Shenseea Doubles Down on Why She Thinks Bob Marley Is Bigger Than Michael Jackson: ‘Facts Are Facts’ (Exclusive)

The Jamaican singer/rapper shared her thoughts on the two superstars’ legacies at the premiere for ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ on Tuesday

Shenseea; Bob Marley; Michael Jackson

According to Shenseea, there are few longtime music legends that fans across the globe are still “Jamming” to like Bob Marley.

The Jamaican performer, 27, sparked a viral debate in December 2022 when she shared on X (formerly Twitter) that “Bob Marley is bigger than Michael Jackson” in a now-deleted post.

Over a year later, she’s doubling down on the hot take. Speaking to PEOPLE at the premiere of the iconic “Three Little Birds” musician’s biopic, Bob Marley: One Love, at the Regency Village Theater in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Shenseea admitted that she firmly believes Marley is a bigger international star to this day than the King of Pop.

“I just believe that facts are facts,” Shenseea (whose real name is Chinsea Linda Lee) tells PEOPLE.


Shenseea at the premiere of ‘Bob Marley: One Love’.PHILLIP FARAONE/GETTY

Although the dancehall-pop artist admits she’s a “huge” fan of both superstars, she explains her opinion is informed by what she’s seen traveling “all over the world.”

The Grammy-nominated star says, “From somebody who came from my country, I go everywhere and I see people wearing dreads. They’re smoking a big spliff. They have the Rasta colors. They’re trying to emulate who Bob used to be and what he represented.”

Shenseea adds, “I just feel like all over the world you hear some type of reggae music and Bob Marley is the number one leading act for that.”

The star, who’s collaborated with artists like Kanye West, Megan Thee Stallion, Gwen Stefani and others, also opened up about how much Marley’s legacy has inspired her own artistry. “He has inspired me to do this, what I’m doing now, just to take my culture globally in a different generation,” she shares. “He has done it and so it has inspired and motivated me to believe that I could do it.”

 Bob Marley

Bob Marley in 1980.PETE STILL/REDFERNS

Shenseea also reveals the main takeaway from the “Could You Be Loved” singer’s playbook that she’s followed is “to be authentic,” explaining, “It’s the hardest part, because when you travel all around the world, it’s so easy to adapt. But he has reminded me, he stayed true to himself all throughout and he reminded me that, ‘Yo, I don’t need to change.’”

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Marley is the subject of Bob Marley: One Love, set to hit theaters on Feb. 14. Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, the project stars Kingsley Ben-Adir as the singer-songwriter and Lashana Lynch as his wife Rita.

Several members of Marley’s family were involved in the making of the biopic: His wife Rita, son Ziggy and daughter Cedella Marley are all producers on the film, and Ziggy’s wife Orly serves as an executive producer.

Ahead of the movie’s release, Ziggy, 55, opened up to PEOPLE about what he believes his father — who died of cancer in 1981 at age 36 when Ziggy was just 12 — would think of it.

“He would laugh,” the musician says. “He would laugh, but one of those proud laughs. He always wanted to make a movie. He was a creative person. He wanted to make a Western. There’s a lot of sides [to him] that people don’t really know. They will see those sides [in One Love] and they will connect with those sides.”

Ziggy also shared what encouraging and spiritual lessons from his father he’s held onto.

“Everything we do is a part of the whole. It’s like we’re a part of him, and he’s a part of us. It’s one,” he said. “We speak with our love, and it’s not words. We don’t have to talk much — we can just feel. My smile is honoring him. I laugh and it looks like his laugh. Pieces of him are a part of me.”

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