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Listen closely and you’ll hear a distinct silence I like to call J-Cool… The deliciously soothing sounds of a normal working week where our every sensory receptor isn’t being bombarded by all things Bieber and his colourless brand of music.
Now that the fever has finally dissipated and screeching tween girls have regained some control of their obsession-triggered hormones, the moment has come to address the most flagrant misinformation to be perpetuated in the history of music: Justin Bieber is not, and will never be, the next Michael Jackson. Period.
This absurd notion was first disseminated by Queen Oprah when, while interviewing the boy wonder last year, she alluded to similarities between Bieber and the late MJ.
That said so-called similarities referenced the fact Jay-baby “has millions of screaming fans all over the world just like Jackson did” and was a ridiculously tenuous link, is apparently of little consequence to sheep-minded morons who have latched on to it, spreading this viral-like strain of stupidity.
As “proof” of their (sadly misguided) belief, Beliebers are quick to counter that Justin has managed to accomplish in just five years what other artists can’t do in 10. Well, yes, if you regard the clever use of social media as an indication of actual ability. For therein lies the secret of young Bieber’s success: in a world where JB’s 23 million Twitter followers (mostly giddy females) can read daily updates from their doe-eyed star crush, the illusion that he is personally connecting with each of them is complete. Throw in a photo with a flash of butt-cheek here and a trace of six-pack there, and his fans’ every fantasy is fulfilled.
Conversely, Jackson’s career was not built on the back of “quick success” tools like Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. His legacy was built on pure talent, innovation and sheer creative genius.
His lyrical, catchy and original tunes saw him ranked as one of the top-selling artists in history, alongside the likes of Elvis and The Beatles. Which is why, more than 30 years after its release, Thriller has yet to be surpassed as the best-selling album of all time.
While JB shot to stardom at age 13 thanks to his mommy’s YouTube postings, MJ went from back-up multi-instrumentalist-cum-dancer of The Jackson 5 to the band’s lead singer at only age eight and had already released three solo records by the time he hit 13.
Whereas Jackson won 13 Grammy Awards (earning a record eight for Thriller), JB has yet to secure a single golden gramophone. And though it could be argued JB has outdone MJ on the silver screen (Never Say Never beat out MJ’s posthumous This Is It offering to become the highest- grossing concert film in US history), internationally, This Is It pipped Never Say Never to the post, taking in $261m to Never’s $10.8m.
And while, to be fair, Bieber is an incredible performer and something of a modern entertainment phenomenon, his voice, music, dance moves and overall style will hardly go down in history under the banner of “novelty”, given that they’re all imitations of already-existing trends and “inventions” – right down to his MJ-styled crotch-grab!
Meanwhile, Jackson’s unique mesmerising moves, individualistic (if eccentric) zipped leather jackets, white socks and glitter gloves sense of style and trademark sound continue to inspire generation after generation.
Which is why, as even Bieber himself concedes despite the delusional ramblings of his supporters, Jackson is and will always be the King of Pop.
The most Bieber can hope for is to eventually reach the kind of musical heights that will see him being declared his prince.
LARA DE MATOS