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Thread: Will we ever have an artist as big as MJ ever again?

   
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    Default Will we ever have an artist as big as MJ ever again?

    I'm not sure about you guys, but I think that MJ was the biggest and most well known artist of all time (worldwide) I remember someone saying that there would never be someone as big as The Beatles and Elvis back in 1982 and then BOOM! Thriller gets released and you know the rest of the story. But it definitely seems impossible now. Do you think we'll ever get an artist as big and influential as Michael Jackson?
    🤔

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    Default Re: Will we ever have an artist as big as MJ ever again?

    Interesting question. I'm going to venture maybe a controversial opinion here but one based on stats. I think that the top current artists, like Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Adele, Taylor Swift are as big and well known internationally as MJ. I'm not going to rank them against MJ because I think all of these artists have reached what is the maximum level of 'bigness' - which is that they are basically known, popular, and listened to everywhere in the world. If you look at the albums of these artists on the worldwide iTunes album chart you will see that they chart in the majority of countries. If you look at the Global Digital artist ranking you see they perform highly in all 5 areas (anglo, latin, euro, africa and asia). And if you look at the Youtube streaming charts and the regional distributions, they all show huge international reach.

    The key point to note though is that the world is much more interconnected today primarily due to the internet and social media - plus many third world countries have seen rapid development so they now also have these technologies - which means it is easier now to reach people all over the world. Whereas, Michael did it in an age without internet or social media. Sure there was TV but it's still harder to access music on TV on demand and no doubt the TV coverage of the world (and esp access to American/western channels) in the 80s is less than the internet coverage today. And Michael has maintained his complete worldwide popularity to this day. It's hard to stress just how unique this is - you can see that from the fact that not one of his peers (or any music artist from before the late 90s) has this truly global status. For example, when albums of the Beatles/Elvis/Prince/David Bowie/George Michael appear on the worldwide iTunes chart, they chart in few of the smaller markets whereas Michael's do. Also take an example from the global digital artist chart today (looking at classic artists):

    33. David Bowie (he recently had a new album released): anglo 65, latin 10, euro 65, africa 26, asia 2
    62. George Michael: anglo 29, latin 0, euro 39, africa 15, asia 8
    80. MJ: anglo 17, latin 24, euro 19, africa 17, asia 28
    131. Queen: anglo 13, latin 23, euro 14, africa 12, asia 4

    Others are ranked below this or not on the chart.

    From this you can see how uniformly popular MJ is. So to sum up, I think you can say that Michael was the first true international music artist and achieved it in a time when it was very hard to do so. Also one thing that Michael probably has over current artists is that he appeals more across demographic barriers such as age, gender and race. Certainly it will be hard for anyone to ever achieve that sort of uniform appeal again as culture has become more fragmented as people are now able to create their own 'personal bubbles' of culture due to increased information accessibility.

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    Default Re: Will we ever have an artist as big as MJ ever again?

    Likely not. The closest thing we have today is Adele, at least sales wise (21 has sold 35 million copies now I believe, 25 had sold over 20 million) but she doesn't have a mania around her as big as Michael did (Or Elvis/The Beatles). No artist has ever become as big as those three and I don't think we will again, one reason being the way we consume music has changed.

    I think it's easier to avoid big acts now than it was back then. You basically were forced exposure to them if you wanted to listen/watch modern music. Like music videos, if you wanted to watch your favorite artists music video, you had to sit down on MTV and wait until it was played, whilst having to watch other artists first and Michael was in heavy rotation at Thrillers peak. Nowadays you can jump straight onto YouTube and watch only what you want to watch. Music wise, if you listen to the radio (which while still popular, more people did back then) you had to listen to what they played, nowadays you can just stream whatever you choose on Spotify/Apple Music. Sure, you could only buy what you wanted, but it's easier to stream than buy too.

    If you wanted to listen to modern music in 1983, you simply couldn't avoid hearing/watching a lot of Michael Jackson's material. That did help expand his cultural impact as more people were exposed to his works. If Thriller instead came out in 2017, there could be lots of promotion, media and radio play of him and like with modern artists still, you couldn't avoid his image, but you still could easily avoid his material for the most part by simply not playing it. You can play what you want. Thinking of Adele, if you don't play the radio it's extremely easy to not listen to her work for the most part. Although you could still hear bits of her biggest material through viral videos and maybe the news and all that, but yeah.

    Probably also the fact that there is so much more music to play nowadays. You're not forced to hear the Top 40, you have access to magnitudes more artists via the internet, both professional and amateur, and it diversifies the listening audience accordingly. Some people I know don't play much of the radio and prefer to listen to some really cool work of "no-ones" on Soundcloud or Bandcamp.

    I was born many years after Beatlemania and Michaelmania so I've never experienced it and perhaps can't adequately compare, but from what I heard they were absolutely COLLOSAL. Artists today can still be EXTREMELY huge and famous to those in all four corners of the earth, but to the point of having a cultural movement like Beatlemania or Michaelmania? Doesn't seem so.

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    Default Re: Will we ever have an artist as big as MJ ever again?

    Quote Originally Posted by HIStoric View Post
    I was born many years after Beatlemania and Michaelmania so I've never experienced it and perhaps can't adequately compare, but from what I heard they were absolutely COLLOSAL. Artists today can still be EXTREMELY huge and famous to those in all four corners of the earth, but to the point of having a cultural movement like Beatlemania or Michaelmania? Doesn't seem so.
    ^This exactly. I guess you can call it the 'depth' or 'fervour' of popularity which at its greatest is a cultural movement. And Michael had the fervour AND the internationality - he is probably unique in that. That's something I don't think any other music artist in history has ever achieved or ever will again.

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    Default Re: Will we ever have an artist as big as MJ ever again?

    Nope.
    And that's not an insult to any current or future artists/entertainers because Michael was just THAT big.
    Heck, I know that Michael is the biggest and best artist/entertainer ever, and we barely shared any time on earth together.
    Michael has been gone for years yet he's still the golden standard that all other artists/entertainers are compared to and weighed against.

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    Default Re: Will we ever have an artist as big as MJ ever again?

    All good points above. No, I don't think it will happen again. And yes, I am thinking in terms of cultural movement, not just a great singer or big sales. A person who completely changed the music industry into something different.
    In the 40's we had Sinatra, in the 50's it was Elvis. The 60's brought Beatlemania-the 70's had nothing-the 80's Michael came and changed everything again. He changed the music world because it wasn't only music for teenagers anymore--suddenly all ages, races and genders were on the same page. And he took it international. And he made it visual, like the old beloved Hollywood musicals that were supposedly extinct.

    If we were going to have someone that big again, it would have happened already.

    People can be extremely talented, but I don't think the stars will quite align like they did with Michael-he had the best of the best to learn and absorb from-icons in the field like Gordy, Gamble and Huff, Quincy Jones, an adoration of old Hollywood and old music-not to mention the blues and soul of his roots, and was born with a work ethic that's pretty much extinct these days.

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    Default Re: Will we ever have an artist as big as MJ ever again?

    They were colossal. I was very young when Beatlemania hit, but I remember seeing seeing footage of them on TV and was a Bealtes fan for many years. I didn't think anyone could top that. Beatlemania did die down, especially once they became primarily studio artists and stopped touring. Not that they weren't still big of course, just the intensity, screaming etc. Michael's never did. It lasted throughout his life. There's candid footage online that shows how intense it was. Even in early 2009. Unreal.

    Also his commitment to his music and how serious he took his art and how many areas of his life it impacted are not to be matched. Artists like him, I think, come along rarely. I think there are artists who have and will achieve huge heights but not at his level and depth. And probably not for as long.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "Culture changes, fashion change, customs change, great music is immortal." - MJ

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    Default Re: Will we ever have an artist as big as MJ ever again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pink Diamond Princess View Post
    Heck, I know that Michael is the biggest and best artist/entertainer ever, and we barely shared any time on earth together.
    If it makes you feel any better, I've seen this quote about David Bowie floating around, so I've adapted it to Michael for you!

    If you’re ever sad, just remember the world is 4.543 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as Michael Jackson.

    ^_^

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    Default Re: Will we ever have an artist as big as MJ ever again?

    MJ was a supreme gifted artist, but allot of factors played into that....along with his inate gift, from the first day J-5s was introduced on the national scene, MJ was already was always present with exceptional producers to work with....that was a major key in shaping his sound and musical presentation.......that level of music product is lacking these days and the void is more glaring by the year.......along with that, the culture has to be rich to cultivate your talent to the fullest, and that richness has all be exhausted and tapped out.........

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    Default Re: Will we ever have an artist as big as MJ ever again?

    Quote Originally Posted by barbee0715 View Post
    -the 70's had nothing-
    Except some of the best classic and progressive rock music that was influenced by The Beatles and later on itself influenced future music subgenres (metal, grunge, pop rock (Beat It, Dirty Diana?) etc). Besides, the best thing about the Beatles was not the Beatles Mania, but the stuff they did after. The popularity and money basically gave them freedom to create music that they were inspired to write (experimental rock music) instead of boy band hits that appeal to teenage masses. They brought production to whole another level with the limited tools they had available at the time (4-track machines!). Later came Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Elton John, Pink Floyd, Queen etc. which broke further ground as far as rock music and record production and multitracking. 70s had some of the best music, in my opinion anyway.

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    Default Re: Will we ever have an artist as big as MJ ever again?

    Quote Originally Posted by barbee0715 View Post
    And he took it international. And he made it visual, like the old beloved Hollywood musicals that were supposedly extinct.
    This is a great point and it's a specific example of an important general point. Which is I think that Michael was a pioneer of 'immersive' art - that which you can hear, see, experience, interact with. Because his art had music, dance, video, fashion, a story, fan interaction all combined. And if you think about this is the blueprint of all popular art and culture today because the modern audience demands this sort of 'immersive' experience. That's true not just for the music world but TV, film, literature, etc as well. Think why is something like Harry Potter so popular? Because it's not just a book or story, but a world that you can be immersed in and there's a great deal of fan interaction with the creation and its creator JK Rowling. I'm reminded of a quote I once heard that's really fitting - 'Michael created events not songs'.

    This I think is one of two monumental legacies of Michael. The other is as we have all mentioned his internationalism - that he brought Western popular music (and what it represents of liberalism and creativity) to a true global audience. This is why I can never understand why he gets such mixed reception and has so many detractors (in the establishment and media) in America (more than internationally where I feel he is almost unanimously loved) because I think it's true to say that Michael is one of the greatest men America has ever produced and certainly made a huge contribution to the global spread of American culture and thus American soft power.

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    Default Re: Will we ever have an artist as big as MJ ever again?

    Quote Originally Posted by SarahJ View Post
    I was very young when Beatlemania hit, but I remember seeing seeing footage of them on TV and was a Bealtes fan for many years. I didn't think anyone could top that. Beatlemania did die down, especially once they became primarily studio artists and stopped touring.
    John Lennon’s attitude at that time is one of the key factors (if not the most important one) that led to the band’s dissolution.

    His gradual disinterest (towards the band’s matters/music) was also greatly intensified by Yoko Ono’s appearance into his life at that period, for example:

    … John [Lennon] in particular was ready to do something else… She [Yoko Ono] showed him another way to be that was very attractive to him, and I can see that: ‘how about this, don’t you like this, or, you’re just a rock n roll?’, so I think it was time for John certainly to leave…he was definitely gonna leave…” (Paul McCartney)

    Quote Originally Posted by HIStoric View Post
    Likely not. The closest thing we have today is Adele, at least sales wise (21 has sold 35 million copies now I believe, 25 had sold over 20 million) but she doesn't have a mania around her as big as Michael did (Or Elvis/The Beatles).

    I was born many years after Beatlemania and Michaelmania so I've never experienced it and perhaps can't adequately compare, but from what I heard they were absolutely COLLOSAL.
    I did not witness The Beatles’ colossal success during those years, too.

    But, when it comes to comparing bands, it strikes me that Oasis’ impact/success in the '90s is the closest thing to Beatlemania, & I am sometimes inclined to believe that both of these bands were almost equal on that level!

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    Default Re: Will we ever have an artist as big as MJ ever again?

    Quote Originally Posted by mj_frenzy View Post
    But, when it comes to comparing bands, it strikes me that Oasis’ impact/success in the '90s is the closest thing to Beatlemania, & I am sometimes inclined to believe that both of these bands were almost equal on that level!
    Oh, we might have some very different opinions on that one haha :lol:

    Not to doubt Oasis' huge success in the 1990s but personally, and from what I've read, I don't consider anyone to have gotten to the level of Elvis, Michael Jackson or The Beatles, least in that 'mania' sense.
    Last edited by HIStoric; 16-01-2017 at 11:57 AM.

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    Default Re: Will we ever have an artist as big as MJ ever again?

    People can, and do, sell in big numbers. But they don't have the cultural impact that Michael had, and still has.

    Take Adel. Her songs sell well enough. They are like vanilla ice cream. Most people like it and it's non offensive. But how has she influenced music video? Or fashion? Are her concerts exciting to watch? Or are you just as well off staying at home and sticking her CD on?

    Michael was so much more than just sales. People are still trying to copy his style, his music videos, his live/ concert performances. That's why no one will ever come close to his worldwide impact.

    Michael was, truly, a one-off phenomenon.

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    Default Re: Will we ever have an artist as big as MJ ever again?

    Quote Originally Posted by HIStoric View Post
    Oh, we might have some very different opinions on that one haha :lol:

    Not to doubt Oasis' huge success in the 1990s but personally, and from what I've read, I don't consider anyone to have gotten to the level of Elvis, Michael Jackson or The Beatles, least in that 'mania' sense.
    It is also important to stress that it is really admirable that it took Oasis fewer studio albums & a shorter period of time to achieve that size of impact (similar to The Beatles’ one). So, I think any comparison between these two bands makes absolute sense, even from a mania point of view.

    Also, Oasis even surpassed that entire cultural movement called ‘Britpop’ from which they originated from, simply because their huge appeal could not be confined to specific movements.

    Mania aside, personally I consider the quality of Oasis’ music better than the Beatles’ music (mainly because of Noel Gallagher’s phenomenal songwriting abilities in Oasis’ first three studio albums), whereas the only really good Beatles’ album is only one (“Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band” that was released in 1967). So, even when it comes to lasting music, Oasis’ songs can compare favorably to the Beatles’ songs.

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