Who is the Queen of Pop?
In my humble opinion… Madonna.
But opinions are like, well, you know how the saying goes. Music is so speculative anyhow, so who really comes up with all of the honorific titles is a mystery in itself, so I turned to the mighty Google to find an answer. I searched “Queen of Pop” and found no help there, just more confusion. Wikipedia has a list titled “Honorific nicknames in popular music”, so I thought I would use that as a starting point. After sorting through the names and titles – some familiar, some realistic, and some just silly – I was able to sort out that according to that article, there are apparently seven ladies that have been crowned Queen; Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Janet Jackson, Christina Agiulera, Mariah Carey, Kylie Minogue (huh???) and of course, Madonna.
You can’t believe everything you read on the internet, or so I’ve been told, so I decided to ask a few DJ friends of mine the simple question; “Who is the Queen of Pop?” Most answered the same… Madonna, with a random Katy Perry thrown in there, but hardly a contender by any means.
As it turns out, Madonna will also be performing at the halftime show at Superbowl XLVI (2012), three decades after the release of her debut single ‘Everybody’. Still relevant enough to rock the Superbowl after thirty years… Quite impressive.
As for the others Wiki mentioned, here are my irrelevant thoughts. Love Britney, but not quite Queen material. Janet, Christina and Mariah, ummm, not. Gaga is too new, and Kylie – although talented – is really about as relevant as Debbie Gibson. I was sort of surprised not to see either Diana Ross or Donna Summer on the Wiki list at all. Summer would have been my choice for Queen of Disco at the very least, with far more hits than the named Gloria Gaynor, and Diana Ross simply reigns supreme – pun totally intended.
Looking at Madonna overall, taking into consideration her longevity, perpetual self-reinvention, and fifty plus Billboard Top 40 hits, her relevance – at least right now – looks fairly significant. One might even argue that Madonna’s cultural impact opened the door for female pop artists to follow.
So this DJ, Musicologist and music aficionado would crown Madonna as the reigning Queen of Pop.
Who would you choose?
Pop Crown Illustration by Sean Gallo