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The Top Seven Contenders for the New King of Pop

by dsussman   July 02, 2009 at 12:36AM  |  Views: 14,539

3. Chris Brown


Source: Jemal Countess/Getty Images

My analyzation of Chris in this situation is purely based on his skills as an artist, not on his amazing right cross.

I will say out of the gate that if Chris didn’t get himself into all of this drama with Rihanna, he was on-course to become one of the biggest pop acts in the world.

First off, the kid kinda does have the total package in terms of superhuman dance abilities, legions of diehard female fans, and a solid singing voice. He can also effortlessly cross genre boundaries. Chris can do R&B, hip-hop, and pop tracks with no problem at all. He also has the unique ability to add a pop touch to street records which makes his songs appetizing to a very wide assortment of fans. This makes him marketable in a way that very few artists can compete with.

If Chris and his handlers are able to remold his image into what it once was and get his albums back on the top of the charts, Mr. Brown might eventually be able to lead the pack as the biggest pop star on the planet.

2. Kanye West


Source: John Sheare/Getty Images

Let the hate begin. It does kinda pain me to have to defend Ye and give him his props all at the same time, but the man totally deserves it.

One of the biggest keys to being a great artist is a clear vision of what you want your art to be, and Mr. West most definitely has a very crystal clear foresight of what he needs to accomplish on a day to day basis. He also has no fear when it comes to breaking down boundaries of what a pop artist should be. When he dropped 808s and Heartbreak back in late-2008, I never really knew how hard it was for a hip-hop artist to extend out of the genre and explore new territory. The mainstream hip-hop world, mostly MCs, had nothing but hate for the experimental LP. The fact that Kanye was able to pull off singing throughout the entire record and still make it successful was a pretty amazing feat. I honestly hated most of the tracks at first listen, but songs like “Paranoid” and “Amazing” totally started to grow on me like a fungus.

Michael Jackson was notorious for being a workaholic and a control freak when it came to his artistic vision, and Ye is no different. It seems like he has a hand in everything that goes into the music-making process including artwork, music videos, and beyond.  The guy has been able to cross so many boundaries in the music world it’s scary. Kanye is both a great artist and an even better businessman. Both of which you need to succeed as well as last in this industry. People can hate all they want, the man truly understands what it takes to be #1 and has been delivering nonstop since the day he stepped onto the scene.

1. Justin Timberlake


Source: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

This may seem like an obvious choice for most, but it’s really not all that simple.

If anything, Justin is just an updated version of MJ in the form of a clean-cut white boy. His release of Justified back in 2002 was basically JT trying to be Michael in every way possible. From the Off The Wall-like harmonies to the dance moves in his music videos, Timberlake seemed to just copy from the book Michael wrote 20 years prior.

But when he released FutureSex/LoveSounds back in 2006, Justin showed us that he was a true artist with the ability to find his own voice and evolve naturally. Even though he was taking inspiration from a slew of pop artists past like Prince, JT somehow made everything he did seem new and unique. I’ve always felt that making great pop is no easy task and Justin was totally able to do so with songs like "My Love," "What Goes Around.../...Comes Around (Interlude)" and "LoveStoned/I Think She Knows." The other thing that absolutely sets JT apart from all other pop artists has been his extracurricular work outside music. His unforgettable appearances on SNL alone have somehow eclipsed every bad thing he ever did as a member of 'N Sync. I can’t believe I just said that. He can also play the piano and has some tangible musical talent. He's the full package. He can sing, dance, and perform with anyone.

As much as people want to fight it, Justin Timberlake is now officially the King of Pop for the 21st century.