Last week we did some serious number crunching and created the Rolling Stone Queen of Pop Index – a ranking of the current top 16 female pop recording artists. To be as up-to-date as possible, we only examined data from the last two years – which excluded all artists that hadn't work in that time period. Needless to say, this pissed off some fan communities. Madonna fans were particularly enraged, even though her last album was released in early 2008 and she's been off the road since the summer of 2009. One particularly nutty critic even accused of taking bribes from Lady Gaga. Well, I'm still waiting for my check. (Hey Gaga, make it out to "cash" this time. We can't have a paper trail.)
With all the fan feedback, we decided to poll our readers so they could name their own queen of pop. Here are the results.
To say that Madonna won this poll in a landslide would be like saying that she was a kind of popular pop singer in the 1980s. It wouldn't even begin to explain the scope of the situation. She received five times as many votes as Lady Gaga, who landed in second place by a very comfortable margin. The only persistent criticism that Gaga has dealt with in recent years is that she's too much like Madonna. It's a hard shadow to escape. Madonna is a musical icon without peer. Her run of hits over the past 30 years is simply astounding, and when she hits the road, tickets sell like it's a Led Zeppelin reunion tour. Sure, her last few albums didn't match up to the classics. Nobody cares. She's Madonna. Lady Gaga has accomplished more in recent years than any artist of her era, but she's still got a long climb until she reaches Madonna level. It's very likely that no other artist will ever reach it though. Her manager Guy Oseary recently tweeted that she's started recording her 12th studio album, so clearly she has no intention of slowing down anytime soon.