Is Britney Spears The New Michael Jackson?

Survey says YES! but in a Good Way

An interesting fan-written forum post was published yesterday that makes the argument that Britney Spears has become “the new Michael Jackson” in that they are the only artists that can release albums and songs and have their music dominate the music charts without having to do much of any promotion at all. I have to say, it’s hard to argue with reasoning like that.

Here is the full text of the forum post that caught my attention, the author makes a lot of great points:

Britney Spears has spent the past week shattering records: her incredible new song “Hold It Against Me,” which smuggles industrial, dubstep, and rave beats onto American radio, annihilated Mariah Carey’s first-day spin record to debut with an astonishing 700 plays — only to go on to defeat Eminem for the first-week spin record, too, racking up an unprecedented 4,600 plays. The song is set to debut at a mind-blowing #16 on the pop charts, tying Madonna’s “Frozen” and failing only to match Mariah Carey’s “Dreamlover.” But a word of caution about the “Dreamlover” record: what matters more is absolute, not relative domination: “Hold It Against Me” outdid “Dreamlover” on all of the fundamentals. “Hold It Against Me” only ranks lower because of its impressive competition (“Firework,” “Grenade,” “We R Who We R”) — in a weak field, such as the one that “3″ faced, Britney might have even debuted in the Top 10.

Most incredibly, though: the track is set to follow “3″ to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making Britney only the third artist ever — Celine Dion and Mariah Carey are the others — to have more than one #1 debut to her name — and only the second ever — besides Mariah Carey — to have two consecutive #1 debuts. (With her second single imminent and more goodwill behind her than ever, could Britney destroy this record, too?) Wow.

There is only one other artist who could have dropped a single, grant no radio interviews, no live performances, and no buzz campaign — and have it arrive to this kind of reception. His name was Michael Jackson.

This confirms that Britney’s “competition” is now taking place primarily in the history books, not the charts. The new argument should be about where she ranks amongst pop legends: others in her lane include Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, and Madonna. Lady Gaga is in the rearview mirror, trying to outdo contemporaries like Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Ke$ha. (Compare Bad Romance’s first-day spins — 180 — with California Gurls’ — 200 — and Only Girl — 200.) All of these artists have been on the scene for only a few years. That Britney is even being compared to them is merely testimony to the fact that she is sublimely relevant this far into her career in a way that Celine Dion was not fifteen years into hers. The interest in Britney has not let up and shows no signs of doing so: and right now, it’s for all the right reasons — her top-rate pop music and the imminent return of her legendary dancing skills.

Britney Spears has retained a mystique that other artists simply can’t come close to: an intangible aura that makes people want to know what her next move is — even nearly thirteen years after her debut. She doesn’t have to rely on gimmicks, she doesn’t have to embark on a media blitz, and she doesn’t have to “live her act” in public — indeed, her humility and down-to-earth sensibility is evident for all to see every time she goes out in some trashy weave or refuses to bother with make-up. She just doesn’t care about public image — and thank God for it. She lets her work speak for itself — and it does. She smiles, places her single on iTunes — “Oh, I’ll just leave this here” — and the entire pop world loses its mind. The power of Britney in that arena is like nothing since Michael Jackson. If we’re going to talk comparisons, Britney’s total domination should draw questions of whether she has cemented herself as being in the same ranks as Madonna and Michael Jackson yet, or whether it’s going to take another five years — not whether she can outdo the latest It-Girl who only hit it big two years ago.

Britney has an uncanny ability to do whatever she wants — including losing her mind — and STILL enjoy untouchable success. The woman went on a world tour of sold out venues just a year after she was admitted into a psychiatric hospital after suffering a mental breakdown … who else could do something like that? Michael Jackson, that’s who. Altho he was never hospitalized like Britney was, he endured TWO high profile child molestation scandals and was set to play a series of sold out performances at the O2 Arena in London. While there are many differences between the two artists, there are many similarities … like, for example, chart dominance. As was predicted earlier this week, Britney‘s new single Hold It Against Me has debuted in the #1 spot on the Billboard magazine Hot 100 Singles Chart:

Britney Spears becomes just the second artist in the Billboard Hot 100′s 52-year history to debut multiple songs at No. 1, as “Hold It Against Me” blasts in at the summit. Spears previously launched at the apex with “3″ the week of Oct. 24, 2009. She joins Mariah Carey as the only acts to arrive at No. 1 more than once. Carey made such grand entrances with “Fantasy” and “One Sweet Day” in 1995 and “Honey” in 1997. (All charts will be refreshed tomorrow (Jan. 20) on Billboard.com). “Hold It Against Me” is the 18th song to debut at No. 1 and the first since Ke$ha’s “We R Who We R” the week of Nov. 13, 2010. The track is Spears’ fourth No. 1 on the Hot 100. Prior to “3,” she reigned with her debut single “…Baby One More Time” (two weeks, 1999) and “Womanizer” (one week, 2008). “Hold It Against Me” starts atop Digital Songs with 411,000 downloads sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. As previously reported, the sum marks the highest debut frame by a lead female artist, besting the 325,000 shifted by Taylor Swift’s “Today Was a Fairytale” the week of Feb. 6, 2010.

Living legend, y’all. In the end it may be going a bit far to call Britney the new Michael Jackson … but not by much. The girl just has that certain something that makes her a superstar. What do y’all think … is Britney Spears the new King, er Queen of Pop?

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  1. Britney Spears is Britney Spears.

    I don’t like to compare artist even when the similarities are clear. It’s very touchy subject and more important, an artist have the right to make his/her own name by her work and not ‘replacing’ someone else, i think there are enough room from everybody.

    Britney Spears is in the books on her own. A lot of people can debate about her artistry or try to dismiss her for so many things, but in the end, the mere fact that they are discussing Britney make the case of her impact in Pop music and Pop culture general.

    It’s Britney, Bitch! Bow to Godney! Another #1 well deserved!

  2. I’m a mess LOL.

  3. I completely see where the blogger is coming from and yes, she is not only on the charts, but will remain in music history as a legend. Britney still has lots more in store for us,… she has youth on her side and throngs of devoted fans world wide! I agree, princess of pop!

  4. Sara

    So I agree on face value – yes, it’s absolutely amazing that she can put out a single and basically do nothing to promote it, but have it blast to #1 immediately. So in that sense, she absolutely deserves to be where Madonna, Celine Dion, and Mariah Carey are, and I do like that they pointed out people like Lady Gaga have a LONG way to go if they want to make as much of an impact on history.

    What I find to be bothersome about this whole idea, however, is simply the fact that this day & age, these pop stars are basically manufactured. I don’t believe for 2 seconds that Britney actually had much creative input into what she does. She’s not really a creative genius of any sort, she’s basically a front for a hugely successful group of producers and business folk who are working the Britney brand 24/7, and I’m always hesitatnt to give the “artist” much credit when it’s really that whole team of people who are popstar-creating-professionals. Michael Jackson died by the hands of people like that, as at some point they basically treat this person like an animal who is expected to perform on command. So that whole aspect of it greatly bothers me, and when she was really going off the deep end I was convinced Brit would be meeting a similar fate, but luckily for her she had enough people invested in her success to basically force her to turn her life around.

    So I give her credit for really being able to use her brand to continually stay at the top, but I don’t personally give HER all that credit, nor do I think that she couldn’t basically have been replaced with someone else at the beginning of this and the outcome being essentially the same. Her creativity or singing ability haven’t exactly been something to brag about.

    • Mitchell

      Who are you to say she has little involvement in the creative process? She may not write songs and strum instruments a la Michael, Madonna or Lady Gaga, but who says she doesn’t invest any time or effort into the direction and feel of her music? She may say, ‘I like dub step, put that in.’ So, yeah, she doesn’t deserve full credit, but she deserves plenty of credit for steering the ship. (She’s a company and every CEO runs the ship and people do their bidding — don’t tell me Steve Jobs comes up with EVERY little gadget, etc. but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve the utmost respect for steering the idea of Apple to a multi-million dollar company). Back to BS: It’s HER career —- she had a lot of power in deciding what went on Blackout —– her most critically-acclaimed album to date —– so to say she’s just the face of a corporation is a bit of an understatement imho. She has final say whether she actually gets up and sings whatever song (i.e., she fought hard to get Toxic on ITZ) and she’s the one who came up with the concepts for videos like Toxic and Womanizer, and she was the one to decide to tie up her shirt in the …Baby One More Time video. Don’t dismiss Britney and cave to the media’s projections of who she is (which is exactly what the media did to MJ), realize she deserves a lot of credit, more than Jive Records, Adam Leber or anyone like Dr. Luke deserves. They help promote the image/creativity she wishes to present herself as, just as much as Gaga or Madonna plan their image. These are Britney’s employees and she didn’t like how they treated her she’d probably be unmanageable and they wouldn’t be releasing music. Britney’s smarter than anyone gives her credit for, just like MJ was an impeccably astute entertainer. It is exactly discussions like the one you posted above that perpetuate her image and peoples’ interest in her (and I don’t meant that in any negative way).

    • Mitchell

      That wasn’t meant as an attack on you Sara, it came off overly-aggressive. I just wanted to stress to the idea you presented that Britney deserves more credit than she’s assigned. She’s an astute entertainer like MJ and although she doesn’t write her own music, I firmly believe she’s running the ship in part by allowing trusted friends and colleagues to help her deliver her “image” and desired “personality” in music and performance.

      But she doesn’t deserve 100 percent credit, just 95 percent. ;)

    • krissy

      Sara, I agree with you 100%. It is especially noticable the way her producers never talk about working on the sound of her new cd with her…they just talk about what the management is working towards. Plus, an entire cd was created during her troubled time. It just is hard to believe that she couldn’t keep her car on the right side of the road but she could orchestrate the creation of a new cd with various producers. That just strains logic.

      Don’t get me wrong, I think she is very successful and as you said, she has used her brand to stay successful for a very long time. Props to that. I just think Michael was way more influential with his music than she has ever been.

    • Mitchell

      Blackout was created mostly (Britney singing and choosing the singles) while she was pregnant with her second son. Her spiral downward hit its peak much after the album was done (realize the album came out in the fall and she was hospitalized in January). Again, you’re like Sara and are relying on the media for facts, which ignorantly skews your perception of the actual events. Give credit where credit is do. You cannot take a machine and have it sky rocket to the fame BS has. It. Just. Doesn’t. Work. She’s much more in control than you’d think (maybe not so much during Circus, though).

    • I totally agree Sara. Personally, I just can’t fully respect an artist who doesn’t sing live at least 75% of the time. Does anyone even know what her real voice sounds like anymore? And don’t say it’s because she dances cause that’s a crock. She does not dance well anymore LOL

    • Mitchell

      Go to Youtube and type in “I’m a Slave 4 u performance on Letterman.” That’s Britney signing live.

    • Mitchell

      Go to Youtube and type in “I’m a Slave 4 u performance on Letterman.” That’s Britney singing live.

    • rOXy

      Thanks, Mitchell. I pulled that vid up and even though it was 2001, it is timelessly HOT AS HELL. Girl danced her ass off and still sounded fabulous. There will never ever be another one like her. Ever.

    • DT

      I am most definitely on Team Sara with this one.

    • Mitchell

      :(

    • alex

      Sara, you’re not actually saying that Michael was a manufactured popstar right?That would be a stupid thing to say!Yes he died because of mean and stupid people, he was treated like an animal but to say that he was a manufactured pop star like the others is stupid.Michael didn’t even sang pure pop music, he sang all kind of music inclunding rock!

      This is MICHAEL JACKSON YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT IN YOUR COMMENT NOT SOME RANDOM OVERNIGHT MANUFACTURED STAR!

      Michael wasn’t just a pop star who did what they told him to do. Unlike others, Michael actually had CONTROL OVER HIS CAREER, OVER HIS MUSIC, HIS CREATION .HE CALLED THE SHOTS, HE WAS THE CREATIVE ONE,THE INNOVATOR ONE, HE WROTE AND PRODUCED HIS MUSIC. He was BEHIND ALL OF HIS BIGGEST LEGENDARY HITS THAT WILL LIVE FOREVER, not his team!

      HE WAS A GENIUS who CREATED MOST OF HIS SHOWS AND DANCE MOVES!HE WAS THE ONE TELLING HIS TEAM WHAT TO DO NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!

      Michael CREATED THE MUSIC INDUSTRY THAT EXISTS TODAY NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!

      So I don’t see the point of such comparison!

  5. Britney will always be the Queen of Pop; she will always be America’s Sweetheart. We forgive her for a shaved head or bed head. ;)

  6. CHASE

    MJ fans are going to be so pissed about this, but it’s the truth.

  7. Josh

    I am obsessed w/ that damn girl

  8. Nunya

    Sorry but don’t associate Britney with Michael. Also maybe in the 80′s, but Michael’s songs never soared to the top of the charts during the late 90′s/2000′s without promotion, so that arguement is ludicrous. IMO Britney is bigger and better, she can sell anything.

  9. Nunya

    Also citing fan forums as news sources, get real…

  10. CL

    Uh yeah, as an MJ fan..NO. There is no one that can be compared to him in any way shape or form and ocme close. When ONE album of hers sells 100 million copies, then we can talk. Thats how great MJ was and is. Its great for her that one song can do that, but she will still go do performances and have to hype her album and her singles. MJ never had to do that. Any time he did it, it was just to hang out with his fans.

    Its so unneccessary to compare. Britney is Britney, Madonna is Madonna, Michael is Michael, etc.

    • krissy

      I agree. The numbers Michael was able to produce were soooooo much larger than Britney’s. Yes, her song will chart at #1, but that is the result of a small percentage of people buying it around the same time. When Michael was in his prime, far more Americans owned his music. Britney has a strong fan base, but Michaels was MUCH more widely spread across demographics. Britney’s cds don’t sell well long term. As others have said she is greatly successful in her own right, but she isn’t MJ, she is her own thing.

    • CHASE

      HYPOCRITE and you fail on a lot of accounts, which is quite embarrassing. Weren’t you saying a few weeks ago about how unfair it was for me to compare GaGa’s album sales to Britney’s debut album sales because different generation? This can be applied as well. Album sales are NOT what they are these days compared to the 60′s, 70′s, 80′s, and even 90′s. DUH. Of course Michael is going to be bigger than Britney; he has apart of the mega-successful Jackson 5, then ventured to his own solo career. He already HAD some percentage of a following, not to mention he started his career as a YOUNG kid and sold albums. Britney? She was on the Mickey Mouse Club and then came out when she was 16-years-old. Michael Jackson’s career came about since he was 6. He has sold an impressive 750 million records worldwide in his whole career, Britney has sold 130 million records in 12 years. OK. Krissy. LOL.

    • krissy

      You can always count on Chase to start with the name calling. Classic!

      I didn’t say that you can’t compare Gaga and Brit’s sales numbers. I was actually comparing them, saying that Gaga’s cd and Beyonce’s were released at the same time and stayed in the Top 200 for a much longer time.

      It is so funny how you get so angry, but your post essentially explains why I am correct. I will reiterate the point that I think you missed: Michael was much more cross demographic. When he was the biggest, you had all sorts of people buying his music: young, old, male, female, R&B fans, as well as pop fans. To be blunt, with Britney, straight males haven’t bought her music in large numbers. Older people don’t buy it, and it doesn’t get played on urban radio. Michael crossed over into areas that she hasn’t. That isn’t a knock against her (so calm down sweetie), it is just a reflection of how hugely successful Michael Jackson was.

  11. Mike

    Britney has written and co-written many of her hits, including “Me Against The Music” and “Everytime”. She had 8 out of 12 writing credits on In The Zone… she knows her limits, writes what she can, and leaves the rest up to the PROFESSIONALS. She’s a smart business woman and is always ahead of the game in terms of sound – why do you think she turned down Timbaland for Blackout and instead opted to work with Danja? Why do you think she rejected Ne-Yo’s demos when his work was huge, or more recently David Guetta? She doesn’t do a played out sound, she’s always been innovative. She’s co-directed one of her music videos and is always behind the creative process for her stage shows and videos, so please don’t say she’s not involved.

    • Nunya

      So fucking TRUE! Britney never works with the flavor of the month producers and everyone always tries to copy her sound, but by that time she has moved on to the next big thing. Britney is a pop genius and can never be compared to anyone.

    • Mitchell

      Thanks for knowing the facts!

    • CL

      writing credits dont actually mean u wrote them all by yourself

  12. Max

    BRITNEY SPEARS IS THE HOTTEST BITCH ALIVE – I FUCKIN LOVE HER!

  13. camila

    ovio que si britney es la mejor aga lo que aga ciempre va a estar en la cima k ma prueba todavia o saca su disco pero co ua sola cancio ella es numero 1 e todo el mundo para mi es mejor que michael jackson mucho mejor grade britmey

  14. rOXy

    Britney’s team is a mega machine. She’s got the right people working for her to produce her sound and image. She was definitely rescued from herself. At one time, she was in a fast car going down laughing stock lane despite her talent. Many thought she was over and done. Even though, like me, you held fast to your faith that she would come back, and thanks be to the gods, she has. But she could not have done it without intervention and re-invention. Some people remember her antics and post partum downfall, but it doesn’t matter at all now. She’s glossier, glitzier, and sexier than ever. Long Live Godney.

  15. Xadax

    and I thought Beyonce was the next Michael Jackson…

  16. Byel'

    yeah … she is too much

  17. CHASE

    Beyonce is NOT the new MJ. Beyonce doesn’t even debut at #1… Beyonce is talented, but she is a slave promotion; she re-released her last album over 5 times. Beyonce has to work for her sales while Britney just gets them with barely any promotion… If Britney promoted like Beyonce then she would have Beyonce’s sales. Beyonce’s pop culture status is nowhere near Britney’s and it may never be.

    • krissy

      Chase, you have to understand the difference in the way the charts are compiled. The Hot 100 not only includes sales (both physical and digital), but it is also includes airplay. Airplay is MOSTLY decided on by record company/radio station relationships. Pay for Play might techincally be illegal, but they work around it (that is why you only here the same 15 songs on the radio).

      If the Hot 100 was just about sales, I would give it more credibility, but it isn’t. **A song can be #1 in sales, but still not #1 on the Hot 100.** That nearly invalidates it, IMO. With the Top 200, however, the calculation is based on sales, and is more of a democratic reflection of a song or cds popularity.

  18. Britney’s been the new queen for a while now.

  19. Rigo

    Those nagging about record sales- Thriller, an AMAZING album, sold between 65-100mil. BOMT has sold AT LEAST 25 mil. It was also released in 1999, when file sharing first started (Napster)- millions of copies went unaccounted for. If this album were to have been released in the ’82, when purchasing an album was the ONLY way to listen to it, there is no doubt in my mind that this album would have rivaled “Thriller” sales.

    • Kat

      That is super easy to claim, but of course no way to prove it.
      I disagree with the claim myself, but I also can’t prove it, lol.

  20. aznslovemc

    Well “new” is the main word here. New Pop royalty? sure! But I’ve always believed Mariah Carey is the Queen of Pop, (not Madonna) and for twenty years now she still is the voice to beat (which Britney lacks like Madonna, sorry). Mariah Carey holds numerous records worldwide and that “most number one debuts” feat is a very special achievement by her. MC can qualify too for Queen of R&B, Queen of Soul, Queen of Christmas, Queen of Charts, Queen of Dance Remixes, some even call her Queen of Music, so why not Queen of Pop.

    • tyrant

      Mariah Carey may have more #1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart than any other solo artist. However, Madonna is referred to as the Queen of Pop because she has sold more records than any other woman in music. She is also listed in the Guinness Book Of World Records as the most successful female recording artist of the 20th century.

  21. First of all, Michael Jackson wrote and produced his own music. THAT is the main argument against this ridiculous claim. Britney Spears is a pop star, plain and simple. She has a great machine behind her that pulls the strings and she goes along with it. She is not in the league of MJ or Madonna or Mariah Carey (who I can’t stand) because she doesn’t call the shots. Now, as far as the person on here saying Mariah is the Queen of … Anything, Mariah can’t perform her way out of a wet paper bag and her voice is NOT EVEN CLOSE to what it used to be. She is riding on past fame and, unlike Madonna, there is nothing else to be interested in. Madonna is the undisputed Queen of Pop. Period.

  22. gayana

    this is just disgusting how you can compare MICHAEL JACKSON and britney spears…she has an aura, she has something all-american about her. innocent and cute. but she has hundreds of people working on her abum, sngs, voice, shows… MICHAEL JACKSON did it ALL himself. not only he wrote and produced all of his tracks, This Is It DVD also shows how much hands on in control he was about his concerts…

    if you want to compare anyone to Michael Jackson than compare him versus all the song-writers, musicians, producers, stylists and choreographers that molded Britney Spears into what she is.

    • FK

      Yeah. Ridiculous. Michael Jackson was one of the most talented, creative, and hard-working people ever. Just a genius musician and dancer. Britney can’t even sing well let alone write her own music. She’s a good dancer, but she’s not moving dance or music forward in any way. She’s certainly a star, but not on an MJ level. On the other hand, this article seems to be talking primarily about selling records, etc., not talent, so maybe I’m thinking in the wrong terms.

  23. yomomma

    i love the arguing here…shows how much she is LOVED!! that’s all that matters people.

  24. vVv

    hmmm everyone has got a great machine behind : even MJ had… u must face the fact, all in all i think that britney is in the same level as MJ or madonna

    • alex

      vVv: I like Britney too,she is a huge star and she’s talented but to put her on the same level with Michael it’s not a good idea.

      Michael had a great team behind him but he was the one calling the shots, CREATING,PRODUCING HIS MUSIC,DANCE MOVES.

      Don’t forget the fact that even if Michael also had a team behind him telling him what to do when he was young, when he was a kid…

      ….still after he released THRILLER in 1982 he fired his father, his management that he had up until that point and HE TOOK CONTROL OVER HIS CAREER and STARTED taking DECISIONS and CALLLING the SHOTS.

      Now Michael was the one telling his managers, to his team what to do not the other way around !

      Not to mention that he was CREATIVE, he was a GENIUS who CREATED LEGENDARY MUSIC, DANCE MOVES and VIDEOS that even now after 3 decades, after more than 30 years are still copied and inspiring artists and that’s the way it’s gonna be until..forever!

      FACE THESE FACTS!

  25. Mela

    I like Britney but as hard as she works for her fans, she is a product of many people. MJ was a product of no one. He was a true musical voice in more ways than just his singing. I can’t consider a world where a singer can be King or Queen of pop until they’re penning their songs solo and having them go to #1 like so many of MJ’s sole-written works.

    No dissing Britney. She entered at the front of pop-star era princesses and has clawed herself out of a huge hole to be back where she is. The girl can hussle and I give her respect for that.

    The new MJ? Not for me.

  26. Kat

    I personally think that it is crazy to call anyone the new MJ. Why not just let them be who they are? Can’t she just be Britney?
    I also don’t think she comes close to MJ, and yes I am a big MJ fan. BUT I am also a big Britney fan, I adore her. I enjoy her music and I think she is a great performer. Michael was the first to do the things he done, Britney will never be the first, because in the article it states that Mariah and Madonna did it already, therefore she wasn’t first. I honestly believe that is why MJ was soooo famous, because no one had done this stuff before.
    Don’t get me wrong Britney is amazing and is for sure has something that no one else has right now. I am in no way dissing on her. But she don’t write her own music, and that is also a BIG deal.
    I think she should just be refered to as Britney, not the new this or the new that, just Britney.

  27. Eddy

    Justin Beiber is the new Michael Jackson, “cause if it weren’t for MJ, then there would be no one else”, per JB!! ;-)

    Please, there will never be another Michael Jackson and that level of celebrity, Britney just pales in comparison, Madonna has made a joke of herself, (but still much love for her Madgesty), Mariah and Beyonce come close.

  28. Lovely

    Well there are some comparisons between them…not just the album sales… when both of them were on their peak the world was obsessed with them, they both had a mental breakdown, both were flawless performers, both had a unique voice, so unique that it is impossible to replicate. Both of them have an iconic name, the names make you shiver down the spine. MJ have written most of her stuff, but however Britney still written and co-written her things too. They both have an essence around them, even though Britney was really quite during the performance The Way You Make Me Feel, the audience was screaming, screaming and wouldn’t stop at the sight of both of them.

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