Skip Marley Scores the Marley Family's First Billboard Hot 100 Top 10
Katy Perry's "Chained to the Rhythm," featuring Bob Marley's grandson, launches at No. 4, easily the highest-charting Hot 100 hit (as an artist) by a member of the first family of reggae.
The song, released Feb. 10 and which Perry and Marley performed on the Grammy Awards Feb. 12, debuts at No. 3 on the Digital Song Sales chart, with 108,000 downloads sold in the week ending Feb. 16, according to Nielsen Music, following its release on Feb. 10, and No. 15 on Streaming Songs (14.7 million U.S. streams). It also charges 35-20 on Radio Songs with 50 million in airplay audience after its first full week of tracking (ending Feb. 19).
While Perry tallies her 14th Hot 100 top 10, Marley achieves his first, and the significance of the latter feat is historic given his last name: Marley adds a new highlight to his family's legacy, as the grandson of late reggae icon Bob Marley earns the family its first Hot 100 top 10.
Perhaps surprisingly, Bob Marley charted just one Hot 100 title: 1976's No. 51-peaking "Roots, Rock, Reggae" (with the Wailers). His history on other charts is much more robust, highlighted by a record 18 No. 1s on the Reggae Albums list. On the Billboard 200, 1984's Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers has reached No. 5; it has been certified 15-times Platinum by the RIAA.
Marley, who died in 1981 at age 36, did enjoy another key Hot 100 success, one even greater, in fact, than Skip Marley's No. 4 rank. It was as a writer, however: Bob Marley wrote "I Shot the Sheriff," which Eric Clapton took to No. 1 in 1974.
Bob's son Ziggy Marley notched the only top 40 Hot 100 hit by the family prior to Skip's "Rhythm," as "Tomorrow People," with his backing band the Melody Makers, reached No. 39 in 1988. (The Melody Makers consisted of Bob and Rita Marley's children Sharon, Cedella and Stephen.) Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers charted one more Hot 100 entry, "Good Times" (No. 85, 1991).
One other member of the Marley family has hit the Hot 100: Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, Bob's youngest son, reached No. 55 in 2005 with "Welcome to Jamrock."
Skip Marley, 20, has also released his own single "Lions," which roared onto the Feb. 25-dated Reggae Digital Song Sales chart at No. 3 (2,000 sold). Praising the song on Twitter on Feb. 3, the politically-minded Perry dubbed Marley "the voice of our revolution."