In a move that was strategic as hell, the latest issue of Rolling Stone UK features British singer Harry Styles on the cover being called the new “King of Pop.” Immediately, Black Twitter went into a frenzy since this title belongs to only one person: the late, great Michael Jackson.
Yes, Styles came from a massive boy band (One Direction) before receiving notable success as a solo artist—but that’s where the similarity ends.
Despite living a life marred by controversy, Michael Jackson is still the best selling artist of all time and defined what pop music is—the genre wouldn’t exist without him. Jackson’s nephew, Taj, quickly responded to the magazine via Twitter since the phrase is trademarked by the late singer’s estate:
“There is no new King of Pop. You don’t own the title @RollingStone, and you didn’t earn it, my uncle did. Decades of dedication and sacrifice. The title has been retired. No disrespect to @Harry_Styles, he’s mega talented. Give him his own unique title.”
Others weren’t as polite:
One user wrote: “Michael Jackson didn’t give us the biggest selling album of all time, invented a whole ass dance style, broke racial barriers, revolutionised the music industry, gave us immortal anthems and became god for yall to call Harry Styles the “new king of pop”
Another stated: “rolling stone (uk) calling harry styles the king of pop is a very bold move considering the most notable person to hold the king of pop title is michael jackson. how do you put michael jackson and harry styles on the same level with a straight face.”
It’s not surprising that the publication would call a popular yet undeserving artist the “King of Pop” to drum up contention and sell a few more copies of their magazine. Hopefully, this will reiterate a fact that we all know: Styles will never, ever, ever, ever be in Jackson’s realm.