A five-time Grammy-winning musician, actor, artist, activist and humanitarian, Ziggy Marley has established his presence on the public stage for over a quarter-century.
Wild and Free (Tuff Gong Worldwide), his fourth solo album, may be Ziggy's most political and personal to date. The overall theme of the album is a powerful one, as it propels Marley to challenge social injustice along with the political weapons of ignorance and fear. It was produced with friend and collaborator Don Was at Ocean Way Studios in Hollywood, CA as well as Marley's own studio.
Among other new Marley projects is the comic book Marijuanaman (Image Comics), which offers a new toke on a familiar genre: a superhero with a galactic view of Earth's dwindling natural resources, and how one versatile plant might help save us all. Based on an original character created and developed by Marley, the book was written by Joe Casey (Gødland, Butcher Baker) and illustrated by Jim Mahfood (Kick Drum Comix, Mix Tape).
A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Ziggy Marley and his siblings first sat in on recording sessions with his father's band, the legendary Bob Marley and the Wailers, when he was ten years old. Later, Ziggy joined with his sisters Sharon and Cedella and brother Stephen to become Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers, allowing him to craft his own soulful sound which blends blues, R&B, hip-hop and roots reggae. The Melody Makers earned their first Grammy (Best Reggae Recording) for their third album Conscious Party (1988), produced by Talking Heads Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, which included the hit songs "Tomorrow People" and "Tumbling Down."
Subsequent albums included the Grammy-winning One Bright Day (1989), Jamekya (1991), Joy and Blues (1993), Free Like We Want 2 B (1995), Grammy-winning Fallen is Babylon (1997), Spirit of Music (1999) and Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers Live, Vol. 1 (2000), featuring some of their biggest hits, as well as a cover of Bob Marley's "Could You Be Loved." While selling millions of records and selling out numerous concerts, Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers never lost sight of their foundations in faith, fellowship and family.
After two decades as the driving creative force behind The Melody Makers, Ziggy's first solo tour came in Summer 2002, on the 23-city Jeep World Outside Festival, joining such artists as Sheryl Crow, Train and O.A.R. The following year saw the release of his debut solo album, Dragonfly, followed by 2006's Love Is My Religion, a Grammy winner that further explored personal, social and political themes amid a fragrant mix of roots reggae, traditional rock ‘n roll, African percussion and other varied musical elements. Recently, Marley won his fifth Grammy Award, in the category "Best Musical Album for Children," for Family Time, a 2009 collection of reggae-inflected, family-oriented songs which features family and friends including; Rita Marley, Cedella Marley, Judah Marley, Jack Johnson, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Laurie Berkner, Elizabeth Mitchell and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Involved with a breadth of charities, Marley leads his own, URGE (Unlimited Resources Giving Enlightenment), a non-profit organization that benefits efforts in Jamaica, Ethiopia and other developing nations. The charity's missions range from building new schools to operating health clinics to supporting charities like Mary's Child, a center for abused and neglected girls.
Ziggy also continues to head Tuff Gong Worldwide, in honor of his father's own music label Tuff Gong Records, which envisioned independent ownership of Marley music. Ziggy recently reclaimed most of the publishing rights to his music, giving him a strong sense of fulfillment in light of the "independent spirit of what my father dreamed of."