Bob Marley’s Family Reunites for Its First Photo Shoot in More Than a Decade

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.

Ziggy Marley

Age: 47

Essential Album: Conscious Party (1988), produced by members of Talking Heads

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Tuxedo, $3,695, Dolce & Gabbana
Shirt, $600, Jeffrey Rüdes

If the world’s expectations ever fazed Bob’s firstborn son, he’s never let it show. “I don’t carry any weight,” he says. “This is a family. Whatever we are is the same way we grow up—nothing has changed, really. Each individual role is important.” He sees himself less as a patriarch than as a “voice of reason.” Still, there’s a clear “hierarchy of the elders, the adults, which is Cedella, me, and Sharon (the oldest). Stephen is a bridge to the younger ones, who wasn’t around Bob a lot.” If anything, his siblings’ success—both in their own ventures and in shepherding the Marley brand—has freed him to be more personal in the studio. His 15th record, Ziggy Marley, is out May 20. “It’s the album I’ve been most hands-on with: engineering, mixing, songwriting. I put all of myself into it.”

Cedella Marley

Age: 48

She’s a Business, Woman: Cedella spearheads Tuff Gong enterprises and cannabis brand Marley Natural, among other projects

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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.“It’s a family discussion,” she says, “but whatever business ventures we get into, I’m the one who has to deal with whoever we partner with on a day-to-day basis.” Although she’s authored children’s books and collaborated with Puma to design the Jamaican 2012 Olympic uniform, most of her work fits into the bigger family picture. “Anything I do is for Marley. That’s what I wake up for, to help build this empire that I promised my parents I would from when I was, like, 10.” That mentality underlines a fierce work ethic to match the Marleys’ creative ambition. “When Mummy and Daddy were on the road all the time, they were workin’,” Cedella says. “I didn’t see them really take a day off. We weren’t born with a silver spoon in our mouth. I’ve grown up fightin’.”

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Robert “Robbie” Marley
AGE: 44
PURSUITS: Graphic arts, motorcycles
Vest, $245, Boss
Shirt, $385, Burberry
Ring, Degs & Sal

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Karen Marley
AGE: 43
INDUSTRY: Fashion
Dress, Missoni

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Shirt $595 and pants $795 Ralph Lauren
Shoes $495 Florsheim x Esquivel

Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley

Age: 37

Musical Role: Ambassador to the streets

Born to Tuff Gong and the beauty who won Miss World in 1976, Jr. Gong has always been the outlier of the musical Marleys, if mostly for generational reasons. “You have to remember,” Damian says, “Ziggy is ten years older than me. So I grew up with dancehall and a whole different set a influence.” Until recently, he’s been more apt to use the scratchy voice he shares with his father in a vocal style that’s more rapping than singing—laying it over a Skrillex beat, collaborating with Nas, or spitting gritty rhymes on 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.) Still, 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.”

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Robe $5,990 Tom Ford
Loafers $820 Fratelli Rossetti

Stephen “Ragga” Marley

Age: 44

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.

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Rohan Marley
AGE: 44
FOUNDER OF: Marley Coffee
FATHER OF: Seven children, five with Lauryn Hill
Suit, $1,045, and shirt, $165, Boss

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Julian Marley
AGE: 40
MOST RECENT ALBUM: Awake (2009)
Jumpsuit, $2,195, Valentino
Shoes, $1,660, Berluti

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Coat $1,495 jacket (beneath) $995 and pants $595 Calvin Klein Collection
Loafers $730 Gucci

Skip Marley

Age: 20

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, Coldplay, Major Lazer, and Diplo.”

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Ky-Mani Marley
AGE: 40
ACTOR IN: The films Shottas and One Love
Jacket, $3,495, Ermenegildo Zegna

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Joseph “Jo Mersa” Marley
AGE: 25
PROVENANCE: Grandson of Bob, son of Stephen
Shirt, $600, Jeffrey Rüdes
Pants, $1,100, and shoes, $795, Salvatore Ferragamo

About Joevanni Trapattoni 8646 Articles
An IT personnel who is also into multimedia and sound. He has a passion for writing sports, and general news.

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