Harry Styles took the world by storm when he joined One Direction more than a decade ago, and his popularity skyrocketed even further when he embarked on a solo career. The singer was recently dubbed the “new King of Pop,” but not all fans agree.
The title “King of Pop” was and still is (for some) held by the late Michael Jackson, but Rolling Stone UK used the prestigious honor to crown Styles as this generation’s biggest pop star.
Many Twitter users believe that the singer’s stardom had a significant impact on the music industry, but it wasn’t enough for him to be dubbed the “King of Pop.”
One user wrote:
“Rolling stone (uk) calling harry styles the king of pop is a very bold move considering the most notable person to hold the king of pop title is michael jackson. how do you put michael jackson and harry styles on the same level with a straight face,”
The public has noted that the 28-year-old singer’s career lacks the caliber and impact of the late musician’s.
Another user wrote:
“Michael Jackson didn’t break records, racial barriers, set the blueprint and standards for a lot of modern music and miss out on his entire childhood for y’all to sit here and call Harry Styles ‘the new king of pop'”
People also pointed out that the magazine had previously used the title on other artists, such as Justin Timberlake, but had failed to make it a thing.
Harry Styles has yet to respond to the controversy as of this writing.
A fan’s post claiming that the title “King of Pop” is trademarked and owned by Jackson’s estate was among the tweets that went viral during the social media uproar against Rolling Stone UK.
Before using the title, the user stated that they should have asked permission first.
The Jackson estate has not publicly commented on the situation, but one family member has spoken out about it.
Taj Jackson wrote:
“There is no new King of Pop. You don’t own the title @RollingStone, and you didn’t earn it, my uncle did. Decades of dedication and sacrifice. The title has been retired”
Taj clarified that he did not mean to offend the singer because he is “mega talented,” but that the outlet could have given him his “own unique title.”