Ziggy Marley is living the legacy of his father Bob Marley and mother Rita. Bob Marley passed on in 1981 after many years of celebrating the reggae genre with his fans. Ziggy now plays with a band made up of his siblings, dubbed the Melody Makers.
Ziggy was born David Marley in Kingston, Jamaica in 1968; he was nicknamed 'Ziggy' due to his love of David Bowie. His father taught him to play the guitar and drums at an early age and he was already learning the life of a recording artist when he was 10. Ziggy, along with two of his sisters and a brother united with their father to record 'Children Playing in the Streets' in 1979, and they have played together since then.
Ziggy was still a teenager when he and the Melody Makers released their first album, Play the Game Right. His music sounded much like his father's, which contributed to his troubles of being a second-generation success. Their follow up, Hey World!, in 1986 leaned more towards the sound of pop music. They achieved big success with Conscious Party in 1988 on the Virgin Label. The album included the hit 'Tomorrow People,' which reached the top 40s on the charts. Two years later, One Bright Day was released, and it served as testament to their artistic development, and was also commercially successful: the album reached the top 20s, and both it and Conscious Party received Grammy awards.
Marley waited until 1991 to release Jahmekya. The album skimmed the top 20, but didn't spawn much radio or video play. Joy and Blues, released in 1993, barely hit the charts and was their last album with Virgin. Joy and Blues and Free Like We Want 2 B was released through Elektra in 1995, and was followed by Fallen in Babylon (1997), which earned the Melody Makers a third Grammy. Spirit of Music was released a couple years later, with Bob Marley hits 'All Day All Night' and 'High Tide Or Low Tide,' with guest singer Taj Mahal on 'Keep My Faith.'
Ziggy, like his father, stands up for his political beliefs, and he was eventually named a Goodwill Youth Ambassador for the United Nations. Back in Jamaica, he created his own record label, Ghetto Youth United in an effort to record the new generation of reggae artists.
The music of Ziggy and the Melody Makers has proved to sustain through the millennium with their release of Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, Vol. 1 in 2000, and Dragonfly in 2003. They continue to tour, playing outdoor festivals as well as indoor concerts nationwide, sometimes joining Nappy Roots, Toots & the Maytals, Slightly Stoopid, Looner, and Common.