Battle for the Throne: Michael Jackson vs. Justin Bieber


When most teens think of modern pop, the most prominent name that comes to mind is Justin Bieber. Girls swoon at the sight of him, while boys find his repetitive use of the word “swag” to be absurd. But when thinking about pop as a whole, everyone remembers the “king of pop,” Michael Jackson. In Jackson’s early career he was just as famous as Bieber, if not more so.

The two artists came from different backgrounds. Bieber was discovered by his current agent on YouTube after posting videos from a singing contest in Ontario, in which he placed second. Jackson, on the other hand, began his career at the age of five when he became the lead singer of the Jackson 5 and continued to grow in talent and fame from that point on.

In 2010, Bieber won Artist of the Year, Favorite Rock/Pop Male Artist, and Favorite Pop/Rock Album at the American Music Awards. In April, his song “Boyfriend” reached  No. 2 on the Hot 100 Billboard charts. Since his music career is ongoing, he may have more awards and achievements on the way.

In the 1980’s, Michael Jackson had more No.1 hits than any other pop artist. In November 1982 Jackson released what is perhaps his most famous album ( selling 50+ million copies); Thriller; which won a record breaking eight Grammys as well as album of the year in 1984. Thriller is often the first album to come to mind when referring to Jackson, but he had more than just one album that broke records. In July 1988, Jackson broke a Hot 100 Billboard record with his song “Dirty Diana,” for having five number one hits from one album: Bad. MJ has also won more musical awards than any other artist.


Justin Bieber: Believe

Bieber’s most recent album, Believe, has a few popular songs, such as “Boyfriend,” “Die in Your Arms,” and “As Long As You Love Me.” Bieber’s new album has proven to be a success thus far, selling 374,000 copies in its debut week.

Believe was made to show that Bieber is trying to grow up and earn his name as a legitimate pop artist. In Believe, Bieber has finally lost the pre-pubescent voice that caused many to think he was a girl in earlier songs, like his “One Time.” Bieber attempts rap in his album as well

As for the content of Bieber’s songs, most come off as sounding like a teenage boy being overly confident that he can win over any girl’s heart with “money in his hands, that he’d really like to blow.”

Many of Bieber’s songs are a shot at trying to be inspirational for the younger audience; the underlying message in each song is to just believe, whether you’re believing to win over a girl or that you can go far in life. Bieber has got his younger audience believing all the way, but for the most part, his songs are seen as immature and unrealistic by more mature audiences.

Still, Bieber’s newest album has captured the adoration of a large group of teenage fans, named “Beliebers,” who find the new more mature Justin Bieber to be as inspiring as ever, Bieber has shown them that although they may come from the humblest of backgrounds, they can still become successful if they believe.

Michael Jackson: Bad

Bad is one of Michael Jackson’s most famous albums, holding five No. 1 hits, like “Smooth Criminal,” “Man in the Mirror,” and “The Way You Make Me Feel.” Since its release in 1987, Bad has sold 30 million copies worldwide, which may seem very impressive; but this is only his fourth best selling album.

Jackson has his own sound. There’s a purpose for a slow beat; used for serious songs that pull on the heartstrings. There’s also a reason for every fast pace, which is used in songs meant for dancing. There’s a meaning behind repetition of certain lines as well; leaving the listener with a resounding theme or message.

Jackson’s Bad is filled with view-changing content, including one of his most inspirational songs, “Man in the Mirror,” where Jackson talks about his desire to change the world by starting with himself and hopes for everyone to do the same. In this album, it seems as if there is thought behind each word. Every line makes the listener think about what Jackson is trying to tell them through his music.

Both Bieber and Jackson have proven themselves in their musical careers. Although Beiber is all the rage for teenagers in today’s society, earlier generations believe that Michael Jackson is a more inspiring pop artist. Jackson is in no danger of losing his title as the “king of pop,” even in death. Jackson put something into his music that most artists don’t think of: an overall theme that everyone is able to connect with.