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and they even included Robyn!
June 30, 2011 12:11 PM   Subscribe

Using album & digital song sales, Hot 100 rankings, radio airplay, YouTube views, social media, concert grosses, industry awards and critics' ratings, Rolling Stone compares sixteen female artists to name the Queen of Pop.

Don't agree with the way they did things? Popdust defends Rolling Stone's methodology.
posted by troika (40 comments total)

 
the queen of soul is aretha

is there something else i need to know?
posted by pyramid termite at 12:22 PM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Lol at the picture they use for Lady G on every page.

"And the current queen of pop is: an angry kabuki robot!"
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:23 PM on June 30, 2011


If nothing else, I learned (from a linked article), that the late Clarence Clemons was a fan of Gaga, and appeared on her recent album.

As for the article at hand, why include BET and CMA in the list of awards? It seems like those two are fairly exclusive awards presenters. Get rid of the CMAs (where Taylor picked up 5 awards, compared to a list of zeros for everyone else), and Taylor drops below Gaga (but still above everyone else). At least Gaga got a BET award, making it not completely exclusive.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:26 PM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ok. So at first I thought this is lame. So I jumped to the results "Ok, I see, [ queen of pop person here ] It's her. I can see that.
But then I actually looked through the whole thing. An I realized some music/numbers nerd is having and experience like this.
posted by hot_monster at 12:26 PM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was surprised to see Britney rate so high, actually.
posted by antifuse at 12:32 PM on June 30, 2011


Though I guess Britney has apparently had a pretty good run lately.
posted by antifuse at 12:33 PM on June 30, 2011


The small number of years included in this survey seem pretty much destined to give Gaga the win. Expand the timeline outward and Beyonce's longevity begins to tell, contract the timeline and rapid risers like Ke$ha and Katy Perry make a much better showing than they do with these results.

I would be interested in seeing where these current pop divas stack up against other artists during the peak of their careers and their career overall. Mariah Carey and Madonna have has similar levels of dominance in their careers yet have also been able to maintain a high level of success for extended periods of time.

Will Gaga be more like Madonna and be able to make herself over time and again or will her fall be as steep as her rise?
posted by vuron at 12:34 PM on June 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


Yeah, the Gaga pic they chose sort of makes my brain throb.
posted by carsonb at 12:34 PM on June 30, 2011


is there something else i need to know?

The Soviet Union collapsed, nuclear war was averted and its safe to come out of the bomb shelter and buy some new albums.
posted by griphus at 12:35 PM on June 30, 2011 [9 favorites]


Fuck data, man. Robyn. Yeah.
posted by schoolgirl report at 12:39 PM on June 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


But you can probably skip A Rose is Still A Rose and What You See Is What You Sweat.
posted by box at 12:39 PM on June 30, 2011


Wow, I am actually surprised. I assumed from the first page that it would be Beyonce.
posted by swingbraid at 12:40 PM on June 30, 2011


I don't really like any of those female performers. I don't know if that says more about me or about the state of pop music.
posted by Hop123 at 12:40 PM on June 30, 2011


The small number of years included in this survey seem pretty much destined to give Gaga the win. Expand the timeline outward and Beyonce's longevity begins to tell, contract the timeline and rapid risers like Ke$ha and Katy Perry make a much better showing than they do with these results.

They *do* mention this on the final page of the article, but it is unclear who the winner would have been had they expanded things out.
posted by antifuse at 12:41 PM on June 30, 2011


I get everything I need to know about pop from Weird Al.

'course, ignoring gAHHHH-GAHHHngGGhhrrrrrRRRRR takes as much work as ignoring Jesus, so...

Ya know how you hate it when Charlie Sheen and Congressman Weiner get shoved, folded, stuffed, and chimney-swept into your ear-holes whether you like it or not? It's like that, except a with a lot more "expressive" "self-esteem," and it goes on for 3 years instead of 3 weeks.

HOWEVER (lest we call-out threadshit), as someone who was a true Marilyn Manson fan in his heyday, I can hardly publically shit on GaGa-- she's a 21st century, (tentatively) penisless version of him.

I may need to cut the electircity, though.. my shoulders are just sore as hell from shrugging.
posted by herbplarfegan at 12:41 PM on June 30, 2011


After going through all of those lists, I kinda felt sorry for Robyn. For the purposes of this article it's like she plays the role of a Olympic sprinter from, say, Kiribati: technically they're in contention, but nobody seriously thinks they're going to beat the powerhouses.
posted by Johnny Assay at 12:43 PM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


If we're measuring longevity, Janet Jackson managed to hold down a couple of decades of good pop.
posted by yeloson at 12:44 PM on June 30, 2011


AKA: Public Enemy Number One
posted by ShutterBun at 12:48 PM on June 30, 2011


After going through all of those lists, I kinda felt sorry for Robyn.

Nth. It's sort of like comparing The Clash and Journey in, say, 1979.

Er... well, you get the picture.
posted by herbplarfegan at 12:48 PM on June 30, 2011


Why settle for Queen when you can be the Funk-Powered Robotic Space-Empress OF Pop?
posted by The Whelk at 12:48 PM on June 30, 2011 [11 favorites]


"They *do* mention this on the final page of the article, but it is unclear who the winner would have been had they expanded things out."

Indeed, but I'm never really sure of how honest these things are. Is Gaga's recent chart dominance being intentional rewarded? Are they planning on having her in Rolling Stone in the next couple of months? Are they rewarding someone in order to be more relevant to a younger demographic (many of the criteria seemed designed to reward Swift, Gaga, and Rihanna more than other artist)?

Would they use the same criteria if they did the same article in a few months after Beyonce's 4 is released?

It's a fun list and I was kinda shocked and pleased that Robyn was even present on the chart but it seemed to be a faux scientific examination that seemed custom designed to generate a specific result.
posted by vuron at 12:49 PM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like pop music and I like stats nerdery and I LOVE THIS. I would like to see more of these analyses for different time periods.

(I was hoping to make it in before the pop music haters, but it looks like I wasn't fast enough on the draw!)
posted by ErikaB at 12:52 PM on June 30, 2011


In a sane world it would be Diamanda Galas.
posted by Decani at 12:56 PM on June 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


Why settle for Queen when you can be the Funk-Powered Robotic Space-Empress OF Pop?

Seriously. All of these names save two were given the chance to be anything they decided to be, and decided to be pretty run-of-the-mill lightweight pop starlets. One, though, decided to be an avant-garde art-nerd prank on the music industry as a whole, and the other decided to be Lady James Brown Android From The Funk Future.

Those two should just be given a bye to the finals, frankly.
posted by mhoye at 1:10 PM on June 30, 2011


Why since 2009 only? The article starts with "the last half-decade" and then they only use the last two years. It's arbitrary only makes sense if they were trying to weight it in favor of Lady Gaga. Two years does not a queen of anything make. If they actually did the last six years or even five, then I'm pretty sure Taylor Swift would win due to her huge first album. Beyonce (who I really think is the Queen of Pop right now) would also rise with the inclusion of B'Day.
posted by Danila at 1:25 PM on June 30, 2011


That there is a big ol' heap of blondes.

"blondes"
posted by psoas at 1:29 PM on June 30, 2011


But who, we wondered, is the undisputed Queen of Pop?

If you have to ask that question, maybe "undisputed" is the wrong word...
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 1:35 PM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why don't Adele, Miley Cyrus, Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry or Robyn have Rolling Stone artist pages?

That site just boggles me every time I look at it.

After going through all of those lists, I kinda felt sorry for Robyn.

It seems like they should have cut Robyn rather than put her last in every single non-critically-based list, often with 0 points or far below 15th place.

Also, the whole exercise is ridiculously silly.

Why settle for Queen when you can be the Funk-Powered Robotic Space-Empress OF Pop?

I want to like Janelle Monae, but I just can't. To the trash it went.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:48 PM on June 30, 2011


I want to like Janelle Monae, but I just can't. To the trash it went.

Really? "Tightrope"? Didn't grab you? Huh. I am not one for pop divas, but that's a great tune.

And live? Wow. She puts on a helluva good show.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:57 PM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Soviet Union collapsed, nuclear war was averted and its safe to come out of the bomb shelter and buy some new albums.

*looks around at corporate empire america, reads news and hooks up internet to bomb shelter*
posted by pyramid termite at 2:05 PM on June 30, 2011


Really? "Tightrope"? Didn't grab you? Huh. I am not one for pop divas, but that's a great tune.

I will try again! To be fair, I only gave the album 1-2 listens.

posted by mrgrimm at 2:06 PM on June 30, 2011


I don't like any of 'em.
posted by Ardiril at 2:26 PM on June 30, 2011


It's been interesting to watch Sabermetrics go viral and spread into non-sporting endeavors.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:26 PM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


As a fairly huge Robyn fan, I am somewhat disappointed to see her on this list.
posted by holdkris99 at 6:20 PM on June 30, 2011


No, seriously, people. Diamanda Galas. Come on. Lady GaGa? Pfff!
posted by Decani at 8:01 PM on June 30, 2011


RS: "In selecting a time period to cover, we decided to focus on the very recent past: 2009 to mid-2011" Wow, that's some sense of history they have. So expansive. Pffft.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 8:04 PM on June 30, 2011


The Card Cheat: It's been interesting to watch Sabermetrics go viral and spread into non-sporting endeavors.

That One Critic whose existence annoys me more than is merited or rational created VORM the other day. Yup, that's Value Over Replacement Musician. It gives me a headache just to think about.
posted by Kattullus at 8:19 PM on June 30, 2011


This list is just ludicrous. Gaga is clearly the Jester. Beyoncé is the Queen, and Rihanna the Princess. Kelly Clarkson and Ke$ha are getting well into Handmaiden and Royal Dishwasher territory, respectively, and more than a few of these ladies have no place in a castle at all. I mean, Carrie Underwood?? Come on, Rolling Stone, this shit is serious.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 9:58 PM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow, that's some sense of history they have.

Eh, I think it points to the expectation that pop music (and stardom, usually) tends toward the ephemeral. The Popdust writeup says as much.
posted by psoas at 4:49 AM on July 1, 2011


It's been interesting to watch Sabermetrics go viral and spread into non-sporting endeavors.

I was actually thinking that SABR had peaked (maybe even jumped the shark themselves) and the ball had already bounced back, seeing as there's a pretty significant sabermetric backlash among sporting commentators these days, i.e. "the moral of the Dallas Mavericks." (as if a Sabermetrician would count one game or series alone as significant)

According to a new Congressional Budget Office report, the national debt could exceed the United States' gross domestic product by 2021. At a White House press conference, President Barack Obama condemned the CBO prognostication. "I've said it before and I'll say it again," Obama said, waving his finger emphatically. "You cannot measure America's heart, and you cannot measure America's determination." When asked by the press about recent reports that the country was on the verge of bankruptcy, Obama said that American "bean counters" failed to consider the nation's "grit" and "hustle."

But that's neither here nor Adele.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:29 AM on July 1, 2011


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