Jr. Gong Marley
By: Cerone White
On this day in caribbean history, July 21, 1978, reggae artist Damian Robert Nesta Marley a.k.a Jr. Gongzilla was born. Damian’s nickname Junior Gong is derived from his father’s nickname of Tuff Gong. Damian is the youngest son of Reggae legend Bob Marley and when his father died he was two years of age. He is also the only child of former 1976 Miss World Cindy Breakspeare.
It would only be a short time before Damian followed in footsteps of his father. Damian has released eight studio albums during his career and in 2002 he won the Grammy Award for best Reggae Album. It was co-produced by Damian Marley and his brother Stephen Marley. After his Grammy win, Damian released “Welcome to Jamrock” which solidified him as a true reggae artist.
In May 2011, Damian unveiled SuperHeavy, his own group which was a secret until Mick Jagger announced its formation on May 20th. The idea for the group came from English musician Dave Steward who is a songwriter and record producer. The name of the band is said to be inspired by Muhammed Ali. Damian also worked with electronic artist Skrillex on a song called “Make It Bun Dem” in 2012. This song also appears in the 2012 game Far Cry 3. Affairs of the Heart was a massive hit in Jamaica, topping the reggae charts.
After seeing the movie Damien: Omen II, which is about the coming of the Antichrist, one of Bob’s last requests in Germany was to have Damian’s name changed. “Damien being a devil…It was inappropriate for him as a Rastafarian to have a child with that name,” Bob said and Damian’s name was later changed.