Joseph “Jo Mersa” Marley, a reggae artist and the grandson of the legendary Bob Marley, died on December 27, 2022, at the age of 31. His death shocked and saddened his fans, family, and fellow musicians, who paid tribute to his talent and legacy. But what was the cause of his death and how did it happen? Here are some facts you need to know about Joseph Marley’s cause of death.

Asthma Attack in a Parked Vehicle

According to Jamaican broadcast journalist Abka Fitz-Henley, Marley was found “unresponsive” inside a parked vehicle in Miami on Monday night. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the paramedics. The Miami-Dade coroner later confirmed that Marley died of “acute asthma exacerbation” after being infected with rhinovirus or enterovirus, which often presents as symptoms for the common cold, according to Rolling Stone.

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the airways and causes difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness. It can be triggered by various factors, such as allergens, pollution, exercise, stress, or infections. An asthma attack occurs when the airways become inflamed and narrow, making it hard to breathe. In severe cases, an asthma attack can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.

Marley had a history of asthma and had been hospitalized for it in the past. He had also spoken about his struggles with the condition in his music. In his song “Burn It Down”, he rapped: “I’m an asthmatic / I’m always out of breath / But I still burn it down / ‘Cause I’m a fire starter”. He also mentioned his inhaler in his song “Rock and Swing”.

A Promising Career Cut Short

Marley was born in Kingston, Jamaica, on March 12, 1991. He was the son of Stephen Marley, who was also a musician and a son of Bob Marley. He grew up surrounded by music and started performing on stage with his father at the age of four. He moved to Florida during high school and studied studio engineering at Miami Dade College.

Marley made his debut as a reggae artist in 2014 with his EP “Comfortable”, which showcased his eclectic style and modern influences. He also appeared on a Grammy-winning album “Strictly Roots” by Morgan Heritage. He released another EP, titled “Eternal”, in 2021. He was known for his hits such as “Burn It Down”, “Rock and Swing”, “My Girl”, and “Bad Sleep”.

Marley embraced his family’s legacy but also sought to create his own identity and sound. He said in an interview: “I’m one of the new generation of Marley, but I’m still experimenting at the same time. I plan to do something new with my roots”. He also spoke out for social justice and advocated for better health and education in Jamaica.

Marley is survived by his wife Qiara and daughter Sunshine. He also leaves behind his father Stephen, his mother Kertia DeCosta Marley, and his 12 siblings. His death was mourned by Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, opposition leader Mark J Golding, DJ Walshy Fire of Major Lazer, and many other reggae artists and fans.

Joseph Marley was a talented and passionate musician who followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather but also carved his own path. His death is a tragic loss for the reggae community and the world. May he rest in peace.

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