Damian Marley is a Grammy Award-winning reggae musician and the son of Bob Marley. His biggest hit is the song “Welcome to Jamrock.” Damian Marley was born on July 21, 1978, in Kingston, Jamaica to reggae legend Bob Marley and 1976 Miss World, Cindy Breakspeare. As a teenager, Damian performed with the Shepherds, but worked with his older brother Stephen on his first album, “Mr. Marley.” Damian’s commercial breakthrough was the 2004 single “Welcome to Jamrock.” He’s won two Grammy awards and lives in Miami, Florida.
With Stephen producing much of his next effort, Halfway Tree (2001) brought Damian more critical praise and attention for combining dancehall and hip-hop styles. The recording won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album with both Damian and Stephen taking home awards for the project. Unfortunately, all of the kudos did not translate into big record sales. Still, he accomplished something that his famous father was never able to achieve – winning a Grammy Award. The award category for reggae music was not added until the mid-1980s.
Damian’s real commercial breakthrough came from the single “Welcome to Jamrock” released in 2004 by Tuff Gong. Tuff Gong is an independent record label started by Bob Marley in the mid-1960s and is still in the control of the Marley family. Set to a mesmerizing rhythm, the track explored the real-life hardship and political strife facing the people of Jamaica. The success of the single led to a bidding war for Damian’s next album, and he decided to sign with Universal.
Working with Stephen as a co-producer, Damian put out his biggest album to date. Welcome to Jamrock (2005) incorporated elements of reggae, hip-hop, and R&B, and it reached the top or near the top of all of the charts for those genres. Another testament to its universality was its success on the Billboard Top 200 album, reaching as high as the number 7 spot. The title track earned Damian another Grammy Award – this time for Best Urban/Alternative Performance. For the second time in four years, Damian and Stephen won the Grammy for the Best Reggae Album.