Cedella Marley is one busy individual. As the first-born daughter of Bob and Rita Marley, she could have easily sat back, basked in her parents’ fame, and, presumably, enjoyed her inheritance. Yet she’s clearly no slouch. A singer, dancer, fashion designer, actress, and entrepreneur, she’s also a principal in the family business, House of Marley, a company that embodies her father’s populist principles and communal embrace and donates part of its profits to the 1Love foundation, an organization dedicated to furthering the outreach her late father cherished.
And while Bob, who died nearly 35 years ago of a malignant melanoma that had spread from his foot to his lungs and brain, likely never envisioned these corporate concerns, his family has ensured that his philosophy lives on in their business and its beliefs.
“House of Marley is an eco-friendly brand that creates consumer electronics, portable audio, home audio, and more that are produced from recycled and eco-friendly materials,” Cedella says. “We live up to our father’s ideals by caring for the earth and creating high quality and innovative products.”
No doubt dad would be proud.
Then again, this isn’t the first family enterprise Cedella’s been involved with. Starting in the early ‘80s, she sang with three of her siblings — brothers Ziggy and Stephen and sister Sharon — in the Melody Makers, who released ten albums, several successful singles, and garnered a Grammy before disbanding in 2002. She later took the reins of her father’s record label, Tuff Gong International, authored a book, delved into acting, created several clothing lines, a musical based on her father’s career, and helped launch a cannabis brand called Marley Natural.
Indeed, given dad's appreciation of the herb, the latter enterprise seems especially appropriate.
Her current efforts involve a charity called WHOA, a women’s empowerment program that supports individuals in underserved communities in Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean.
At the moment, she’s also helping organize "Get Together," an upcoming event in Wynwood hosted by House of Marley and featuring up and coming reggae artists Chronixx and the Zinc Fence Redemption along with Miami’s own Army Gideon. It's rumored various
“The Get Together highlights emerging talent, established artists, and the legacy of Bob Marley and the Marley family,” Cedella explains. “The event was named after the lyrics of one of Bob Marley’s best-known songs, ‘One Love.'"
That the festivities are being held here in Miami, the place the family has called home for the better part of the past 40 years, holds special significance.
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“Miami is the backyard of our family,” Marley says. “So it is only natural that we host events here and keep people engaged in what we are doing with our brands and for the people.”
She credits reggae, the cornerstone of the family’s musical ventures, for furthering the bonds between altruism and commerce.
“Reggae music is consistently influencing the world,” she insists. “From my dad through to the younger generation, what Jamaica does and what reggae does continue to inspire the world of music. Reggae music isn’t ‘right now music,’ it’s simply ‘music’ — music that touches your spirit and keeps you dancing can never be outdated. It’s always nice to hear reggae music break through and be heard on the radio, or written about, or streaming online. The more stars shining, the better.”
Get Together starring Chronixx and the Zinc Fence Redemption. 7 p.m. Saturday, May 8, at the Wynwood Yard, NW 29th St., Miami. Tickets cost $25 via thegettogethermia.splashthat.com.