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Katy Perry Is Pop Music's Biggest Star
Beyoncé is a goddess. Lady Gaga is an artist. But after logging her eighth number-one single, Katy Perry might be the biggest pop star of her time.
Beyoncé is an artist capable of whipping the world into an obsessive frenzy with just the slightest twitch of her hand—literally, she turned that very gesture into a global pop phenomenon—in turn bringing music listeners to their knees, bowing to her Tina-Turner-by-way-of-the-Tasmanian-Devil on-stage ferocity and star power. Lady Gaga is the kind of singing supernova who is shrewdly cognizant of the fact that pop music is, by nature, weird, and its stars themselves should be talked about as much as their songs. Justin Timberlake may be the closest heir to Michael Jackson’s throne we’ve seen yet, while Justin Bieber and One Direction dutifully fill their roles as the tween-set sensations.
Take a poll of who people think is music’s biggest pop star, and it’s likely that one of those names will be the knee-jerk response. But none of them are.
It’s Katy Perry.
She’s not the singer with the most buzz. She doesn't have fan armies that launch countdown clocks to the release of her next song, she isn't the first choice to cover an issue of Vogue, and her music and antics don't dominate water-cooler conversation. She's popular, but not hip. She makes music that everyone sings along to, but not many people—certainly not critics—really love. She dresses in bright costumes and adopts an over-the-top persona, but still reads as dim and normal.
While she certainly gets mentioned on the roster of reigning Queens of Pop, she’s not a deity, at least not the way Beyoncé or Lady Gaga often are often worshipped as. Yet on Thursday, Perry received her eighth number one single, a measure of astounding success that doesn’t just rival those god-like contemporaries, but actually exceeds them.
It’s fitting that Perry’s latest smash is titled “Roar.” Though she’s been around for over six years, the song is almost a second coming out. She’s been quiet—and very—successful this past decade, but now she’s roaring.
She’s music’s biggest pop star.
Perry’s surge is also the more remarkable considering the dim prospects projected for her when she first came onto the scene.
In 2007, Katy Perry debuted her first single, “I Kissed a Girl,” a PG-13 bubblegum pop track more Big Red spicy than Double Bubble sweet but nonetheless written off as a novelty song from a singer destined to be a one-hit wonder. The song was branded a “lipgloss lesbian” anthem by critics. Others dismissed it as faux provocation masking as pop.
“Some people have taken "I Kissed a Girl" the wrong way, but others seem to get the joke,” Perry told The Daily Mail in a 2007 article titled, “I’m No One-Hit Wonder.” The joke, it soon became clear, was on those skeptics.
“I Kissed a Girl” spent seven weeks at number one. Quickly silencing the one-hit wonder theorists, her follow-up, “Hot n Cold,” had a long residency in the Top 10, peaking at number three. In 2010, she released her sophomore album, Teenage Dream. Five consecutive singles from the album went to number one—“California Gurls,” “Teenage Dream,” “Firework,” “E.T.,” and “Last Friday Night.” A sixth, “The One That Got Away,” settled for number three, while two bonus singles off of a deluxe edition of the album—“Part of Me” and “Wide Awake”—charted at one and two, respectively.
Now “Roar,” in addition to topping the charts, has accomplished an even more impressive feat: knocking Song of the Summer “Blurred Lines” from its 12-week perch at number one. Only five other women have more number one songs than her. Their names? Mariah Carey, Madonna, Rihanna, Whitney Houston, and Janet Jackson.
You’ll notice the names glaringly missing from that list. Beyoncé, the deserving recipient of the title, the Greatest Performer of Her Time, only has five number one singles, and hasn’t had one since 2008’s “Single Ladies.” In fact, not one song off her last album, 4, charted higher than 16 on the Billboard Hot 100. In the same amount of time that Katy Perry has racked up eight number ones, Lady Gaga has only managed three.
Both Gaga and Perry released their new singles, “Applause” and “Roar” on the same day. “Applause” peaked at number four and has already fallen two spots to number six. “Roar” logged an increase in digital sales over the past week.
Hear her roar.
- bitch can barely sing
and without all the make up she looks homely
- Her new video is pretty and looks expensive, but it's so annoying when she does that "jaw snapping" thing when she "sings" in the video, trying to look like Whitney Houston. I mean, she doesn't even sing in the first place...it's more just like melodic talking and then she's there snapping her jaw like she's doing 5 octave runs.
- The Paula Abdul of our times.
- "bitch can barely sing"
Yeah, but you can say the same thing about Madge and Janet.
- I only have a few of her songs on my ipad, but I think Rihanna has the best hit rate of any female pop star in the last few years. I imagine that's down to her producers and writers.
- "The Paula Abdul of our times."
She's already more successful than Paula Abdul.
- Katy Perry is background noise for me. She sings things that are catchy but also bland and boring. She's not offensive and seems nice enough but I wouldn't go out of my way to listen or buy any of her music.
I believe it about Beyonce because I hardly hear any of her songs but I wonder how her sales compares to someone like Rihanna who seems to have a continuous string of hit songs played on the radio.
- I think r5 has it right. I actually like Katy Perry (I know), but in terms of hits Rihanna's the biggest star among the newer pop tarts.
- R5 its because she has put out an album every year since 2005.
- [quote]Beyoncé is an artist capable of whipping the world into an obsessive frenzy with just the slightest twitch of her hand
- Apart from "Single Ladies", Beyonce has kind of lost her icon hitmaker mojo.
She still triumphs over Rihanna on the aspirational/personal front. Career woman, Mother, Wife, yada yada yada. Whereas, many people at best ignore Rihanna's questionable personal life choices.
- Katy Perry's voice is a horror. I don't see how anyone can stand to listen to her.
- The only pop star of this generation who will be talked about in 100 years is Britney Spears. The others are a product of their time.
What makes you so sure?
- [quote]Amy Winehouse's voice and vocalizations convey a particular (individual), sexual and ethnic identification with black pop--as the expressive means to work out her neuroses in a pop idiom. Britney Spears' voice and tone is a definitive sign--a Myth of a particular modern girl. Consequently, even when used sparsely, as a piece of an expensive sound, it always contains the song within the Myth of Britney. Adele is all affectation. Amy and Britney bring humanity to decadent reality. Adele is all decadence. Her psychology is worked out at the buffet.
- Rihanna had has had like 30 hit songs that people know and enjoy. Beyonce has one NOVELTY song that was a surprise hit. The Destiny Children songs are all forgettable...maybe the Charlie's Angel one that was so kitschy when they said all the names of the stars of the movie in it.
- Soon to be has-been.
Lady Gaga on the other hand...
- Spears? Jesus, kid, we don't talk about her NOW. 100 years and they'll all be forgotten, thank the lord.
What popular singers do we talk about from 1913?
- Britney's songs since her breakdown sound like they've put the melody on her vocals after she's recited the lyrics, like those "autotune the news" videos. There is no humanity in her voice at all anymore.
- r18 - Ada Jones ring any bells? She sang "Come Josephine in my flying machine, going UP she goes! THERE she goes!"
Britney has become a Myth.
- r19, she's thrown out the autotune for her next album. The vocal coach is with her everyday and she's going to Vegas to give them a show this time and not a circus. In short? She's recovered.
- Its Rihanna
- Really, R16? Beyonce only has one hit? You are absolutely delusional.
- "Rihanna had has had like 30 hit songs that people know and enjoy. Beyonce has one NOVELTY song that was a surprise hit."
Most people could name a Beyonce song before they could name a Rihanna song.
That's BS. And I don't even rate either as artists.
- She's so boring, when her career is over nobody will even remember she existed.
- Katy Perry's only discernible talent is her tits.
- [quote]Ada Jones ring any bells?
[quote]She sang "Come Josephine in my flying machine, going UP she goes! THERE she goes!"
[quote]Britney has become a Myth.
And once again, no.
This Vegas thing is not going to end well.
- r29 - yes. I can't tell you how out of sync you are about this.
- There can only be one reason to account for her massive success!
- Even by the standards of pop singers, Katy Perry is disposable. If a computer program created a pop star, it would be Katy Perry.
It usually doesn't matter whether pop songs are particularly deep or original, but even by the lowest standards "Roar" is awful. A bunch of cliches assembled like Mad Libs, created solely to dominate the playlists of midwestern spin instructors for the next year.
- She needs to sing songs that are in her range. But I guess her record label wants a certain sound. However, it's a sound that she can't achieve when singing live.
- " created solely to dominate the playlists of midwestern spin instructors for the next year."
That was deliciously bitchy.
- It sounds like a scathing professional review, r34. Fabulous.
- Katy Perry is a third rate Lily Allen.
- [quote]Beyoncé is a goddess. Lady Gaga is an artist. Beyoncé is an artist
- The fact that dumb article pretended Rihanna didn't exist makes it even more redundant. She slays all those basic bitches.
- Katy Perry and RiRi take no chances. No big deal. I totally get why they have single after single that hit big. Madge, Janet, Gaga all have an actual oeuvre, not a three chords and a cheesy chorus.
- She's a fundie hypocrite.
[quote]After Robin Roberts told Katy that she “rocked it at the VMAs,” Katy chimed in: “Honestly I thought that my performance was the most scandalous because I kept my clothes on.”
- Love her, she's really the only one worth anything. Beyonce, Rihanna - awful. Glad for their downfall actually.
- Basically everything R32 said.
R41, get better taste.
- Except neither have had a down fall and have lasted MUCH longer than Katy will.
- How unfortunate, R43. I wish they'd all just go away. Not one of them can sing worth a damn, but, to her credit, atleast Rihanna doesn't even pretend. Beyonce is the worst offender with her dusgusting voice and horrendous phrasing.
To whoever said Britney Spears has 'recovered'. HA! There was nothing wrong to begin with. She's shit and she can't help it.
- Well, you clearly don't know much about singing. "Dugusting" Beyonce actually has great technical ability as a singer. And I don't have to be a fan of hers to say so. I posted that because I thought your post was ridiculous. Katy Perry is here today gone tomorrow.
- [quote]Only five other women have more number one songs than her. Their names? Mariah Carey, Madonna, Rihanna, Whitney Houston, and Janet Jackson.
I guess women who front groups don't count.
- Well, my first post in this thread was R44. And, I know enough about singing to disagree.
- Taylor Swift is pop music's biggest star.
- And, even with the unfair advantage of present-day iTunes download charting, she STILL doesn't crack the list of top artists with number one singles. Kudos to The Beatles, Elvis, and The Supremes, for maintaining such high spots after so many years and so many changes in the industry:
Most number-one singles (followed by the artist's biggest single)
20 The Beatles "Hey Jude"
18 Mariah Carey "We Belong Together"
17 Elvis Presley "Don't Be Cruel/Hound Dog"
13 Michael Jackson "Say Say Say" (duet with Paul McCartney)
12 (tie) The Supremes "Baby Love"
12 (tie) Madonna "Like a Virgin"
12 (tie) Rihanna "We Found Love" (featuring Calvin Harris)
11 Whitney Houston "I Will Always Love You"
10 (tie) Stevie Wonder "Ebony and Ivory" (duet with Paul McCartney)
10 (tie) Janet Jackson "That's the Way Love Goes"
- Well, R47 it certainly doesn't show otherwise you'd know that this isn't debatable. You have to be a technical singer to even come close to singing her ballads ( especially the way she does). It took a singer of Reba McEntire's caliber to remake one of her ballads. Katy Perry could never sing one of Beyonce's ballads the way that she sings them ( I think Pink could). Katy would have to completely change the song. Just because you don't like someone doesn't mean they have no talent. I like Rihanna but I know that she isn't close to a technical vocalist. I have a friend who hates Celine Dion but Celine is a technical vocalist. I'm not going to keep arguing about this because there is nothing to argue about.
- Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, and P!nk all have Grammy's.
Katy has a few Teen Choice Awards.
- The most unmemorable pop star out there. I couldn't hum a single one of these eight number ones if you asked me. And I'm thirty.
Where are the iconic songs, the memorable lyrics that become catchphrases?
Beyonce has Crazy in love and Single ladies.
Rhianna has umbrella.
Shit, I can't stand Britney but she even has that tuneless piece of crap Hit me one more time and It's Britney bitch.
Perry is in a league with Madonna, Mariah and Janet. Yet their songs are still being played on the radio some twenty to thirty years later.
- "Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, and P!nk all have Grammy's."
Milli Vanilli won a Grammy
"And, even with the unfair advantage of present-day iTunes download charting, she STILL doesn't crack the list of top artists with number one singles."
Most of the singers you listed have the "unfair advantage" of having had very long careers. It took many of those people YEARS or even decades to rack up all those hits while Katy has only been famous for a few years. The Beatles and The Supremes were the only ones who got all their number one hits over a period of just a few years. It will be interesting to see where she ranks on the list 5 years from now.
- Gaga and Madonna can sing. Katy Perry, like Rihanna, can't.
- Then don't argue, R50. I didn't say she can't sing, I said she sounds shit. You don't have to agree, no one asked you to. I'm also unsure why you're telling me about Kary Perry, to me they all sound like 50 shades of the same shit. My 'congratulations' to her wasn't sincerely meant.
Again, I don't care for or about Katy Perry or Beyonce, or any of these other pop music people.
- Screenshot from Britney's new video. SHE'S BACK, BITCHES!!!!
r44 can suck it.
- Since the Hot 100 chart didn't begin until the fall of 1958 most of Elvis's top hits aren't even counted, hence the hit comparisons are shady.
The Hot 100-precursor pop charts should not be excluded, it's industry politicking that they are.
- r57, the list I quoted at r49 did include Elvis' pre 1958 hits. I edited out the clarification and maybe I should have left it in.
- Again that article is ridiculous because it suspiciously forgets about Rihanna, who is an even bigger hit-maker than Perry.
I like some of Perry's stuff, I think ET and California Girls are fantastic pop songs. However, many of her songs do have a very similar sound, which can get boring. And her new single Roar is just awful, like I said I think some of her songs are really good, but Roar is not one of them.
- I just watched the Roar video. Even though she's not my thing, I get her appeal and see why she's slaying Gaga right now. The video is light and fun and a little camp. She seems to be fully in on the joke. The song is bland, but catchy and a bit anthemic. In short, she seems to be having FUN being a popstar. This is definitely music for midwestern teens, but you know what? THEY BUY MUSIC. And you just know this next record is packed with about 5 or 6 potential smashes.
- The Roar video makes me think of a brunette Jenny McCarthy, that same dumb goofy comedy bimbo who happens to have big tits routine.
- I think her fanbase are even younger than teens. They're 12 and under.
- [quote] This is definitely music for midwestern teens, but you know what? THEY BUY MUSIC.
They also HAVE HORRIBLE TASTE, what Boy George used to call "hamburger queens."
- One of my problems with Perry is she hasn't sufficiently distanced herself from her nazi parents. The father got in trouble a few years ago making blatant anti-Semitic comments, and all Perry did is say "I'm not my parents", or something similar, self-indulgently positioning herself as a victim. Poor Katy shouldn't be blamed for what her parents say. She shouldn't, if she would soundly rebuke them. Why can't she say they're complete idiots and bigots, and she's embarrassed by them? They are shameless bigots and deserve their daughter to distance herself from them in no uncertain terms. But Katy doesn't do that, what she does do is parrot her repulsive parents' ideology by complaining about Lady Gaga using "sacrilegious" Christian imagery. Katy's fans have no taste or intelligence so she gets away with it.
- Taylor Swift owns this thread.
- Let's be honest.
Beyonce had her peak and she's on the way down.
Rihanna is flatlining and skidding down.
Gaga hit her peak, on the way down.
There is only Katy Perry left. Taylor Swift is a JOKE, Perry IS #1 with a bullet and her career while slow to rise is STILL RISING. None of the others can say the same thing.
- Katy is also 100% real looking. The only unreal thing is that she dyes her hair dark. She's got her real face, real skin color, real eye color.
Gaga - nosejob, bleaches her hair to be an awful "blonde" color, has had tummy tucks, facial restructuring.
Rihanna - skin lightening though she is light, she has bleached to get lighter. WIGS/WEAVES, some nose restructuring just some tweaks. Nothing major like Gaga but still not real. Eye color is not GREEN but brown but insists on wearing green contacts.
Beyonce - twerk fanatic, fake hair, fake hair color, skin lightener. Can't really sing either.
Out of all of them only Perry is 100% real in skin/nose/etc.
- Forgot to add that Beyonce has had SEVERAL nosejobs in addition to the above. Just totally fake fake fake. Can't sing worth shit either.
- Taylor Swift is crying all the way to the bank, R66. She continues to win awards and star in production numbers at all the award shows.
- What a silly thread. None of these talent wannabes are worthy of discussion. Not a one. They sell well because of all the teeny boppers using their parents money to buy their shit.
- [quote]Rihanna is flatlining and skidding down
Rihanna has more #1's than Katy Perry. And her music is much better, even if though she pretty much has nothing to do with it.
Also, Katy is the queen of singles, but her albums sales and tour revenue are very low compared to her peers.
- Where does Kelly Clarkson fit among these female stars?
- "Rihanna has more #1's than Katy Perry."
That's true. Sadly, these two are the only current contenders for top pop princess.
I actually hoped that Gaga would stay on top, since she takes more risks than either of those women. America seems to be done with her, though.
- Maybe Miley is trying to steal the crown considering she has over 29 million views of her video in just 2 days.
- Katy Perry is staying at #1 this week, Miley Cyrus (whom Courtney Love loves) is sliding down. Perry is breaking all kinds of records, in the past week she added 373,000 downloads to her song for the week.
- I think it's hard to compare all these pop stars because they all are trying to do different things. Katy and RiRi only care about singles. Which is fine. Gaga and Beyonce are more about actual albums. I would shocked if Katy's Prism outsells Artpop. But I would also be shocked if Gaga has any Number 1 singles from Artpop. Gaga was on record as saying she wanted to make an album that sort of bending the rules as to what a pop record might be. Madonna did the same thing. I prefer albums over singles.
- I like them both. Katy has very entertaining videos (I suspect she is wearing extensions in Roar) and looks beautiful in them Gaga's last good videos were Telephone or Bad Romance...
- I know The Grammys are shit but Katy has been nominated 5 0r 6 times (and probably again for Roar) for Pop performance even when a couple of years ago they combined the men..
- [quote]Katy Perry is staying at #1 this week, Miley Cyrus (whom Courtney Love loves) is sliding down. Perry is breaking all kinds of records, in the past week she added 373,000 downloads to her song for the week.
Nope. Miley will be #1 this week on the Billboard Hot 100 with Wrecking Ball.
- R72 she is fat and others are not
- I started to read the OP's post and then realized it was actually a "professionally" written article from the Daily Beast. Then, realizing Tina Brown, the Queen of Buzz, was fired that same week, I felt very happy.
- R81 don't think Tina Brown was fired, she left to start her own media company and the Daily Beast will continue to be a partner of her annual women's summit.