Bob Marley’s Grandson’s Cause Of Death Confirmed

Joseph Mersa Marley's cause of death has been confirmed.
Credit: @jomersamarley/Instagram & Alamy

Joseph Mersa Marley’s cause of death has been confirmed.

Bob Marley, who died in 1981 aged 36, was known for his smash hit singles that impacted reggae music and put the genre on the map.

His grandson, Joseph Mersa Marley, was no different as he broke his way into the mainstream with his own catalogue of Jamaican hits.

However, the music industry was sent into a shock when his untimely death was confirmed late last year.

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The reggae legend’s grandson was found unresponsive whilst in a vehicle in Florida on December 26, 2022, and he was later pronounced dead at the devastatingly young age of just 31.

At the time, reports suggested he may have died from a fatal asthma attack. However, an official cause has now been revealed.

According to documents from the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office, which have been obtained by Rolling Stone, Joseph passed away after struggling with ‘acute asthma exacerbation’ after being infected with rhinovirus or enterovirus – which often presents as symptoms of the common cold.

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The Jamaican musician had a history of asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia. It has also been alleged that the star was not taking his asthma medication at the time of his death.

The Medical Examiner’s Office found that Joseph had a history of smoking and had ‘enlarged glottic tonsils’ as well as black discolouration in his lungs.

A toxicology report was conducted and found that the star had the presence of THC – the chemical in marijuana – in his system as well as naloxone and 0.08% of ethanol.

Naloxone is commonly used to reverse an overdose by blocking the effects of opiods. It is unclear why the drug was found in Joseph’s system.

Joseph Mersa Marley
Joseph Mersa Marley died aged just 31. Credit: @jomersamarley/Instagram

The news of Joseph’s death came as a huge shock to fans and they were quick to rush to show their support and condolences online.

One user wrote: “What a loss. I thought he would carry on his father’s legacy.”

While another added: “Gone too soon. May he rest in peace

Somebody else said: “Our condolences and prayers for the family. May he rest in peace.”

A fourth person penned: “All love to Joseph Marley. RIP.”

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The reggae singer was the son of musician Stephen Marley, who is an eight-time Grammy Award winner.

Joseph made his music debut in 2010, with the single ‘My Girl’ and performed under the stage name Jo Mersa.

He released his first EP, ‘Comfortable’, in 2014 before dropping his debut album ‘Eternal’ in 2021.

As well as collaborating with his father Stephen, Joseph appeared on the Grammy-winning album ‘Strictly Roots’ by Morgan Heritage.

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Written by Ryan Wilks

Ryan is a former content editor at IGV who specialises in celebrity and entertainment news. He has a degree in Magazine Journalism and Production from the University of Gloucestershire. He previously worked as a social media editor for Reach PLC’s national brands including Daily Star, Daily Express, OK! and The Mirror.