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Forbes Crowns Bad Bunny the ‘King of Pop,’ Dethroning Michael Jackson

Forbes Magazine names Bad Bunny the new ‘King of Pop,’ triggering widespread controversy and debate.

Bad Bunny performing
Bad Bunny performing. Image: Shutterstock/Jorge Rojas

Forbes Magazine names musical artist Bad Bunny the new ‘King of Pop,‘ triggering a heated online debate questioning his merit for the title.

Forbes applauded Bad Bunny’s music and consistent production of worldwide hits. Among other impressive statistics, the feature noted how Bad Bunny has been Spotify’s most-streamed artist for the past three years.

With his unique approach to Latin music, reggaeton, and urban style, Bad Bunny attempts to redefine Latin culture. His rise to stardom is evidence that his persona has resonated with fans worldwide.

The controversy begins with the title, ‘King of Pop.’ Netizens immediately associate it with the legendary icon, Michael Jackson. This ultimately leads to comparisons being made between him and Bad Bunny to argue for or against Forbes’ decision.

What did the internet think of Forbes’ Bad Bunny claim

Reddit users list various reasons why they disagree with Forbes’ decision. One common one is that Forbes and other media companies crown celebrities with controversial titles simply for the sake of clicks and views.

Other members of the Reddit thread are not as fond of or well-acquainted with Bad Bunny’s music and style. Additionally, a few comments state that Bad Bunny’s music genre is not even pop but rather reggaeton.

Despite the various viewpoints, the quality of most significance to fans seems to be the legacy and impact of artists. This is especially true of older generations, who may feel a sense of nostalgia as they recall Michael Jackson and their own childhoods.

Bad Bunny’s music and persona are quite different than the music that older generations may be familiar with. This can result in a lack of understanding of his music’s cultural impacts on younger generations.

How Bad Bunny’s music speaks to Gen-Z

2023 Spotify Wrapped data shows that Bad Bunny’s music dominates the list of Gen Z’s favorites. Bad Bunny’s music represents sentiments that align with the values of the majority of Gen Z. These include individuality, inclusivity, and acceptance, as several of his songs promote acceptance of diverse social groups.

Older generations may find the explicit lyrics and subject matters of several of Bad Bunny’s songs to be worrisome. But that does not change that Gen Z is listening to and feeling empowered by the music.

The subjectivity of the ‘King of Pop’

People’s imagination of who best fits the ‘King of Pop’ title greatly varies. Many associate ‘King of Pop’ with Michael Jackson; however, many would say it belongs to Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, or the Beatles.

The label is subjective. It simply represents someone who is making a significant impact in the industry.

Michael Jackson was not the first to be crowned ‘King of Pop,’ so there is no reason he should be the last. Perhaps, individuals can recognize Bad Bunny’s influence and give him some time to sit with the title.

Though the story is still unfolding, Forbes’ decision is part of the evolution of music, where both older and newer artists are recognized.

Written By

Hi there! I'm Suhani Singh, a high school student from Redmond, WA. I'm most interested in writing about news and lifestyle. Outside of writing and journalism, I enjoy learning neurobiology and advocating against the commercial tobacco industry.

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