15 FEB,2012

STEPHEN Marley, son of reggae icon Bob Marley, won the Grammy Award in Best Reggae Album category at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, yesterday.

Marley’s album, Revelation Part 1: Root of Life, which is largely unknown in Jamaica, beat four rivals in the Best Reggae Album category which included sibling Ziggy Marley, jazz pianist Monty Alexander, Rastafari duo Israel Vibration, and Shaggy.

Yesterday’s win gave Marley his third Grammy nod as a solo artiste and sixth overall.

According to sources, Marley did not attend the award ceremony and is in Jamaica working in the studio.

Speaking with the Observer last week, Marley scoffed at the idea that once any member of his family was up for a nomination, they were an automatic shoe-in.

“Well, dem have a lot to talk ’bout this year. Is two of us this year,” he said jokingly, referring to Ziggy’s nomination for Wild and Free.

The Marley family has dominated the Best Reggae Album category since its inception in 1985. Ziggy and a younger brother, Damian ‘Junior Gong Marley’ have both won the category twice.

In addition, Bunny Wailer, who was an original member of the Wailers group with Bob Marley, has won the Best Reggae Album category three times. On two of those occasions, the albums were tributes to Marley who died in 1981 at age 36. Peter Tosh, former Wailer, won the award posthumously in 1988 for No Nuclear War. He died in 87.

Revelation Part 1: Root of Life contains 14 tracks including singles The Chapel, No Cigarette Smoke, Jah Army, Pale Moonlight, Chapel and Now I Know.

The album is to be followed later this year by Revelation Part 2: Fruits of Life, which Marley said intends to pick up where part one left off.

Marley — last child for Bob and Rita Marley — had previously taken home the Grammy Award in 2008 and 2010, for Mind Control and the acoustic version of the same album, respectively.

He also has trophies from his days with the sibling group Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers — Conscious Party (1989), One Bright Day (1990) and Fallen is Babylon (1998).

The Reggae Grammy was first introduced in 1985. Originally, the category was called Best Reggae Recording. That year Black Uhuru won the Sly and Robbie-produced Anthem.

The list of reggae Grammy winners includes Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Shabba Ranks, Shaggy, Sly and Robbie, Beenie Man, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Burning Spear, Sean Paul and Buju Banton.