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I'm very hurt - Ky-Mani Marley: Artiste at odds with publishers over autobiography

Published:Saturday | February 6, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Howard Campbell, Gleaner Writer

FANS OF reggae singer Ky-Mani Marley may get more than they bargained for when they read his autobiography, which is scheduled to be released today in the United States by Farrah Gray Publishing.

Marley, son of reggae legend Bob Marley, is at odds with the publishers, whom he accuses of changing the book's original title and going sensational to help spur sales. Dear Dad: Where's The Family In Our Family, Today? The Story the Marley Family Apparently Doesn't Want You to Know, is the title of the book. Its working title had been Dear Dad: The Marley Son Who Persevered From The Streets To Prominence.

In an interview with The Gleaner Wednesday, Marley said he was considering legal action against Las Vegas-based Farrah Gray.

"I'm not happy about it, I'm very hurt," Marley said. "All I wanted to do was tell my story, not cause any conflict."

dad's birthday release

Dear Dad, which was done by Ky-Mani and a ghost writer, has been released on the day Bob Marley would have celebrated his 65th birthday.

But according to a press release from Farrah Gray, Ky-Mani's revelations are likely to dampen celebrations.

"The Marley family is so outraged over the publishing of this memoir they lodged a campaign of intimidation over Ky-Mani Marley as the author of this book. They also demand that he confirm and showcase such distortions during his interviews and the highly awaited book tour," the statement read.

Ky-Mani said he showed an early draft of the book to his sister Cedella Marley, who had no problems with it but who added that parts of the final product disturbed him.

"There are things like Rita not liking me and cutting me off financially after my father's death," he told The Gleaner.

Ky-Mani Marley was born in Falmouth, Trelawny, in 1976. His mother is Anita Belnavis, a leading Jamaica table-tennis player during the 1970s who had an affaire with the married Marley.

indifferent relationships

The book focuses on Ky-Mani's early life in Falmouth and south Florida, where he and his mother emigrated to in the early 1980s. He revisits an impoverished childhood and reflects on an indifferent relationship with his father's legitimate children and widow, Rita.

He says his fortunes changed considerably in 1994 through a financial settlement from the Marley estate.

Bob Marley, who died from cancer at age 36, has been the subject of several controversial books. The most infamous was 1995's Marley and Me, written by his former manager Don Taylor.

Rita Marley also caused a stir with her No Woman No Cry: My Life With Bob Marley, which was released in May 2004.

Like his brothers, Ziggy, Stephen, Damian and Julian, Ky-Mani Marley has focused on a music career and has done fairly well. He has recorded four albums, the first being Like Father, Like Son which was released in 1996.

His last studio effort was Radio which was released, in 2007.

He also starred in the low-budget action films Shottas and One Love. His Living The Life of Marley reality show first aired on BET in 2007.