It’s safe to say that this year we had a lot to talk about in terms of pop divas. Between the wrecking balls, roaring, applauding, doing what we want while we worked like little bitches, we kind of forget that pop music can be a bit competitive. Well, it doesn’t have to be – but that’s no fun!
Here at GuySpy, we thought we would take a moment to reflect on who was the most deserving of the title “Pop Diva” in the year 2013. These are the women who showed drive and passion this year; throwing themselves into their music and their art, and who will probably continue to reign the charts in the year to come. Let’s start, shall we?
Brit Brit was actually off to a good start this year. First, “Work Bitch” was a killer song that gave us exactly what we wanted from our dear Britney. It was smart and danceable, and if you didn’t have a couple of exercise epiphanies on the treadmill to it, then you were clearly doing something wrong.
But then, with the news that her new album Britney Jean would be her most personal (um, if the album’s personal then someone lacks personality), her second single, “Perfume,” not living up to the same extreme sassiness we got from “Work Bitch,” and, of course, the news that her Vegas show might not be doing so well, we have to think that Britney should’ve given us less ballads and emotion, and more of that fresh, exhilarating synth-heavy stuff we’ve gotten so used to hearing – and loving – from her. Either way, we know she’ll be too busy preparing for her Vegas residency to think too much about singles. But this is war, and we got to admit that Brit Brit wasn’t her strongest this year – and that’s still factoring in her giant moat of sharks protecting her from the haters.
Katy felt like an obvious winner at first, right? The girl had “Roar” up her sleeve (or, I guess, up her grass skirt), and that was number one for what felt like a billion years. Plus, her promo singles weren’t bad, either. Not to mention, she’s Katy Perry! Her last album, Teenage Dream, solidified her rise as pop music’s next star! So what went wrong?
Well, for one, you couldn’t help but feel like John Mayer got in the way a bit. I mean, I think it’s great Katy found love, but Prism just gave us too many “Body Is a Wonderland” vibes. None of use were expecting a sequel of any sorts given her recent divorce and general growth as a person (would you title it Twenty-Something Fantasy?), but with the title Prism, I think we were expecting a bit more rainbows and bursts of radio dance hits, and less power ballads like “Unconditionally.” But, knowing Katy, she’s not going anywhere; she just didn’t conquer the year like I’d imagined she would.
If you’re thinking Demi might not have made such a big impact this year in comparison to the Brits and Katys of the pop world, shame on you. There’s an important place in the world for the pop stars that keep the radios from being silent after “Roar” is played for the ba-zillionth time; and Demi is one of those girls to thank. “Heart Attack” was a great single, and let’s face it, if you watch X Factor at all (even if it is just to see the impressive contouring of Simon Cowell’s face), you know that Demi is actually a great mentor to her team. Oh, and let’s not forget, her 2013 album Demi payed tribute to the classic Madonna album cover, Madonna, really well – so brownie points. But, speaking of X-Factor…
This might have come as a surprise to you, but Kelly Rowland released an amazing little record this year, and no one got to hear it because no one promoted it. Talk a Good Game was a stellar work that had ’90s slow jams, sexy ballads, and The-Dream producing it; so it was the bees-knees for me, personally. Seriously, it’s the reason why Kelly is my favorite Destiny’s Child member – and that’s me putting Solange before Beyonce (sorry, B, but you know how I feel). But hey, when someone offers you a large paycheck to sit near Simon Cowell and rock your toned arms, you just do it. Also, I’m just happy that Kelly ain’t crying no more.
Okay, gays. Cher is on this list because she is fucking Cher, and you just have to acknowledge the queen among the basic bitches. Even if the queen didn’t make as much of an impact with her album Closer to the Truth as we all would’ve liked her to, you have to still mention her since her wig collection has more power than seeing your date pull out a Black AmEx card on a first date. It’s just so much easier for the Internet to talk about the fresh meat. But whatever. Cher isn’t even competing in this thing. She doesn’t need to. She’s Cher! I just wanted an excuse to post this sexy gem, below, so you’re welcome.
Ugh. Face it, guys: We just have to note that Mariah wasn’t at her peak this year. Just when we thought she would have a number one hit with “#Beautiful,” her single featuring the angel-voiced but gay-faced Miguel, and a video that featured a lot of leg, she didn’t even get into the chart’s top ten. Then, her newest album, The Art of Letting Go, was pushed back, and her accompanying single of the same name, which she released last month, is really just an okay filler ballad. What? I’m sorry! I know! We shouldn’t be insulting the queen (especially during the holiday season), but it’s all truth. That being said, we do have someone to fill the void… for now.
Color me surprised, but this year I think I was the most impressed with Lady Gaga. While “Applause” wasn’t the hit her label and Stefani probably wanted, and her sales couldn’t compare to her last album Born This Way’s opening week, you can’t help but be impressed with the massive promotion Gaga has been doing. From Muppet specials, iPhone apps, to SNL, the girl shows she is super proud of the only-okay ARTPOP. And while the album has reportedly cost Interscope $25 million, whose to say how her tour will round things up. Uhh, maybe. Also, we can’t forget the fact that she did just get out of a wheelchair, and kind of rocked it really well! Props, girl: No matter what happens to you in 2014.
Although I’m not the biggest of Beyoncé fans, you have to admit that Beyoncé did kind of break the Internet after releasing her new album exclusively on iTunes. The record sold an immense amount of digital copies, and made many people forgot about the Mileys and Gagas of the pop world and make the final statement that Queen B would be crowned the winner of this diva war. I, on the other hand, really don’t think that’s accurate.
Her self-titled effort is really great (and I can say that while still disliking the girl), but, while having an album full of 3rd or 4th single type of material is impressive, you have to give credit to a star that can do a “Roar,” “Wrecking Ball,” or even a “Diamonds.” What I live for with a new pop release is the anticipation of that first great single; the single that sets the bar for the rest of the record before you even hear it. And while having a video for every song is a great concept, having no official first single throws off the entire way we can judge this competition. The way a pop starlet can create buzz, hype, and enthusiasm is what this competition is all about, so sorry Bey. But speaking of buzz and hype…
Do we even need to say it? Fine, I won’t say it because I kind of don’t want to, but let’s note that just a couple weeks ago, “Wrecking Ball” was just number one again on the Billboard 100, and it was released in August! Mother-effing August, guys! You may be sick of the song, and of the girl with her skinny naked behind, but between the blunt smoking, all those mashups, her “soul” baring in magazines and red carpet looks, not to mention that VMA performance we all got outraged about for way too long, the girl totally made my job relevant this year, and kept us talking. So, just one more time, I promise (or rather hope) …
As for next year… your guess is (almost) as good as mine.