992, he knew what genre’s he wanted to pursue and that’s how he got into reggae, roots reggae, reggae fusion and hip hop. He wanted to be a full-time musician, meaning he would do everything for his own work.

That’s why he ended up being a DJ, a rapper, a singer, a writer and a producer. He works very hard to earn respectin the industry.

Career development

As previously mentioned, he started out when only 13, and he made a group called Shephards.

It was a group of three: himself, daughter of Freddie McGregor (musician from Jamaica) and son of Stephen Coore (“Cat” Coore used to be in a reggae funk band called Third World).

They were performing on the 1992 Reggae Sunsplash festival and they never got a lot of recognition so they realised it won’t work and split right away somewhere at this time.

This is when Damian decided to start his own career, on his own.

He was pretty lucky that Tuff Gong, his dad’s signing label, decided to help him when he first published his debut album called Mr. Marley.

It was pretty interesting to people that year, 1996, because they were not used to a member of a Marley family to be a DJ rather than a singer. Some people liked it, some didn’t.

Marley didn’t stop. He worked hard to make Halfway Tree album come to life. The name is associated with his parents. His mother came from a rich family and his father from a poor one so he was halfway inbetween the both statuses.

Also, it is a reference to a famous clock tower that is now where a cotton tree was before, the very one which his dad used on his album covers. This means that there is a lot of connection between the two of them.

He received a 2002 Grammy for the best album in the genre of reggae. He was very proud of it, and so was his brother Stephen Marley, who helped him produce it.

In 2005, he released the very famous Welcome to Jamrock and the album sold like crazy. It went golden after it had been sold in half a million CDs in the United States of America.

Some of the most popular songs were “The Master Has Come Back” (it speaks about the fact that he became famous now and he is back to do great work like his father) and “Road to Zion” (a song about the rasta culture).

His half-brother helped him to make the main single of the album called “Welcome to Jamrock” and it has been performed earlier, it was just a twist. However, the song is very important.

It talks about things that are normal in Jamaica, but shouldn’t be. Things like crime and poor people in the streets.

It was controversial at the beginning, just like any song that calls out the bad guys would be, but the nation took it very well and alltogether they have united to make Jamaica a bit better.

Big support was given by Dr. Hutton from the University nearby. He said that this is a great song, a great twist to it. Hutton claims that people of Jamaica need to realize that they are being alienated from their own country because of politics.

This song became quite famous and ended up as number 13 in UK, number 55 in the USA, number 100 on best songs of the decade. This list was made by the famous Rolling Stone.

In 2006, he won the award for the best reggae album and best urban performance for his album/song Welcome to Jamrock.  This were Grammy Awards and therefore he was the only artists in the genre of reggae to win two Grammies in the same day.

In 2009, there was a statement about how Marley will collaborate with Nas again (he worked with him on his previous album) to make new content and help build schools.

In 2010, he finished an album with Nas and it was called Distant Relatives. It’s not only about the friendship between the two singers, but also the fact that both of them have African roots.

It was a very good album, as the critics claim, because the album itself connects what maybe doesn’t seem like it could be connected: reggae and flow.

The Marley brothers did most of the producing here on this album.

It ended up number 5 on the Billboard chart of the United States of America based on numbers bought in the first 7 days.

It had some great success on the charts, but was also very well accepted internationally. It was number 33 for top 100 European albums.

It was also very popular in Germany and UK so there were a lot of copies sold there too.

Name of the first single was “As We Enter” and it was about solidarity so there were some events where Marley spoke of African diaspora and immigrants.

SuperHeavy came to life in 2011 and it was a great band that made many different styles collaborate. One of the main people in the band was Mick Jagger, then Marley, Joss Stone, A.R.Rahman, Ann Marie Calhoun.

These are all very different people connected by Dave Stewart who got the idea of making this group alltogether.

Stewart decided to connect sounds which seem to be very different, like indian orchestra with reggae and Jagger’s intense guitar.

They began to make music in their first album, called the same name as the group, in 2009. It was 35 hours of music and there were many songs lasting over an hour!

“Miracle Worker” was the lead single and it is a reggae one. It entered the UK charts and the music video was later made with the famous movie-making Paramount Studios.

His forth album was called Stony Hill and it was released in July of 2017. He again won the Grammy for the Best reggae album.

His style can be interpreted as hip hop meets reggae. It was a bit more modern than his father’s, but he also put some African music in too.

Personal life

He has one son, but we don’t know anything about him.

Marley is a rasta, just like his father. He at first didn’t like the religion, but when he was done with education, he said that he realized it was his call.

At this time, he started to wear dreadlocks and many people say he looks like his father.

Since 1996, he has been wearing the dreadlocks. They are longer than him and they mostly are on the floor by now. He actually sometimes wears it in a backpack, especially when training.

He has to cut a few inches off every now and then because he would step on his own hair.

Quick summary

Full name: Damian Robert Nesta Marley

Date of birth: July 21st 1978

Birthplace:  Kingston, Jamaica

Age: 40

Profession: DJ, singer, writer, producer

Height: 177 cm

Weight: 66 kg

Net Worth: $20 million