Is Justin Bieber Poised to Be the Next King of Pop?

Is Justin Bieber Poised to Be the Next King of Pop?

justin bieber, michael jacksonGetty Images | AP
Boasting a music career that spanned more than 45 years, Michael Jackson was one of the top-selling artists of all time (right behind Elvis Presley and the leaders of the pack, the Beatles). Jackson inspired a generation with his voice, dazzling dance moves and trademark white socks and glitter gloves -- a look his legion of admirers copied time and again. "MJ is still -- and always will be -- the king of pop," proclaimed Justin Bieber on Twitter recently, yet the 17-year-old Usher protege is often compared to the late icon.

It's with good reason that some speculate that the 'Baby' singer would be next to rule the pop charts for the foreseeable future. He's broken his fair share of records -- his film 'Never Say Never' trumped Jackson's 'This Is It' in the box office -- at an startlingly young age, not to mention, like MJ, he made his mark on the style frontier (who hasn't talked about that enviable shaggy-haired 'do?). But is that all it takes? Is the Canadian singer destined to be crowned the next King of Pop one day? Only time will tell. In the meantime, we've investigated some of the commonalities between the two mega-stars to shed some light on the matter. Read arguments for each and vote in our poll below!

Child Prodigies
justin bieber, michael jacksonGetty Images (2)
Justin Bieber first got recognition after his mother started posting her 13-year-old son's performances on YouTube, but the talent extended back as far as toddlerdom with an infant Bieber singing and playing instruments since he was 2-years-old. His first viral video, a cover of Ne-Yo's 'So Sick,' got tens of millions of views before Usher plucked him from YouTube and plunged him into super-stardom. Just two years after his famous mentor took him under his wing, Bieber dropped his debut album 'My World' at age 15.

Although he was the second youngest of the group, young MJ went from backup conga and tambourine player, to backup dancer and vocals, to lead vocalist of the Jackson 5 by age 8. Michael's father Joseph Jackson had Michael and co touring the Midwest, opening for adult acts in the night club circuit before landing a record deal with Motown at age 10. By the time little Michael was 13, he already had nine albums with his famous family under his belt ... and three solo albums!

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In his career as a solo artist, Michael Jackson topped everyone (and still does). To date, 'Thriller' is the top-selling album of all time with more than 110 million copies sold. Overall, Jackson has sold more than 750 million records worldwide and was the first artist to have five top-10 singles from one album (also 'Thriller'). Throughout his near half-century-long career, MJ has earned 13 No. 1 hits and 28 top-10 singles on the Billboard Top 100, including 'Beat It,' 'Say Say Say' with Paul McCartney, 'Bad,' 'Man in the Mirror,' and the 1995 hit 'You Are Not Alone,' -- the first song in the Billboard Hot 100's then 37-year history to debut at the list's No. 1 spot.

While Michael has a good 40-plus years on Justin, Bieber is steadily catching up with Jackson's chart achievements. The pre-launch success of Bieber's album 'My World' saw him become the first solo artist to have four top-40 singles prior to an album's debut. When his full studio album, 'My World 2.0,' finally dropped, it debuted at No. 1 in the US and sold more than 283,000 copies within its first week -- making Bieber the youngest solo male act to top the charts since Stevie Wonder in 1963 and the first artist to occupy two top five spots since 2004. The Biebs also became the first artist to have seven songs from a debut album chart on the Billboard Hot 100. If that's not enough, in July 2010, Bieber's lead single 'Baby' became the Most-Viewed Video in YouTube history.

Big Screen
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When it comes to the silver screen Bieber made headlines with his biopic 'Never Say Never.' Some critics claimed that a documentary about a 17-year-old's journey to fame was too much too soon. Nonetheless, the 2011 3D concert film about the "making of" the young pop star surpassed Michael Jackson's posthumous 'This Is It' as the highest-grossing concert film in US history. Bieber's documentary has grossed $72.2M in tickets sales in America to date.

Bieber's ticket sales came in just above the $72.1M Jackson's 2009 movie made. 'This Is It' gave MJ fans a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Michael's sold-out and highly anticipated concert series of the same name. MJ tragically passed away just 18 days before the concert's opening night and the movie premiered just three months after the star's death. While 'Never Say Never' may have topped Jackson's film in the US, 'This Is It' blew Bieber's out of the water internationally -- grossing more than $261M worldwide to Bieber's $10.8M.

Big Screams
michael jackson, justin bieberGetty Images (2)

Tears, screams and chaos ensued wherever Michael Jackson appeared, right through to the end of his life, when fans caused a near-riot outside the UCLA Medical Center for their fallen king. The death of the larger-than-life star caused an unprecedented fan reaction including website overloads and subsequent crashes of the TMZ, Los Angeles Times' web site, Twitter and Wikipedia from user searches. Estimates put the King of Pop's memorial service audience count at 31.1 million in the U.S. and over one billion worldwide.

Crowd reactions aren't exactly what one would call subdued for Biebs, either. Throughout his short career, Bieber has canceled performances and appearances worldwide because of crowd control issues and safety scares. Fervent fans sent out death threats to Bieber's new girlfriend Selena Gomez, caused a near riot in Liverpool, England and almost crushed concert-goers at an Australian concert. Over-zealous fans have prompted Bieber's management to only book the star at arenas and other venues that have seats. Love of the teen heartthrob has even earned its own unique title -- "Bieber Fever."

michael jackson, justin bieberAP | FilmMagic
Bieber, who was nominated at the 2011 Grammy Awards in the Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Album categories, lost to newcomer Esperanza Spalding in the first category -- much to the outrage of his supporters. While he's yet to win his first Grammy, he has scored three American Music Awards, including Artist of the Year in 2010.

Jackson's first Grammy win was in 1980 at age 21. He took home the gold for Best R&B Vocal Performance for 'Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough' from his solo debut 'Off the Wall.' His second solo album 'Thriller' won a record eight Grammy awards in 1984. In his career, Michael Jackson won 13 Grammys total and 26 American Music Awards.

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