Bob Marley more popular in non-white world than Michael Jackson
Reggae icon Bob Marley was more popular than Michael Jackson in most of
the non-white world based on web searches up to the time of Jackson's
Blacks, Latin-Americans and many Asians were searching for Marley
over pop icon Jackson with China and India as notable exceptions, due to limited
reggae exposure. Splash utilised Google Trends which compared as a ratio the
search activity for each artiste over time. Both artistes are said to be 'kings'
in their respective fields, and trend data tells just how important each was in
Jackson beat Marley in all major white countries
except Portugal and Italy, with the US in a statistical tie at a ratio of 1.02
to 1.0 in favour of Jackson. It meant that for every 102 persons searching for
Jackson in the US there were 100 searching for Marley. But Marley was more
popular than Jackson in the states of Utah, South Carolina, California, and
But in the non-white world Marley was the king (at least up to
Jackson's death, which spiked media and fan interest).
countries which posted higher search ratios for Marley over Jackson in 2008 were
Brazil - the largest black population outside of Africa - at 3 to 1; Mexico at
10 to 7; Chile at 10 to 7; Guatemala at 100 to 4; Costa Rica at 10 to 4;
Columbia at 10 to 7; Argentina at 10 to 4; and Jamaica 3 to 1. Venezuela and
Peru also had higher searches for Marley than Jackson in 2007, but Jackson beat
Marley in 2008.
Asian countries that posted higher search ratios for
Marley than Jackson in 2008 were Indonesia at 10 to 7; Philippines at 10 to 9;
Thailand at 10 to 5; and Japan at 10 to 9. The Chinese don't seem to know of
Marley, he doesn't register as a comparative search. India has four times as
many searches for Jackson than Marley.
Most African countries do not
register comparative searches of Jackson or Marley. The only countries which
registered were Morocco with a 14 to 10 ratio in Marley's favour. South Africans
had mixed results similar to the demography of the country. For every 10 Marley
searches, 16 searched for Jackson. However in the Eastern Cape, a mainly black
province in which former South African president Nelson Mandela was born, Marley
was more searched than Jackson. In Egypt twice as many people searched for
Jackson than Marley.
Marley died in 1981 and his most successful album
Legend has sold over 20 million copies. Jackson's most successful album Thriller
sold over 50 million copies. Up to yesterday Jackson tops iTunes pop charts in
21 of 22 countries. At the same time, Marley tops the reggae album charts on
iTunes in 18 of the 22 listed countries worldwide.
Bob Marley, centre, and
Michael Jackson, 4th on Bob's right, in full Afro, in