Ky-Mani Marley (born 26 February 1976) is a Jamaican reggae and hip-hop artist. His name is of East African origin, and means “Adventurous Traveler”. He is the only child of Bob Marley with Anita Belnavis, a Jamaican table tennis champion.
Ky-Mani was born in Falmouth, Jamaica, but at the age of nine, he relocated to the inner-city of Miami . During his youth, Ky-Mani was unaware of his musical abilities, sports being his first love. With his mother’s direction, he took piano and guitar lessons and played trumpet in his high school band. In addition to tapping into his musical talents, Ky-Mani was an athlete, competing in soccer and American football. As a teenager, Ky-Mani started rapping and deejaying; his first single was “Unnecessary Badness”. He became inspired as a singer after being asked to sing a hook to a song during a recording session at a studio in Miami. Ky-Mani soon began experimenting with laying tracks, at times with his brothers, Stephen, Julian and Damian.
Ky-Mani signed to Shang Records where he recorded his debut album in 1996 titled Like Father Like Son, and several singles: “Judge Not” with Patra, followed by “Dear Dad” (which topped the British reggae charts), “Who The Cap Fit (remix)”, and “Sensimelia”, all of which added to his growing reputation as a master in the new generation of reggae musicians. In 1997, Ky-Mani joined forces with Praswell (Fugees) on a hit cover of Eddy Grant‘s “Electric Avenue“. Marley appeared at Midem (international music showcase), when it was held in Miami for the first time. In the Cameo Theatre, Marley performed a set which was aired live by the Caribbean News Agency to 36 countries.