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Beyonce Featured Michael Jackson

Agree? Beyonce Has Surpassed Michael Jackson

Is Beyonce the new king of pop?

Is Beyonce the new king of pop?

I know the initial shock of these headlines is virtual whiplash. I feel it, too, and I’m having an extremely difficult time agreeing. Could Beyonce actually be more relevant and influential than the late-great Michael Jackson?

 

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Billboard’s Editorial Director, Bill Werde, Tweeted a thread that got the BeyHive buzzing (and doubters alike).

He claims Beyonce has “pretty clearly reached or even arguably exceeded Michael Jackson levels of clout & relevancy.” To say it was a conversation starter is an understatement. 

“Michael’s solo peak lasted from around 1979 to maybe mid-92 when ‘Remember the Time’ started to fade,” Werde said. “Please don’t make a case for his last no 1, ‘You Are Not Alone.’ By then, accusations were swirling. So that’s 12+ years. Beyonce is at 14+ and only getting stronger. Meanwhile, and most importantly: both sell stadiums at a whim. Both don’t just make/made international headlines with their appearances, but actually cut through global news to own parts of the news cycle beyond music. And both deliver the goods to justify the attention. Michael’s roots give him an edge in the pre-solo department: The Jacksons were bigger, for longer, with more of a chart history and more iconic classics than Destiny’s Child.”

Were continues: “Just like it’s hard to compare sports heroes from different eras, Beyonce’s pop era is obviously completely, radically different than the one Michael owned. In both cases, one looks for singularity: what artists/athletes distanced themselves from even their great peers? Beyonce shines on this front. Outside of the under appreciated era of 4–an album that still hit no 1 in many countries–Beyonce has almost inarguably been one of the top 1-2 pop stars in the world since she went solo. No one else has that extended period of being on top.”

“And she’s not just on top, but also: reinventing how we think about albums & their release; putting on arguably the most critically/commercially acclaimed tours; creating unprecedented brand relationships; & doing it all while leading certain social/racial justice conversations.”

 

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Werde’s Tweet thread is below.

Personally, I have a hard time comprehending that we could live in a time where anyone could touch the untouchable. MJ influenced millions of lives, and his legacy will secure him as one THE greats, but I do see Werde’s viewpoint that Beyonce is doing that in present day. She represents our time’s status quo – black and female empowerment – and does so with supreme talent and wherewithal. Her career momentum has increased over time, and that is an insurmountable feat on its own, let alone one that creates longterm cultural impact. I’m not saying the Lemonade singer has surpassed Michael Jackson, but if there’s anyone that can… it’s Beyonce.

 

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