So I was watching The X Factor UK a couple of weekends ago and Robbie Williams was performing his new swing single and I was thinking “how many really great male pop stars are there?” because it seems that in the world of pop women seem to dominate. Madonna, Kate Bush, Britney Spears, Katy Perry to name a few.
I came up with 8 males and struggled to think of more that are credible enough to be known as ‘amazing’, ‘incredible’ pop stars. Don’t get me wrong, there are many great pop SONGS from the fellow men in the world of pop music but how many of them are consistent, forever interesting, keep you wanting more with incredible videos, albums and performances and stay relevant at the same time??
Male musicians in my opinion seem to be a bit better being a rock star than a pop star which is why people like Bruce Springsteen, Iggy Pop, Lenny Kravitz, and Freddie Mercury don’t make the cut.
Here are the 8 I think are the best of the best (in no order):
Usher burst onto the scene in 1994 with his R&B self titled album. Since then he has released killer chart topping albums like 8701 and the hugely successful Confessions. Usher doesn’t just do R&B music, he does pop, dance and hip-hop which is why he is one of the few males from the 90’s to still be at the top of his game. He is heavily influenced through Michael Jackson which make his shows full of energy with continuous surprises.
Key tracks: Pop Ya Collar, U Remind Me, Yeah!, Burn, OMG, More
Key albums: 8701, Confessions, Raymond V Raymond, Euphoria
Sir Elton John, a British legend who burst onto the scene in the early 60’s. Now, I have to admit I am not really a fan of Elton but this list would be really biased if he wasn’t on the list because there is no doubt the man is one of the best pop stars to grace the music scene. He has influenced many and his classic hits are still remembered and covered regularly. He also made star glasses really cool, don’t forget that.
Key tracks: Your Song, I’m Still Standing, Are You Ready For Love, Candle In The Wind
Key albums: A greatest hits would be the easiest option.
Part of 80’s pop duo Wham! George decided to go solo in the late 80’s and delivered one of the best pop albums EVER. Faith. Since going solo George gave us classic hits with the videos to match. He’s won a huge amount of awards, done duets with living legends, performed his ass off and has always made us want more. From his cheesy pop to his soulful ballads, George is without doubt one of the best musicians in the world. As a male he has pushed boundaries and has influenced a generation.
Key tracks: Careless Whisper, Faith, I Want Your Sex, Monkey, Fastlove, Freedom! ’90, Freeek!
Key albums: Faith, Older, Patience
Cocky star Robbie Williams left Take That in the 90’s and never looked back. Since then he has sold over 70 million records around the world, won the most amount of Brit Awards (17) as well as 7 Echo Awards. Robbie is for sure not a late 90’s has been, he still achieves number 1 albums and singles like there’s competition and on top of that he just finished a sold out stadium tour throughout Europe this summer. Whether its pop or swing music Williams is a huge success and he still hasn’t hit 40 yet!
Key tracks: Millennium, Let Me Entertain You, Strong, Rock DJ, Kids, Supreme, Radio, Tripping, Feel, Candy
Key albums: I’ve Been Expecting You, Sing When You’re Winning, Take The Crown, Swings Both Ways
Funky soul pop star Prince for sure makes everyone want to party like its 1999 with his incredible sexy disco tracks as well as his edgy rock power ballads. Prince, sometimes mistaken for an alien because of how many instruments he can play is one of the most talented stars. His really cool and unique sound has made him still a relevant name as well as his 80’s competitors Michael Jackson, Madonna and Janet Jackson. Prince is still going strong with him still forming bands and touring the world consistently.
Key tracks: Purple Rain, Darling Nikki, When Doves Cry, Starfish and Coffee, Kiss, 1999, Little Red Corvette, Black Sweat
Key albums: Purple Rain, Controversy, 1999, Sign ‘O’ The Times
He was part of boy band sensation *N’Sync in the 90’s and when the band parted their ways, JT went solo and became a global superstar of his own. His debut album was a fresh urban pop sound which newer teen stars like Justin Bieber and Conor Maynard have borrowed from. From amazing songs to story telling videos like Cry Me A River, Justin has remained a popular performer selling arena’s and stadiums worldwide achieving so much within a short space of time. Four #1 studio albums under his belt and he is already in the list of best selling musicians worldwide. Impressive huh?
Key tracks: Cry Me A River, Like I Love You, Rock Your Body, Sexy Back, My Love, LoveStoned, Mirrors, Tunnel Vision
Key albums: Justified, FutureSex/LoveSounds, The 20/20 Experience
Where do you even start with this man? He has done SO much. Pop, rock, soul, dance, electronic, acoustic. Pretty much everything! In my opinion Bowie is the most influential male musician to grace the scene. He is the definition of “star”. He has reinvented himself many times with character names. The most famous ones: Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Major Tom, The Thin White Duke. Not only males but females like Madonna and Lady Gaga have said their biggest influence is Bowie. At 66 Bowie is still as interesting and mysterious like he always has been and not only that he is still topping the chart with his albums. Its clear Bowie has the full package.
Key tracks: Space Oddity, Ziggy Stardust, Starman, The Jean Jeanie, Fashion, Ashes To Ashes, Modern Love, Young Americans, Changes, Life On Mars, Rebel Rebel, Suffragette City
Key albums: Hunky Dory, The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, Diamond Dogs, Aladdin Sane, Low, Let’s Dance, Scary Monsters, The Next Day
Started out with his brothers when he was a kid in The Jackson 5 which made him an instant star. Since then SO much has happened to Michael Jackson. There is no doubt the man is a legend and a pop superstar. From the days of him being a cute teen with an afro to him moon walking on our TV screens to him weather leather jackets and sunglasses, Michael has kept us glued to his work whether it be good or bad. Thriller is the best selling album from any musician in the world selling over 60 million copies. The album contains hit after hit which was followed up by his next studio album Bad where Michael reinvented himself yet again. Michael has everything when it comes to his discography; Soul, Disco, R&B, Pop and Rock. Michael Jackson is without doubt the most famous musician to ever grace the world. He has influenced a whole generation with his never ending flawless videography and discography. R.I.P. you are missed.
Key tracks: Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough, Thriller, Billie Jean, Beat It, Pretty Young Thing, Human Nature, Bad, Smooth Criminal, The Way You Make Me Feel, Black or White, Remember The Time, Scream, You Rock My World
Key albums: Off The Wall, Thriller, Bad, Dangerous