Introducing The New King of Pop – Part 5: The Also-Rans

We’ve went through everything. We’ve assessed our nine King of Pop candidates based on criteria such as success, popularity and quality.

When I started this project two weeks ago, I always knew that only four of the nine artists stood a chance. The other five are just there as also-rans; they have amassed sufficient success and definitely earned their place in the music industry, but they were never as big as the Fab Four. Now let’s bring out the ranking of the also-rans.

Note: This analysis refers ONLY to the period spanning 2000-2013, from the new millennium to the time of writing. No, pre-2000 achievements are not counted here. That’s why it’s called King of Pop of the “new millennium”.

9. Robin Thicke (Total Point = 11)

No prize for guessing right. Of course Robin Thicke is right at the bottom! He’s been consistently at last place for 6 out of 7 criteria. Blurred Lines is his only successful work so far, and that alone would not rescue a whole decade of flopping. Now I’m not even sure why I included him in the first place, perhaps I should’ve brought in Pharrell into the analysis instead.

8. Ne-Yo (Total Point = 28)

Poor Ne-Yo. I think he’s seriously talented and blessed with one of the best male voices in the industry right now. I guess the main problem with Ne-Yo is that he never quite developed his own persona, so for the general public he’s just another Jason Derulo or Taio Cruz with occasional novelty dance hits. Perhaps that’s why Ne-Yo is usually most successful when he’s getting featured in someone else’s song—which still counts towards the total point, but only partially.

7. David Guetta (Total Point = 31)

At one point in time, David Guetta was God. The French house music producer became the world’s most popular DJ with strings of inescapable club smashes. Everything’s great except for one little problem: David Guetta is the product of a very specific trend of a very specific generation. His success will forever be tied to the 2009-2011 electro rave scene and he’ll never be able to escape that. As soon as the dance craze faded, so did David Guetta.

6. Chris Brown (Total Point = 36)

Chris Brown frustrates me. Among the also-rans, he was the only one who could threaten the Fab Four. And then that one night before Grammy, he assaulted RiRi and forever tarnished his chance to ever becoming a King of Pop. And even then, he still managed to sneak in moderate hits every now and then. Only God knows how HUGE he could’ve been. R.I.P. Chris Brown’s career (2005-2009)

5. Adam Levine (Total Point = 40)

I didn’t want to include someone from a band, but then again, Adam Levine has always been more of a celebrity. Maroon 5 might as well be called Adam Levine & the Scene and no one would’ve noticed the difference. Indeed, Adam Levine outperforms all the other also-rans. In fact, after his appearance as a judge on The Voice, he’s now bigger than ever. And if the trend continues, who knows, maybe he’ll become a true contender for the crown in near future.

We’ll get to the Fab Four soon: Bruno Mars, Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, Usher. Who do you think should win? Vote below and leave a comment.

All Posts on the King of Pop and Queen of Pop series:

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