Here's What Some Of Bob Marley's Grandchildren Have Been Up To

Bob Marley's manager, Don Taylor, wrote in "Marley and Me: The Real Bob Marley Story," "That Bob was not a one-woman man was common knowledge." Marley remains an icon for his enormous influence on reggae music and his political messages, but his private life was complicated. Marley married Rita Anderson in 1966 when he was 21, and they had children together, but Marley also fathered children with several other women (per The Guardian).

How many children — and how many partners — Marley had is disputed. The Daily Mirror says he officially recognized 11 children with seven different mothers. This doesn't include Makeda Jahnesta, who would be his youngest child, born to Yvette Crichton just after Marley's death in 1981 (via the Delaware County Daily Times). "Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley" does claim that she was a beneficiary of Bob Marley's estate. It also notes that there's some confusion about the names of the children's mothers and some dispute as to whether Marley was really the father of his and Rita's daughter Stephanie.

As for grandchildren? Hollywood Life says he has more than 20 — they list 21, including Makeda's son. Whatever the case, some of them are already making names for themselves — many in the music industry, but some in other fields.

Making waves outside music

Whereas Selah Marley (pictured) is a vocalist, she's also known as a model (per South China Morning Post). She's the daughter of Rohan Marley and musician Lauryn Hill. In 2020, she also gained notoriety for a video in which she criticized her parents for their behavior around her during her childhood and their use of physical punishments. Rohan posted an apology on Instagram (via Hollywood Life).

Selah's half-brother Nico Marley is a football player. After standout performances at Tulane University, he was invited to the Washington football team's mini-camp in May 2017 before joining the team as an undrafted free-agent linebacker, per Jamaicans. The team released him in September 2017 (via Hogs Haven). In 2020, he launched a line of hemp-based CBD products, according to Forbes.

Fighting the system

Donisha Prendergast (daughter of Sharon Marley) is continuing her grandfather's political legacy by campaigning for police reform, per Hollywood Life. This began after a 2018 incident in which she and three colleagues — two black, one white — were detained by police in Rialto, California, who'd received a call saying that the group was breaking into a house (via Billboard). The house was an Airbnb they'd rented while traveling for business. Prendergast (pictured) said she believes her identity — having a famous grandfather — kept the police "well-behaved." Her lawyers claimed the incident was racist, which the police department denied. Though Prendergast wanted to bring attention to the bigger issues at play, she also told Billboard she wants to "heal the divisions between black and white in America."

Prendergast has previously worked as an actress, documentary maker, and motivational speaker. This wasn't her first foray into activism, either: In 2014 she campaigned against the creation of a housing development on Pinnacle, the hilltop location of Jamaica's first self-sustaining Rastafarian community, per Billboard.

Marley's musical grandchildren

At least six of Marley's grandchildren are following his and his children's footsteps into the music industry. According to Rolling Stone, Matthew Prendergast — son of Sharon and brother of Donisha — performs as Biggz General and released a mixtape in 2013. The same year, his cousin KJ Marley, son of Bob's son Ky-Mani Marley, also put out a mixtape. Meanwhile, Skip Marley (pictured), son of Bob's second daughter Cedella, has been nominated for two Grammy Awards and an MTV Video Music Award. Per GQ, he has a wide range of influences, including Kendrick Lamar, Coldplay, Major Lazer, and Diplo.

Their cousin Mystic Marley is the daughter of Bob's second son, Stephen. She hopes to become a musician and already has a significant social media following. Although she never knew her grandfather, she said he's present in her life (via Hollywood Life): "I just, like, close my eyes and I see him, or I'm making music and I feel him."

The cousins' collab

Mystic's brother Jo Mersa Marley (pictured) had released two EPs; the second, "Eternal," came out last year and featured reggae and dancehall-style music, per Rolling Stone. According to Hollywood Life, he began writing music at age 11 with his cousin Daniel Bambaata Marley, Ziggy Marley's son. They started out making beats on MPCs (MIDI Production Center or Music Production Controller), then graduated to Apple Garage Band after Ziggy bought them a laptop. The two released their first song together, "My Girl," in 2010. Afterward, Jo Mersa continued solo.

Jo Mersa and Daniel Bambaata had often performed as children with Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, a band also featuring their aunts Sharon and Cedella. The kids would come onstage to sing parts of the band's 1989 song "Look Who's Dancing." Jo Mersa told Rolling Stone he planned "to do something new with my roots." However, he died unexpectedly on December 27, 2022. As of this writing, his cause of death hasn't yet been officially confirmed.