Five out of the Top 6 have led the competition in one or several categories. Adele has the album sales and astounding music video views. Beyonce has the most industry accolades. Katy Perry wins the battle of single sales. Rihanna is the queen of social media. Taylor Swift rules the chart performances.
Lady Gaga may have won it all on Rolling Stones’ Queen of Pop series, but here, she’s trailing behind her peers. Is she doomed this time, or does she still have a chance? If not, then who will emerge as the winner? The poll in my previous post so far shows that you all think Beyonce is the deserving winner. A deserving choice, but we shall see if the numbers agree.
Here it comes… battle of the heavyweights!
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 Queen of Pop of “THIS” millennium.
6. Rihanna (Total Point = 57)
Rihanna put up a great fight. But sorry, her first two eras that even her fans nowadays disown as “mixtapes”, drag her overall points down. Yet, ever since her breakthrough with Umbrella, Rihanna has been an amazing hit-making powerhouse. At the rate that she’s going, a few more eras down the road and she may shoot up high to become the “black Madonna” she aspires to be. Not an unrealistic goal, if you ask me.
5. Beyonce (Total Point = 59.3)
Sorry people, Beyonce’s reign ends here. Beyonce’s a compelling argument for a perfect pop diva. She can put on a show like a true entertainer, belt her hearts out in Whitney’s grand tradition, shows class in her demeanor, yet all those Destiny Child’s drama shows that she can throw hissy diva fit when needed. Too bad, at the end of the day, Beyonce is still a human and not a demi-god. Underperforming eras such as 4 and B’Day (saved by Irreplaceable in the end) prevents her from going further.
4. Taylor Swift (Total Point = 76.1)
That’s a big jump in overall point. Taylor has shown strong performance throughout her whole career, and I think that’s because she appeals to a huge audience base. Taylor’s your everyday-girl, she’s the nerd-in-the-bleacher who’s sweet and non-threatening, but she’s sooo pretty she’s secretly the prom queen. Her descriptive and melodic fairytale music is part-Disney, part-country, part-pop, occasionally-dubstep, occasionally-rock. That’s how Taylor won the hearts of a million.
3. Adele (Total Point = 80)
I’m just glad 21 sold like a hotcakes and brought back the faith that good music can rule the chart too. That album alone has done wonders to Adele’s career, but the true challenge is for Adele to come up with a worthy follow-up. Is 21 our generation’s Thriller, or is it just a one-album mammoth like Jagged Little Pill was? We don’t know yet, but in the meantime, Adele is our most promising young diva and her position at Top 3 is well-deserved.
2. Katy Perry (Total Point = 80.6)
Another pop juggernaut. When you qualify as a female Michael Jackson (even in the loose sense of the terms), like Katy did when she tie the King of Pop’s record during her Teenage Dream era, you know you’ve become one of the industry’s top pop stars. Katy’s industry domination is huge and she’s pretty dang close to winning this whole series. Her downfall? Quality. Much like Justin Bieber, Katy’s been making tonnes of successful feel-good songs, but will we ever see any of those winding up on year-end’s best list like Madonna did in her heydays? As a guilty pleasure, maybe. And if Prism is what she meant with mature and dark pop music, it’ll probably take quite some time before she ascend to #1.
1. Lady Gaga (Total Point = 82.6)
Look who’s having the last laugh. Gaga may not have led in any particular category, but she’s the overall package. I tried playing around with the data just to see if there could’ve been an alternative winner, but nope… no matter what I do, Gaga comes out on top. Nowadays, ever since Gaga ditched her fun side in favor of ‘art’ and pretentiousness, she’s lost a portion of her popularity, but even that couldn’t pull her down. What else could I say, then… Gaga makes the indisputable winner, at least for now.
Below ‘Queen of Pop’ index summarizes all the points from the success, popularity and quality metrics.
This is a three-way race between Gaga, Katy and Adele (with Taylor following closely). It shows how well-rounded Adele and Gaga are. But it also shows the strength of Katy’s prowess: her combination of success and popularity alone beat everyone else outside the Top 4, and nearly toppled everyone else inside. She needed only that little boost in quality and she’d have won the race.
My personal opinion: I’m an Avril fanboy, so naturally I’d want her to win. But from a more objective point of view, any of these four artists would make a deserving winner: Britney, Beyonce, Gaga and Rihanna—with a slight edge for Gaga, if you force me to choose a winner at gunpoint. Christina and Katy should round up the Top 6 Empresses of Pop.
With all due respect to Adele and Taylor, they have comparable successes but they’re slightly off-the-mark to be considered as a Queen of Pop. Technically, their music still fall under the big umbrella of pop, but they’re perhaps better suited as the Honorary Ambassadors of Soul-Pop and Country-Pop.
So what do you think about the whole ranking? Is Lady Gaga the right successor to Madonna’s throne?
All Posts on the King of Pop and Queen of Pop series:
- Introducing the New King of Pop – Part 1: Background
- Introducing the New King of Pop – Part 2: Success
- Introducing the New King of Pop – Part 3: Popularity
- Introducing the New King of Pop – Part 4: Quality
- Introducing the New King of Pop – Part 5: The Also-Rans
- Introducing the New King of Pop – Part 6: The Top Seeds
- Who is the Queen of Pop of This Millennium? Part 1: Background
- Who is the Queen of Pop of This Millennium? Part 2: Success
- Who is the Queen of Pop of This Millennium? Part 3: Popularity
- Who is the Queen of Pop of This Millennium? Part 4: Quality
- Who is the Queen of Pop of This Millennium? Part 5: Also-Rans
- Who is the Queen of Pop of This Millennium? Part 6: Top Seeds