“Rolling Stone UK” Names Harry Styles The “New King Of Pop” & Swiftly Earns Backlash

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Michael Jackson’s nephew, Taj Jackson, made it clear that there is only one King of Pop and it isn’t Styles.

If there’s one thing Rolling Stone can do, it’s causing a viral moment among music fans. The publication has often come under fire for its hot takes, including the Top 200 Rap Albums list they shared last month. Their placements caused Hip Hop to implode as the publication was scrutinized for allegedly not understanding Rap culture, with many artists and industry professionals coming forward to publicly condemn that publication’s choices.

Today (August 22), Rolling Stone UK kicked off the week by sharing their latest cover feature with Harry Styles. The superstar has built quite the brand for himself following his One Direction exit, making him one of the biggest artists in the world.


Even so, things took a turn after social media got ahold of Rolling Stone‘s cover where they dubbed Styles the “new King of Pop“—a phrase that has long been tied to Michael Jackson. Music fans took issue with Styles’s latest title, especially within Hip Hop and R&B circles, as fans noted that if there was to be anyone who would be given that honor, it would be someone like Chris Brown or even Justin Bieber.

Taj Jackson, Michael Jackson’s nephew, tweeted a pointed message to the publication:

“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.”

Styles undoubtedly has a devoted fanbase so it comes as no surprise that there have been debates online. Jackson purists don’t want any other artist to even be mentioned as a “King of Pop” as others consent that there are contenders, just not Styles.

Check out a few highlights below.

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