Historical 21st Century Pop Artists

With Michael Jackson gone and Prince’s recent passing, some are wondering if the days of great pop music are now history. Who can live up to the prolific musical geniuses of the late 20th century? It remains to be seen but a few artists show promise.

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1. Justin Timberlake: Smooth moves, smooth voice, original songs and videos.  Will Justin prove that he is the most iconic male pop artist post-MJ?

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2. Britney Spears: Britney is already an icon but if today’s “Queen of Pop” can commit to making music for the long haul, there is no stopping her.
 

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3. Lady Gaga: This line from ‘Applause’ says it all, “Pop culture was in art, now art’s in pop culture, in me.”

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4. Bruno Mars: Has long since been compared to musical giants of earlier periods. Being a skilled vocalist, performer, and musician, he defines the word “artist”.

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5. Adam Levine: With his entrance as front man of Maroon 5, he made Southern California rock-pop look easy. He has the originality, personality, and love of the art to make a name for himself as a 21st century pop icon.

Which of today’s artists do you think will become the pop icons of tomorrow?

Honorable Mention: Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Rihanna

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Adam Levine

Adam Levine is an American singer, guitarist, and songwriter. He is the lead singer of Grammy Award-winning band Maroon 5.

Adam was born to Jewish parents in Los Angeles, California. He showed a strong love of music at a young age, learning to play the guitar and  performing on stage at twelve years old. As a teenager at the Brentwood School, a private day school in LA, he was awkward: he says of his teen years, “I was gross, My hair was long and really ratty…[I wore] huge, oversize flannels that didn’t fit [and I had] a goatee.”

He met future band mates Jesse Carmichael, Mickey Madden, and Ryan Dusick at a performing arts camp while he was in junior high school. They formed the band Kara’s Flowers and released one album in 1997 — The Fourth World. They later reformed in 2001 as Maroon 5.

Maroon 5’s debut album Songs About Jane was based on lyrics written about his break-up with a former girlfriend. The second single from the album, “This Love”, won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance in 2005. Their second album It Won’t Be Soon Before Long was released in 2007 to similar success. Their latest release Hands All Over is described as “a killer hybrid of rock, pop, funk and R&B.”

Adam has had much success as a solo artist, working with artists such as Kanye West, Alicia Keys, and Slash (Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver). He has stated that he plans to leave Maroon 5 in the near future.

Adam is ambidextrous — he writes with his left hand, but uses his right hand for almost everything else. He has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a disorder characterized by hyperactivity and difficulty with attention.

He says he “loves women” and plans on getting married, despite high divorce rates and his own parents divorce when he was seven. He has been romantically linked to several celebrities, but his current girlfriend of nearly a year is Russian model Anne Vyalitsyna.

Adam lives in Hollywood Hills with his close friend, Korean-American writer and producer Gene Hong.

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Best Male Vocalists of the Decade (2000-2010)

My top ten list of the best male singers who released an album in the past decade. The list is based on vocals and vocal range, principally. Feel free to make any suggestions.

1. Chris Daughtry is an American singer, songwriter, and lead vocalist of the rock band Daughtry. He was finished fourth on the fifth season of American Idol.

Chris Daughtry is an amazing artist with a voice I could listen to for days. Every song he touches turns to gold.


2. Usher is an American R&B and pop singer. Billboard magazine ranked Usher the number one Hot 100 artist of the decade, with his 2004 album Confessions ranking as the top solo album.

He is a wonderful entertainer and great vocalist; a hit-making machine.


3. Chad Kroeger (Nickelback) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He is the lead vocalist of the rock band Nickelback and has co-written songs for Daughtry, Tim McGraw, and Carlos Santana.

Chad Kroeger has a classic voice which fits with all types of songs, from rock to country.


4. Jason Wade (Lifehouse) is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist of the alternative band Lifehouse.

Jason Wade’s soothing, baritone vocals are priceless, but don’t look like they should be coming from him with his boyish good looks.


5. Rob Thomas is an American singer, songwriter, and lead vocalist of the rock band Matchbox Twenty. He collaborated with Carlos Santana on the multi-Grammy winning hit “Smooth”.

Rob Thomas’ has an unforgettable raspy, dynamic voice.

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6. Maxwell is an American soul and R&B artist. His first album in almost a decade, BLACKsummers’night, won the 2010 Grammy for Best R&B Album.

“Fistful of Tears” by Maxwell is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard: sincere and soulful.


7. Backstreet Boys are an American pop group. The group is the best-selling boy band of all time, beating out the Jackson 5, with over 130 million albums sold worldwide.

The Backstreet Boys are, of course, five people instead of one person, but I couldn’t choose a favorite. They are one of the rare groups in which all members contribute equally to their success.


8. James Morrison is an English singer, songwriter, and guitarist. His first album Undiscovered, released in 2006, topped charts in the UK.

“The Pieces Don’t Fit Anymore” is my favorite song by James Morrison, and one of my favorite songs of all time.

9. Omarion is an American singer, songwriter, and actor. He was the lead singer of former R&B group B2K.

Omarion was doing much better without B2K, but has dropped as of late. Hopefully he’ll come back with his usual intensity in the coming years.


10. Ginuwine is an American singer, dancer, and sex symbol.

Ginuwine was at his height in the ’90s, but his 2002 hit “Stingy” and strong vocals landed him a place on this list.

Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order by first name): Adam Levine, Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Brad Arnold (3 Doors Down), Chris Brown, Chris Martin (Coldplay), Isaac Slade (The Fray), Jason Mraz, Joe, Justin Timberlake, Mario Winans, Sisqo, Sting

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