Reggae pioneer Bob Marley died in 1981, nearly two decades before the birth of Mystic Marley, but his granddaughter still feels connected to the iconic performer she never met.
As a singer herself, she’s living out his musical legacy, and as a member of his family, she believes he’s present in her life despite his physical absence.
The 23-year-old visited TODAY via video on Wednesday’s show and opened up about that powerful connection — including the one time she looked up to the sky and saw him face to face.
“There was a moment where I literally saw his face in the cloud, and nobody could tell me it wasn't him,” Mystic said.
And while that was a profound experience, it wasn’t a surprising one to her.
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She senses the late superstar’s presence regularly.
“I feel like nature has this really beautiful way of showing itself sometimes — and even in the trees sometimes,” she explained. “I just, like, close my eyes and I see him, or I'm making music and I feel him.”
That feeling also connects her to a larger musical dynasty that includes her uncle Ziggy Marley, father Stephen Marley and brother Jo Mersa Marley. It all flows from that beyond-the-grave bond she has with her grandfather.
“It just reminds me that I'm not alone," Mystic said.
It’s allowed her to come to know the “Get Up, Stand Up” singer in a way that simply listening to his music or reading about his life couldn’t. And it’s one of the reasons she feels confident that if he was alive today, his passionate and peaceful messages would make him a powerful presence in the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I think if he was still here, a lot of things would be different,” Mystic noted. “Because he was such a leader, and people were so drawn to him. I definitely know for sure he would be involved."
But since he isn’t here, that falls to others — including her.
“Now that's our responsibility, to keep it going,” she added.