For our latest edition of Bracket Madness, we’re doing the unthinkable by matching up Michael Jackson and Usher. It seems almost blasphemous to pit the King of Pop against his young protégé whose career has been heavily influenced by the former. But here on Tuner, we love doing the unexpected.
There hasn’t been an artist as globally loved as Michael Jackson. Not to mention the fact that he’s recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by the Guinness World Records. His star power is seemingly unmatched. MJ’s music was so great that naming all of the records he’s broken would take a Biblical scroll and hours upon hours that no one has. His 1982 album Thriller is the greatest selling record of all-time. Classic songs like “Rock With You,” “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough” and “Billie Jean” transcend generations, making a party full of early twentysomethings dance and sing wildly as if no one else were around. His dance moves (including the famous moonwalk!) have been emulated by some of today’s biggest stars, but no one does it like Mike. And his videos were epic short movies. When an MJ video premiered the family sat around the TV to watch it together. He truly was a once in a lifetime artist.
Usher studied MJ, and like his idol, he entered in the music industry young. Where MJ soared in pop music (although we’d argue his music definitely has soul), Usher dominated in R&B. After close to two decades Usher is still banging out No. 1 albums. His hits like “You Make Me Wanna…,” “Nice & Slow,” “U Got It Bad,” “Burn,” “Confessions Part II,” and “Yeah!” are nothing to sleep on. He’s mastered catering to both his R&B and pop fans. As an entertainer he puts on a show. His performances are always full of energy complete with impeccable dance moves and live singing. As far as R&B, even pop male artists, Usher has been on top longer than most.
A compelling argument can be made why both should move to round two to compete for the greatest male artist. So, who is it going to be? The King of Pop or the leading guy in R&B? Let the voting begin! Voting for the first round closes Wednesday, September 19th at 11 a.m.