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ZIGGY MARLEY was born October 17, 1968 in Trenchtown, Jamaica. The eldest son of Bob and Rita Marley, Ziggy began his musical career playing with his father and his siblings Sharon, Cedella and Stephen on “Children Playing in the Streets” in 1979.
The siblings became known as Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, and released their debut album, “Play the Game Right” on EMI Records in 1985. While with EMI, the Melody Makers released “Hey World” in 1986, and then “The Time Has Come: The Best of Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers” in 1988.
In 1988, the band moved to Virgin Records and recorded “Conscious Party” which won them their first Grammy. “Conscious Party” was produced by Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, and included the hit songs “Tomorrow People” and “Tumblin’ Down.”
The Melody Makers followed up the huge success of “Conscious Party” with two other critically and popularly successful albums “One Bright Day” in 1989 (won them a second Grammy) and “Jamehka” in 1991. The 1990’s brought more albums, including “Joy and Blues” in 1993, on Virgin Records, and then “Free Like We Want to Be” in 1995, “Fallen is Babylon” in 1997 (scored them a third Grammy), and “The Spirit of Music” in 1999 all on Elektra.
Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers’ side work during this time focused many times on children, included contributing the song “Give a Little Love” to the Disney album “For Our Children” in 1991, with proceeds given to the Pediatric AIDS Foundation. That same year, Ziggy and the Melody Makers also appeared on Sesame Street, and sang a recorded version of “Small People” from the album “Jamehka,” and then in 1996, they performed and recorded the reggae-?style theme song for the children’s television series Arthur, called “Believe in Yourself.”
Other TV work included Ziggy also appearing as himself on an episode of the sitcom “Family Matters” in 1995, and then later that same year performed his song “Rainbow in the Sky” on the hit TV series Charmed, in Season 6, Episode 14 “The Legend of Sleepy Halliwell.”
In 2001, Ziggy became more politically active, serving as a Goodwill Youth Ambassador for the United Nations, and creating a label back in Jamaica called Ghetto Youths to help kids there. As well as being active in the Bob Marley Foundation’s causes, including Africa Unite, Ziggy would later expand his ambitions to help others by creating his foundation, U.R.G.E. (Unlimited Resources Giving Enlightenment) in 2007, to help underprivileged children go to school. Ziggy would also continue his philanthropic efforts for other organizations, including Little Kids Rock, Nancy Davis Foundation to Erase Multiple Sclerosis, Room to Read Foundation, Rotary Organization, and many others.
In 2003, Ziggy stretched his independence as well as his solo talents, and released his first solo album, “Dragonfly” on RCA Records, to much critical acclaim. Later, in 2004, Ziggy covered the Cars’ song “Drive” for the Adam Sandler film 50 First Dates.
In 2004, Ziggy also renewed his interest in children’s entertainment, by appearing as a voice actor (as Ernie the Jellyfish) in Dreamworks’ animated “Shark Tale.” In the film, he also performed a cover of Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” with Sean Paul and his brother, Stephen Marley. In 2006, Ziggy also performed another cover of “Three Little Birds” with Dora, for the Dora the Explorer World Adventure soundtrack.
2006 also saw Ziggy coming into his own as a solo artist, by winning his fourth career Grammy, but his first as a solo artist, with his album “Love Is My Religion. “ Incidentally, Love Is My Religion also marked the first release on his self-?owned record label, Tuff Gong Worldwide. Ziggy later, in 2008, appeared on his friend Donna Summer’s album, “Crayons” as a cowriter and co-?performer.
In 2009, Ziggy’s third solo album, “Family Time,” also on Tuff Gong Worldwide Records, won him his fifth career Grammy, but his first in the Childrens’ arena. “Family Time” featured appearances by several members of his family, including Rita Marley, Cedella Marley and Judah Marley. The album also featured other notable guests, including Jack Johnson, Paul Simon, Willie Nelson, among others. “Family Time” also marked Ziggy’s foray into children’s written word; Jamie Lee Curtis narrates a story on the album written by Ziggy called “My Helping Hands”, and narrates another story she wrote as well.
To complement his work in the kids space, Ziggy’s further appearances in 2009 following the release of his album included performing at Obama’s White House Easter Egg Roll, performing on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with his daughter Judah, and also performing on a special anniversary episode of Sesame Street. Later that year, Ziggy also performed voiceover as a Cheshire Cat on the children’s series Wonder Pets.
In 2010, Ziggy and his brothers Rohan and Robbie, traveled to South Africa to film a documentary during the historic occasion of the World Cup’s first matches in Africa. Filming the trip was famed director David Alexanian, known best for his work on Ewan MacGregor’s series “Long Way Round” and “Long Way Down.”
In 2011, the thirty year career of Ziggy Marley’s thirty year career continues stronger than ever, with a release of his first ever graphic novel “MarijuanaMan” and his new album “Wild and Free” Tuff Gong Worldwide.