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Happy Birthday, Damian Marley!

Damian Marley
Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Damian Marley is one of reggae’s most famous and acclaimed contemporary artists. The youngest son of Bob Marley turns 39 years old today (July 21).

Much of the reggae singer’s music echoes his father’s musical, political commentary. He experienced major success in 2005 with Welcome to Jamrock, painting a lucid picture of Jamaican poverty, violence and despair. It’s unflinching but compelling enough to become one of the most popular reggae hits of the century.

Damian had already gone through a band break-up and released two albums before the song “Welcome to Jamrock” arrived in 2005. The second LP, Halfway Tree, earned him the 2002 Grammy for Best Reggae Album. The win kicked off over a decade of dominance in the category by the Marley family; they’d win six more over the following 14 years. At the 2006 Grammy Awards, Damian won Best Reggae Album for the Welcome to Jamrock LP and Best Urban/Alternative Performance for the song of the same name.

Five years after Jamrock, Damian linked up with Nas to create Distant Relatives, an album focused on linking together two related but physically distant cultures while providing social commentary. Set Up Shop Vol. 2which features a variety of Jamaican artists, dropped in 2014.

Now, Marley returns with his newest project, Stony Hill.

Watch Damian Marley’s “Welcome to Jamrock” Video

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