The music industry is one of the biggest money-spinners in the world. Stars earn millions of dollars and are adored by legions of fans, so people will do almost anything to get into the charts – even though the chances of hitting the big time are smaller than winning the jackpot in a casino. Musician who focus only on their art seldom become famous, so it’s no wonder that some of the biggest pop stars are mediocre talents at best. Here are some of the most over-rated stars in the world today.
Most hated singer
One of the most successful musicians of all time, Justin Bieber could also be the most hated. He is the only artist to have four videos reach more than 1 billion views on YouTube for “Baby”, “What Do You Mean?”, “Sorry”, and “Love Yourself”. “Baby” is also the most disliked video on YouTube, with 7.3 million dislikes. Bieber’s critics say that his fan-base consists of ten-year-old girls and point out callous actions like abandoning his pet monkey in Germany.
Bootylicious is boring
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter rose to fame as part of the popular girl group Destiny’s Child, going on to pursue her solo career in 2006. Smash hits like “Crazy In Love” and “Run The World (Girls)” have made Beyoncé a household name around the world. However, her success is based largely on her striking looks and daring dance moves – only die-hard fans are able to tell one identical-sounding song from another.
Taylor Swift’s self-titled debut album peaked at number 5 on Billboard 200 in 2006. Since then, Taylor Swift has not looked back, with Fearless debuting at number 1 in 2008 – a feat matched by Speak Now in 2010, Red in 2012, 1989 in 2014, and Reputation in 2017. She has won more Grammies than most artists have sold discs. However, sales started flagging with Reputation – some would say because people started to get tired of hearing her sing about her personal life, dramatising every detail in a whiny and annoying voice.
Most disliked queen
Madonna is an undisputed icon of pop music who has influenced generations of singers from Lady Gaga to Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Beyonce Knowles and Britney Spears. The Queen of Pop has released 13 studio albums and her music videos, dance moves and unique fashion style have spawned countless imitators. However, her best work was in the 1980s. Since then she has relied more on shock value than musical talent to keep herself in the spotlight, and nobody is getting shocked anymore. Her song B**** I’m Madonna with Nicki Minaj has earned half a million dislikes on YouTube.
With 18 number one records to her name Mariah Carey is one of the biggest selling women in the music industry. However, “Jenny from the Block” is better known as sex symbol than a great musician, thanks to her exaggerated sexy poses, over-the-top diva personality and enormous breast implants. She also has a penchant for wearing tiny clothes.
Born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, Lady Gaga is famous for her outrageous fashion sense, risque videos, and hit songs like Paparazzi and Pokerface. Her 2008 debut album The Fame is still charting inside the Billboard 200, and her subsequent albums have all sold hugely. However, Lady Gaga has copied so much from artists like Madonna and David Bowie that it’s difficult to tell what her own contribution is – apart from the extravagant persona, of course.
Bono is famous as being the lead singer of U2, the Irish band that won the heart of America with their smash hit album The Joshua Tree. That was in 1987 – since then, U2 have moved on from rock music to pompous experiments with techno and cringeworthy attempts to appeal to the youth. Pitchfork described their 2016 album Songs of Experience as “the shameless effort of four men in their late 50s to muster a contemporary, youthful sound.” Bono is also famous as a philanthropist who projects the image of the saviour of the world – even though U2 moved from Ireland to avoid paying tax.
Michael Jackson released the best-selling album of all time: Thriller (1982) and was awarded 30 times platinum in 2016. Other albums like Bad, Dangerous and History all reached the number one position in the US charts. The first black artist to air on MTV, Michael Jackson revolutionized the world of pop music with his videos and dance moves like the moonwalk, earning himself the title King of Pop. Towards the end of his career, though, Michael Jackson had run out of ideas – he kept on repeating himself, like an actor pretending to be the revolutionary young artist he once was.
David Bowie was famous twice – first, during the 1970s, when, like a chameleon changing colour, he created one zany bisexual stage persona after another: Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, The Thin White Duke … Then he became famous all over again — in 2016, when he died. The media eulogised him as a total genius when really he hadn’t had a hit since 1982 and suddenly reborn Bowie fans were crawling out of the woodwork.
Who killed country music?
Garth Brooks is an American singer and songwriter famous for fusing rock and roll with country music. This has made him immensely popular in the United States – but many people accuse him of ruining country music by importing the attention-seeking antics of pop into a genre previously known for being down-to-earth. However overrated his music is, though, he is a marketing genius – he has recorded only 10 original albums but has released the same number of Greatest Hits albums and compilations, plus four Christmas records repackaging the same songs over and over again.