Justin Bieber sat down with Oprah Winfrey for a new interview in which Oprah compared Bieber’s popularity to that of the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson.
Ahead of her interview with Justin Bieber for Oprah’s Next Chapter on November 25, Oprah recently tweeted that she hasn’t done an interview with a star of such popularity since her famous chat with Michael Jackson in 1993.
In a new preview of the interview, Oprah admitted to Bieber that “there’s never been a star like you.”
Although the fan hysteria surrounding Justin Bieber has been similar to the love that fans had for Michael Jackson, Oprah also revealed that “Bieber fever” reminded her of the The Beatles craze back in the late 60s.
But Oprah noticed something different about the fan base of Justin Bieber. “Those tremendous legends, who really changed the face of music for our culture,” added Oprah, “did not have a stardom like yours — like a rise of stardom like yours. You are a product, to a great extent, of social media. Therefore, there’s never been a star like you.”
Although Oprah makes a good point, is she right? Just because Justin Bieber has social media on his side in terms of popularity, does that make Bieber the new Michael Jackson?
Sure Justin Bieber is on top of the pop world, but it’s a bit more complex.
Is Justin Bieber more popular than Frank Sinatra in the 1950s? How about Elvis Presley? The Beatles? What about the Bee Gees in the 1970s or Madonna was in the 80s? How about Britney Spears in the 90s?
Is Justin Bieber really more popular now than Michael Jackson was in the 1970s, 80s, and beyond?
Since Bieber is only 18, it’s way too early to compare him to Michael Jackson. And to put things into perspective, Michael Jackson was already a mega-star with the Jackson 5 by the time he was 18 with four solo studio albums between 1972 and 1978. If you include what The Jackson 5 accomplished, there’s no way Bieber comes close.
But Jackson’s career as a solo artist didn’t truly take off until 1979 at the age of 21 with the release of Off the Wall. It wasn’t until three years later at the age of 24 that Michael Jackson took over the world with Thriller.
Following the release of Off the Wall, Michael Jackson went on to chart 26 Top 10 singles, half of those #1, and enjoy five consecutive #1 albums.
So, the question is:
At 18, has Justin Bieber reached the same heights as Michael Jackson when he was the same age?
Interestingly, Bieber already has impressive numbers under his belt with three consecutive #1 albums (four if you include Never Say Never: The Remixes) and four Top 10 singles.
But the reality is that no one could ever replace Michael Jackson. There’s no doubt that Justin Bieber is the reigning pop king at the moment. But to even come close to impacting the world in the same manner as Michael Jackson, it’s not about what Bieber is doing now at 18. It’s about how Justin Bieber will evolve as a person and artist to touch the world.
Perhaps the better question is this:
Can Justin Bieber leave the same impact on the world as Michael Jackson? Only time will tell. As we know, pop stars come and go but there was only one Michael Jackson.
How do you guys feel? Is Justin Bieber really the new Michael Jackson?