Harry Styles: The New King of Pop

Harry Styles: The New King of Pop

Autumn Clark, Reporter

Early last month, people all over clashed after Micheal Jackson’s throne was “crowned” with a new king. On August 22nd, 2022, Rolling Stone UK claimed the New King of Pop as Harry Styles. There are many controversial opinions on how these two artists have changed American pop culture and constant questions on whether or not Harry Styles deserves this title.

Micheal Joseph Jackson, born on August 29, 1958, and raised in Gary, Indiana, developed a voice familiar to his family tree. By the age of seven, he was placed in his older brother’s band, The Jackson Five, well known as ‘The Skinnest” Jackson. He bacame a national star upon Debuting his first solo track by the age of thirteen named “Got To Be There”. Gaining many awards, winning 13 Grammy Awards, five Billboard Awards, and 20 World Guinness World Records.

Micheal Jackson performs his signature pose during a concert.

His Bad tour was the second highest-grossing tour from pop artists in the 80s. He became well-known for his famous dance moves, such as the forward body tilt, and continues to be mentioned through iconic moves. Worldwide he was known, loved, and cherished by his fans, even after his passing in 2009. From his conflicts with racism and early experience in the music industry, his music changed the world’s perspective on Pop Culture through his introduction of groundbreaking dance moves and integrating multiple genres of music into his award winning albums and pop hits. 

Harry Edward Styles was also a young star born on February 1st, 1994. Raised in Worcestershire, England at fourteen he became the lead singer in a band called White Eskimo. After auditioning for the X Factor, judge Simon Cowell placed him in a group with other boys competing. This moment formed One Direction, their new group placing third on the show but growing to get a #1 spot on the Billboard 500 with their debut album All Night Long. After the departure of a former band member, Harry Styles left One Direction and released his first debut album Harry Styles at age 23 and took hold of the #1 spot once again on the Billboard 200. On his Love on Tour 2022, he sold out at all dates, becoming the second most high-grossing show of that year. From their records and experience, these musicians have phased the world with their music. How could you put these artists on the same pedestal? The title of King of Pop might seem controversial, but they’re so talented. Who’s to say who deserves this new label?

Harry Styles poses for a photo taken by Rolling Stone, the company that deemed him the new king of pop.

This dispute doesn’t end at Chamblee High School. 

“I can see how it would be controversial,”  said Sana Marshall (‘23), “I do think that the title still belongs to Michael Jackson [or Prince] and older pop singers in that sense, but I also know that Harry has done the work to get to this point.” 

Other fans who are more one-sided have stronger opinions on this. “Michael Jackson is a child prodigy,” said ELL teacher, Toni Humphrey, “He had 50 years of musical experience, and Michael Jackson’s music, art history, and musicianship speak for themselves.”

Micheal Jackson was known to have an ear for tunes, creating hundreds of adlibs and harmonies with his own voice without editing the pitch. Praised for his ability to sustain notes for extended periods and his perfect pitch, his gifts amplified his uniqueness compared to other 80s artists. “Michael Jackson is worldwide,” Humphrey said, “I don’t know too much about Harry Styles. After how many years [of his music]? I personally don’t even know any of his songs but Michael Jackson [continues to] touch everybody. All cultures. . . types of people, languages, and ethnicity.”

From most Micheal Jackson fans, it seems that the only way for someone to gain the title of King of Pop is to surpass Jackson’s legacy. Who’s to say that Harry Styles won’t lead up to this?