So people always say “so and so” is the next or this generations ”so and so”. So here are my thoughts on it.
I think Justin Timberlake is this generations Michael Jackson. A lot of people said it was Usher, Chris Brown, or Justin Bieber. Maybe Usher in the 90s/early 2000s, but MJ was still around then so it didn’t matter. Usher would have easily taken his place, but he pretty much fell off after Confessions almost ten years ago. Justin Bieber…well he sucks, so that wouldn’t work. He can’t sing, he is an average dancer at best (his choreography is better than his dancing ability), he doesn’t make good music (no substance, quality, good songwriting), he can barely pass as a singer (stop rapping completely though), and doesn’t make good music videos. I think he is a pop fad that happened to get found on YouTube. And back to how Usher has fallen off, Usher has resorted to musically pimping teenage Canadians (offense to Bieber, not Canadians). Chris Brown could have been the one, but he fell off too. He doesn’t make quality music, his music videos aren’t that good and rely on special effects, his voice is okay, he has no character, and he is a angry, egotistical woman beater. Yes, he can dance; but he doesn’t have the smooth execution of MJ. The choreo is great, but he is so spastic and untrained. Plus he doesn’t do anything different. MJ did tap, jazz, theater, hip hop, etc. CB just flips, grinds, do MJ moves, and hip hop. Justin Timberlake on the other hand is dope! Although he has only put out three solo albums, they’re classic (minus Justified although Cry Me A River is classic). He’s a great dancer, songwriter, singer, performer, actor, producer, and his music is innovative. He definitely has the Michael Jackson-Quincy Jones relationship with Timbaland. Plus, like Mike, he broke out of the boy band and became a solo star. So I think the current prince of pop, JT, is the next king of pop.
When it comes to Janet Jackson, this is a little harder. I think the next Janet would have been Aaliyah. She was cool, hip, made quality music, her Jimmy Jam-Terry Luis was Timbaland, she changed the game with her look and sound, was stylish, danced, dope videos, all of that. But unfortunately, she passed at the age of 22 over ten years ago. So who would be next? Well I think Ciara and Rihanna are contenders for the new Janet, maybe even new Aaliyah. Ciara is one of the greatest dancers of all time like Janet, she is an amazing performer, has her own style, and is clearly influenced by Aaliyah’s tomboy style. I think Ciara is more Michael Jackson than even Chris Brown. But she isn’t edgy or successful like Aaliyah or Janet Jackson. Rihanna on the other hand is sexual, edgy, badass, has dope videos, crazy style, can do multiple genres and fashions/looks, and is one of the biggest selling artists of all time. Only thing with Rihanna is she isn’t much of a performer, live singer, or dancer. So I think if Rihanna and Ciara were combined into one artist, you’d have this generations Janet Jackson and Aaliyah. Aaliyah will always be the princess of R&B, while Janet I think is the queen of pop/R&B (forget Madonna) Rihanna is definitely one of the new princesses of pop. Ciara is the princess of crunk, or whatever.
Lastly (because this is pathetic and I’m tired), I think Beyonce is the new Diana Ross/Tina Turner. She started off leading Destiny’s Child like Diana Ross led The Supremes. Then she broke out and had a successful solo career, like Diana Ross. But she was still too safe and clean cut between her first two albums. Then she released I Am…Sasha Fierce and let loose! She became a beast of a performer! Just like Tina Turner. She went from nice R&B and pop, and started including rock, acoustic, soul, and more tribal African music into her sound with her latest two albums – very Tina Turner ish. She is the best performer of our time hands down. It’s her new, crazy stage presence that makes her the new Tina Turner. She’s the diva of pop/r&B.
Aaliyah, Rihanna, Ciara, Beyonce, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Usher, and Justin Timberlake are all iconic in their own rights. They’re going to be/are legendary (well we’ll see about Ciara since her career has been diminishing over the years unfortunately and undeservedly). I think other potential/current icons of this time (after the year 2000) in their own ways include Destiny’s Child, Maroon 5, Kendrick Lamar, OutKast, Andre 3000, Adam Levine, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Adele, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Pink, Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Alicia Keys, Bruno Mars, Janelle Monae, The Black Eyed Peas (although I hate will.i.am.), Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, ….I’m getting tired of listing people. You get the picture.
These are just my random, sleepy thoughts. Music overall has greatly deteriorated since about 2005.