There’s a New “King of Pop” and It’s Not Michael Jackson or Prince

Michael Jackson fans and family are outraged at Rolling Stone UK for featuring Harry Styles on the cover reading, “How the new King of Pop set the music world aflame.” 

For those who don’t know, Michael Jackson musically reigned from the 1970s through the 1990s without contest. He was the King, and Madonna was the Queen.  

Songs, videos, and dances, including Billie Jean, Thriller, Beat It, Man in the Mirror, and You Are Not Alone, elevated Michael to super-stardom greatness not many others have achieved. 

But before that, he was part of The Jackson 5, making hits with his family. Jackson continued dominating music into the 21st century before his untimely passing in 2009. 

He’s always been the one and only “King of Pop,” so Twitter had much to say about his dethroning. Unfortunately, some people came after Harry Styles. However, most fans understood that Styles didn’t claim the title. 

Michael Jackson’s nephew @tajjackson3 clarified, 

“There is no new King of Pop. You don’t own the title @RollingStone, and you didn’t earn it. My uncle did with decades of dedication and sacrifice. The title has been retired; no disrespect to @Harry_Styles. He’s mega talented. Give him his own unique title.”

Jackson’s nephew wasn’t the only one with something to say about this declaration from Rolling Stone UK. 

Another user pointed out,

“In fairness – this is weird. The #kingofpop is unique to #michaeljackson, as is ‘The Boss’ to @springsteen or ‘The King’ to Elvis or ‘Queen of Soul’ for Aretha. Imagine: ‘Adele! Queen of Soul!’ I love #HarryStyles. Be creative! Find him a title that will cement his legacy.”


MJ fan @iluvfmj shared a Google screenshot, “When you type #KingofPop, who do you see ?? MICHAEL JACKSON, that’s what I thought. It’s only him, as you can see.”

This isn’t the first time that Rolling Stone and other media outlets have attempted to dethrone Michael Jackson’s “King of Pop” crown. 

@mwallkertesfaye demonstrates this with a photo montage of previous nominees, including Taylor Swift, Usher, Lady Gaga, and Justin Timberlake.

After the 2005 allegations and trial and HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, not everyone believes Michael Jackson deserves to continue his royalty. Despite being acquitted of all charges, many people believe MJ inappropriately behaved with children. 

@legallypositive expressed, 

“Better @Harry_Styles than @michaeljackson. Michael Jackson is garbage at all costs in my book and has done more crime with little kids than anyone in the industry. Just saying he is a child molester; I support Harry Styles over him any day of the week #KingOfPop.”

In contrast, @ceci_dezignz06 responds to Rolling Stone,

“It shows their racism and disrespect. They tried the same crap with Timberlake. There is no new King Of Pop! #MJKingOfPopForever.”

Thousands of Michael Jackson fans have shared MJ’s images, gifs, and music videos protesting his dethroning. 

Michael Jackson had 71 albums to his name before his death and has two posthumous albums. He released ten studio albums, one live album, three soundtrack albums, thirty-nine compilation albums, eight remix albums, and ten video albums. 

Respectively, Harry Styles has released three studio albums, one extended play (EP), and one video album. 

Regardless of how you feel about Michael Jackson, @LuvAlwayz_Marie sums up what many people are thinking, 

“All I’m saying is Michael Jackson couldn’t even walk down the street, in any town, of any city, in any state, of any country, in this entire world, that’s all I’m saying #KingOfPop.”