Is Justin Bieber the New King of Pop?

Emily Abbate

justin bieberI hate to say it, but Biebs is taking over. First, the 17-year-old managed to make it into bed with some of America's youth. Then, he started influencing young minds with his stance on abortion. And now, if that wasn't enough, he's taking on the male singer's Everest: The legacy of the late Michael Jackson himself.

Well on the silver screen, anyway. Justin Bieber's film Never Say Never has beat out Michael Jackson's This Is It to become the most successful domestic concert film. Taking in more than $72.2 million, the film surpassed the King of Pop's $72.1 million from 2009.

The question is inevitable: Does this mean that Justin Bieber is the new king? Right ... is the sky green? I sure as hell hope not.

OK, so whereas I'm not a fan of the Biebs -- I am a realist. He is sort of a big deal these days, and managed to burst onto the pop scene in an explosion bigger than his male counterparts. Really, was I the only one confusing him with twin-from-another-mother Jesse McCartney for months? Anyway ... in an effort to weigh the competitors evenly, I got down to the nitty gritty and made a few comparisons:

Best lyrics: Michael Jackson
Really, examining lyrics like "shorty is an eenie meanie miney mo lover" courtesy of JB to those of Jackson's "Will You Be There" is comical. While Bieber is singing about trivial matters for the young at heart, Jackson's music is touching millions. With classics like "Beat It," "Bad," and "Smooth Criminal," there's just no contest. And while "Thriller" won a record eight Grammy awards in 1984, the Beibs couldn't even cut it against Esperanza Spalding for Best New Artist this year.

Best hair: Justin Bieber
As much as I love MJ, I'm gonna have to hand this one over to the Biebs. The straggly black hair (and those hats, UGH!) just don't do it for me. Really, who can compete with the former Bieber bowl cut? And dare I say it, even his new 'do? Justin's bringing sophistication to the locks of the teeny-bopper performance circuit.

Most likely to inspire: Michael Jackson
Well this one's no contest. Bieber was even quoted saying Jackson was an excellent all-around entertainer. Male pop stars, the Biebs included, have take a move or two from Jackson's playbook on the road toward stardom. Simply watch the swag of top performers like Justin Timberlake or Usher and there's no denying that they've learned a thing or two from Jackson. Artist Chris Brown says that he wouldn't be a performer if it weren't for Jackson's influence. An entire generation of fantastic stars grew up watching and learning from MJ. And so far all that's come out of Bieber's fan club is Rebecca Black ... eek.

Most loyal following: Michael Jackson
OK OK OK. Before you Bieber maniacs go berserk, hear me out. An estimated 1.6 million fans registered for the random drawing to gain entrance to Michael Jackson's memorial service. On Facebook (where everything's official) MJ has more than 30 million fans, while the Biebs is lagging behind with 23 million-plus. Really, do you think your 13-year-old daughter is going to be boppin' to JB when she's 30? I don't think so.

When all is said and done, Jackson comes out on top. Just because Bieber's making an extra mil at the U.S. box office doesn't mean he's replacing Jackson's legacy. Still on the fence? Well, maybe this video will help you see that when it comes to the title King of Pop, there's really no contest:

Do you think Bieber is the new King of Pop?

Image via Americanistadechiapas/Flickr

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