How Bob Marley's Family Is Maintaining His Reported $500M Legacy — And Building Their Own
Photo Credit: Jason Koerner

How Bob Marley's Family Is Maintaining His Reported $500M Legacy — And Building Their Own

Though Bob Marley’s life was cut too short too soon, the Marley family is still maintaining his legacy.

Regardless of your opinion on Bob Marley’s music while he was alive, the fact is, no Jamaican artist has done more to bring reggae music into the mainstream than Robert Nesta Marley. His contributions to both rock music and reggae music were so profound that, according to Forbes Magazine, the Marley family estate generated an estimated $23 million in 2018 off of official Bob Marley licensed materials alone. In 2020, Bob Marley was the eighth-highest paid dead celebrity, according to Forbes. And according to Cheatsheet, the Marley empire is said to be worth more than $500 million altogether.

“There are millions of dollars worth of unauthorized products using Marley’s likeness. Between the authorized and unauthorized licensing fees, there is reportedly $500 million of revenue annually,” according to the outlet. As Rolling Stone reported in 2015, the Marleys successfully sued a merchandising company that used the Rasta Man’s likeness without permission.

This move by the estate set a precedent for other musicians’ estates, who often suffer a financial loss when companies sell unauthorized likenesses of the artist.

“This case presents a question that is familiar in our circuit. When does the use of a celebrity’s likeness or persona in connection with a product constitute false endorsement that is actionable under the Lanham Act,” 9th Circuit Judge N. Randy Smith wrote, citing a 1946 law aimed at protecting against trademark infringement and false advertising.

But don’t think Bob Marley’s kids are merely sitting around counting their father’s coins. Each of the Marley children is quite successful in their own right — and, as their children grow up and enter the industry, they’re carrying on the family name, too.

Let’s take a look at how the Marley family keeps the Spirit of Jah alive. Bless up!

Editorial note: The net worths listed in this piece are a speculative estimate drawn from a number of online sources.

Cedella Marley

Photo Credit: Rob Kim

Net Worth: $3 Million

Cedella Marley, the eldest of Bob and Rita Marley’s children, has an estimated net worth of $3 million. She is the acting director of the Bob Marley Foundation, which works with disadvantaged children in Jamaica. In 2014, she became a benefactor of the Jamaican women’s national football team, after she found out that they lost their funding.

David "Ziggy" Marley

Photo Credit: Scott Dudelson

Net Worth: $10 Million

David Nesta Marley, who is best known by his nickname Ziggy Marley, was the first of Bob Marley’s children to continue his musical legacy. He first appeared on his father’s 1979 album, “Children Playing in the Streets,” before striking out on his own with Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers. He’s won several Grammy awards and has collaborated with the likes of Paul Simon, Willie Nelson, and Jack Johnson. Ziggy Marley has six children — including the reggae/rap artist Daniel Bambaata Marley. According to Celebrity Net Worth, he has a net worth of $10 million.

Stephen Marley

Photo Credit: Jason Koerner

Net Worth: $20 Million

Like his older brother, Stephen Marley made a name for himself in music. He’s part of the Melody Makers, and has also done some production work with his younger brothers, Damian and Julian Marley. According to Celebrity Net Worth, he has an estimated net worth of $20 million.

Robert "Robbie" Marley

Photo Credit: Frederick M. Brown

Net Worth: Unknown

Little is known about Robert “Robbie” Marley. According to his Instagram page, he has an interest in graphic arts, and goes by “Ninjology” on Instagram.

 

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Rohan Marley

Photo Credit: Johnny Nunez

Net Worth: $20 Million

Though he’s perhaps best known for his long-time relationship with Ms. Lauryn Hill that produced five children — including rising superstar Selah Marley — Rohan Marley is an entrepreneur and a former football player. He’s also the only Marley male offspring who didn’t go into the music industry and is best known for his work with The Marley Coffee Company. According to Celebrity Net Worth, he has an estimated net worth of $20 million.

Karen Marley

Photo Credit: Rob Kim

Net Worth: Unknown

Little is known about Karen Marley. What we do know is she is a semi-successful fashion designer who frequently shares her work on Instagram.

 

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Stephanie Marley

Photo Credit: Western University

Net Worth: Unknown

Little is known about Stephanie Marley, who Bob adopted as his own, and even gave her his last name.

Julian Marley

Photo Credit: Timothy Norris

Net Worth: $2 Million

Julian Marley has an estimated net worth of $2 million. Born in the United Kingdom, Julian — like many of his brothers — is a reggae singer who frequently collaborates with his brothers.

Ky-Mani Marley

Photo Credit: Melodie Jeng

Net Worth: $5 Million

Like the other Marley boys, Ky-Mani Marley has a career as a reggae singer. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Ky-Mani Marley has an estimated net worth of $5 million.

Damian Marley

Photo Credit: Scott Dudelson

Net Worth: $20 Million

Known as “Jr. Gong,” Damian Marley has had the most mainstream success as of late with his hit album and single, “Welcome to Jamrock.”

Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley has a net worth of $20 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.