This new bout of Bracket Madness finds your favorite male artists going head to head — or maybe hit to hit — for the Greatest title, and this first round pits two of pop’s best against one another. When it comes to pop, none have done it — the singing, the dancing, the heart breaking — better than the Justins. Justin Timberlake came first, and Justin Bieber is growing as fast as he can to fill the shadow Timberlake left when he shifted gears to acting and also to create a mark of his own. Surely, both these men are great male artists, but if only one Justin can be the Greatest Male Artist, which should it be?
Justin Timberlake, of course, came first, breaking from *NSYNC with 2002′s Grammy Award Justified before establishing himself as an innovator with FutureSex/LoveSounds in 2006. Good looking and more than able to hit the high notes and his dance moves at the same time, Timberlake is a natural born pop star and then some. As a solo artist, he stood out by marrying his sexy-smooth crooning to hip-hop and has worked with all the greats from Scott Storch and Rick Rubin to Pharrell Williams and Timbaland, the Clipse to Three 6 Mafia and Missy Elliott to Nelly Furtado. He’s been busy with his acting for more than a minute now, and even a whisper of a return to music gets excitement churning again because there will always be a place for JT in pop.
Reviews after the release of Justin Bieber’s sophomore album Believe would have you believing that Justin Bieber put on earth to fill the void that Timberlake left when he turned to acting. On the one hand, Bieber is well suited to take over where Timberlake left off. Like the elder Justin, Biebs sings sweetly and soulfully over beats that incorporate a splash of hip-hop flavoring, particularly on this last album with songs like “Boyfriend.” He’s more than just inherited his status as a pop god, though, working his way up from YouTube star to worldwide superstar, breaking tween-girl’s hearts and befriending big-guys like Drake well before he turned 18-years-old. Is Justin Bieber the new Justin Timberlake? Does he need to be?
And so, Justin versus Justin: who should it be? Polls close on Wednesday, September 19 at 11 a.m. Vote now, vote often, and check back in then to see who makes it to the next round.