Sharon Marley, biological daughter of Rita Marley and adopted daughter of Bob Marley, recently paid tribute to her mother with her first solo single — a remake of Rita Marley’s 1988 hit “Just One More Morning.”
The song was recorded in honor of Rita Marley’s 75th birthday and the music video features the Marley matriarch herself alongside her daughter. It also features cameos from other members of the Marley family.
The song was produced by Soul Rebel, Rita Marley’s nephew, and features updated riffs and SFX, but stays true to the original’s melody and rhythm. The 2021 version of “Just One More Morning” was, of course, released via the Marley family’s label, Tuff Gong.
Rounding out the family affair, Sharon Marley’s first-born daughter, Donisha Prendergast, directed the music video for “Just One More Morning,” a task which she said she relished.
Donisha Prendergast also said that she wanted to convey the way the younger Marley family members grew up in the video, showing how they dance together, laugh together, and even play dress up together from their grandmother’s wardrobe. Throughout the video, themes of unconditional love and togetherness in the Marley family run deep. The director had this to say:
“What you see in the video is really “us” the way we grew. We are on the road and live life as a family unit. We dance together, laugh together. I played dress up in my grandma’s closet just as any other little girl. In fact, most of the clothing and jewelry worn in the video came straight from there. My grandmother worked hard, yes, but she also kept us together as a family.”
The single and video for “Just One More Morning” are available for streaming on all major platforms, and all proceeds will go to the Rita Marley scholarship fund, which was established last year by the Rita Marley Foundation.
Sharon Marley: From the Melody Makers to a New Solo Career?
Sharon Marley started her musical career as one fourth of the Melody Makers, a quartet formed alongside three more of Bob Marley’s children: Ziggy (the group’s leader), Stephen, and Cedella. Brothers Ziggy and Stephen were the lead vocalists and guitarists, with Stephen also playing the drums. Sisters Cedella and Sharon backed them up with vocals.
From 1984 to 1999, the family reggae group released 10 studio albums and was nominated for seven GRAMMY awards, of which the group won three. Their GRAMMY winning albums are: “Conscious Party,” “One Bright Day,” and “Fallen Is Babylon.”
After one final world tour in 2002, the Melody Makers disbanded and Sharon Marley took some time off from recording music and touring to focus on being a mother and other interests that being a performer didn’t allow her to pursue.
The new version of “Just One More Morning” is Sharon Marley’s first solo project since the breakup of the group with her siblings, and is perhaps the start of a new solo career.
Fans would surely be excited to hear more solo music from her in the future, as she was highly regarded for her smooth vocal delivery and high-spirited energy on stage during her years with the Melody Makers.
Choosing to kick off her solo recording efforts with her mother’s song would be fitting, after all, as We Must Carry On, the album it originally came out on, was considered by many to be the best of Rita Marley’s solo career.
The word is still out on whether we can expect more music from Sharon Marley in the future or if this song was just a one-off single, but she had the following to say when asked:
“All of us who are a part of this project, music is our life. It brought back my love for music, and producers are now sending me songs.”
She went on to admit that although she is at “a different stage of life,” she is “open” to exploring her options musically.
If one thing is clear, it’s that Sharon Marley is truly her mother’s daughter, and she’s the first to admit it. She said this about her version of the song:
“This song is done in Mommy’s falsetto and I have a low range. I spoke to Grub [Cooper] and told him that I was concerned about the key, and he sent it back in my key and Soul (her nephew) remixed it. It is in tribute to Mom and I did it the best I could.”
More About the Rita Marley Foundation
The Rita Marley Foundation (where proceeds from “Just One More Morning” will go) has the long term goal of eliminating poverty and hunger in selected African diaspora communities. It aims to do so by empowering those communities through the creation of economic investments, improving educational opportunities, and developing knowledge and proper practice in nutrition and health care.
In addition to the Rita Marley scholarship and fellowship programs, other programs run by the NGO include refurbishing and rebuilding and indigent musician and artist programs. The organization has headquarters in the USA, Ghana, and Jamaica.