Damian Marley was born on July 21, 1978, in Kingston, Jamaica to reggae legend Bob Marley, he was nicknamed "Jr. Gong" in honour of his legendary father, Bob "Tuff Gong" Marley.
At age 13, he formed a musical group by the name of the Shephards, which included the daughter of Freddie McGregor and son of Third World's Cat Core.
The group opened the 1992 Reggae Sunsplash festival. The band fell apart in the early 1990s and Damian started his solo career.
With the backing of his father’s label, Tuff Gong, he released his 1996 debut album Mr. Marley which surprised many who were unaccustomed to hearing a Marley
deejaying rather than singing. Damian’s brother, Stephen Marley, was a producer and co-author for this album.
His second album, Halfway Tree was released in 2001. The cover of Halfway Tree depicts him standing under the clock at halfway tree.
This is an embodiment of his parent’s different social origins with this mother from uptown and his father from the ghetto.
In Kingston, Jamaica the Halfway Tree was used as a shady halfway point for farmers and vendors who would pass the tree on their route to transport their goods to the downtown market.
It brought him much recognition, remaining on the Billboard top reggae albums chart for 158 weeks, and winning the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album.
His third album, Welcome to Jamrock was released in September 2005, named after the hugely successful song of the same name. The lyrics to the
single "Welcome to Jamrock", which was performed over a riddim produced by Sly and Robbie for Ini Kamoze some 20 years earlier, centered around poverty,
politics and crime in Jamaica. While the single was controversial at home over its perceived negative viewpoint of the island, many praised the content of the song.
Dr. Clinton Hutton, professor at the University of the West Indies, said of the single, "'Jamrock' uses the icon of the inner city, of alienation, of despair,
of prejudice, but of hope, of Jamaican identity, to remind us of the fire of frustration, the fire of creativity, the fire of warning to open up our eyes and
look within to the life we are living. And still some of us don't want to hear and to look and say enough is enough." The single reached #13 on the UK Singles
Chart and #55 on the USBillboard Hot 100 chart. It was also #100 on the Top 100 Songs of the Decade listing by Rolling Stone.
At the 2006 Grammy Awards, he won Best Reggae Album and Best Urban/Alternative Performance for Welcome to Jamrock. He is the only
Jamaican reggae artist in history to win two Grammy Awards on the same night. He is also the only reggae artist to win in the Best Urban/Alternative Performance
category at the Grammy Awards. The album sold 86,000 copies in its first week of release, and was eventually certified gold after selling 500,000 copies in the
United States. Other notable singles from the album include "The Master Has Come Back", "Road to Zion" featuring Nas, and "Khaki Suit" featuring Bounty Killer