Love or hate Harry Styles’s music, there’s simply no denying that he’s got pop culture in a chokehold. His latest Harry’s House single, “As It Was,” throttled the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for 10 weeks in a row until being dethroned on the most recent chart by Nicki Minaj and still landed at No. 2 only losing less than a percent of its streams last week. Meanwhile, Harry’s House itself was a massive hit overall, with a jaw-dropping pure sales total (330,000) and over a half-million equivalent units in its first week.
But even with all those accolades to his name, there are plenty of folks who believe that Rolling Stone UK overstepped its bounds in calling Styles “the new King of Pop” — a title that was originally reserved for the one-and-only late, great Michael Jackson. And let’s keep all the way funky; however impressive Harry Styles’ current level of success is, it still pales in comparison to MJ’s heights, which may never be achieved again, even with the advent of streaming (or maybe because of it). Thriller is 34× Platinum certified by the RIAA and is still the best-selling album ever.
This is why it makes sense that there were those quick to shut down Rolling Stone‘s proclamation, including MJ’s nephew Taj Jackson, who settled the debate succinctly on Twitter, writing, “The title has been retired. No disrespect to Harry Styles, he’s mega talented. Give him his own unique title.” Plenty of others agreed with him, censuring Rolling Stone UK for its audacity.
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. No disrespect to @Harry_Styles, he’s mega talented. Give him his own unique title. https://t.co/td6SSSVkfX
— Taj Jackson (@tajjackson3) August 22, 2022
being called the ‘new king of pop’ while not even being close to what michael jackson was is sick
— ً ً (@highafbizzle) August 22, 2022
This title belongs to the black man who worked his ass off since the age of 5, who was a veteran by the age of 15, broke racial barriers and revolutionized the music industry. Michael Jackson is THEE King of Pop of EVERY generation. https://t.co/3jxtYWCHOa
— 𝓥𝓮𝓻𝓸𝓷𝓲𝓬𝓪💫 | fan account (@iamveronica777) August 22, 2022
Out of anybody, they’re calling harry styles the “new” king of pop? pic.twitter.com/6TuN8L2yd9
— mariah ☆ (@voguessangel) August 22, 2022
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.
— sk (@kirkxxs) August 22, 2022