Recently Drake’s Certified Lover Boy album has broken MJ’s time-hallowed Thriller record on a Billboard chart, having 9 out of 10 singles in the top 10 Billboard hot 100.
This buzz that started on social media “If Drake is bigger than MJ” – got us into writing this short piece of content evaluating if Drake is as popular as Michael Jackson in 2023?
Usually, a battle of popularity often occurs between artists who are perceived to be on a similar level of fame and significance in the music industry. However, the public speculations of Drake’s recent music records seem to place him on an elevated level, so much that anyone would want to compare him to Michael Joseph Jackson whom the world recognizes as a one-of-a-kind musician. Since he died in 2009, there have been speculations about who the new king of pop would be, and the artist that seems to be the most recently talked-about is Drake, most especially because of his latest album release, Certified Lover Boy, which makes him have few similar records to MJ.
Check: Michael Jackson Earning in 2023
As an artist, Jackson was a success right from the beginning, when he started his music career. His journey to the peak had begun at age 6 as a young member of the Jackson 5, a musical band formed by Joe Jackson, his father for the Jackson brothers. In no time, the young Jackson became a lead vocal singer for the band, and together, they recorded and released very successful records that made them one of the world’s most famous musical groups. By the time MJ became a solo artist, he was already a star.
Drake, on the other hand, has been in the game for a while even before his debut song release “Room for Improvement” in 2006. He had been a popular figure since his appearance in Degrassi: The Next Generation, a TV series where he acted as Jimmy Brooks. His debut song release, “Room for Improvement” came in 2006 and with that, he began his journey into a successful music career.
Both Drake and Michael Jackson are very popular artists of different epochs. However, is there any possibility that Drake’s popularity strength is higher in comparison to the legendary megastar, Michael Jackson in 2023? Let’s take a look.
Check: 15 Most Popular Hip-hop Rappers in the World 2023
Micheal Jackson Album Records
In 1971, Micheal Jackson launched his solo artist career, and within three years from 1972, he had released his RIAA Gold Certified debut album, Got To Be There, followed subsequently by three other albums before he released his multidimensional Off The Wall, marking his fifth, 1979. The album was hugely successful and made him set the record as the first solo artist ever to have four singles from one single album ranked among the Top 10 of Billboard Hot 100.
View this post on Instagram
This same feat wàs replicated four years later when Jackson stormed the world with his groundbreaking and record-setting classic, the all-time best-selling and 34 times RIAA platinum-certified Thriller. All seven singles on the album made it to the top 10 on Billboard Hot 100, making him the only artist to achieve that feat. Thriller is not just Jackson’s best-selling album of all time but it changed the entire course of the music and art fraternity and broke racial barriers, its music videos’ cultural impacts are immensely impressive.
After Thriller, Michael Jackson released his multiple RIAA platinum-certified, Bad, which also became the best-selling album between 1987 and 1988. The album earned Michael Jackson Billboard’s first Spotlight Award, for having the five consecutive singles ranked in the top 10 list of Billboard Hot 100 chart. The album birthed Jackson’s first-ever world tour, which made him approx $125 million.
Michael Jackson released three more albums, Dangerous, HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book l, and Invincible before his death in 2009, while the Jackson Estate has released two more albums, Michael and Xscape.
Drake Album Records
Drake dropped his debut studio album, Thank Me Later in 2010, and it was very successful, debuting at No. 1 on Billboard 200. His sophomore album, Take Care (2011) recorded more success – won a Grammy Award for the Best Rap Album and earned four RIAA platinum certifications. After the release, Drake embarked on his Club Paradise Tour in 2012, which is recorded as the most successful hip-hop tour. By 2016, a decade into his music career, Drake broke a legendary record in Billboard history and music in general when he released his fourth No. 1 album, Views and it ruled the Billboard charts for seven weeks. Thus, he emerged as the only male solo artist to achieve that feat in over ten years, the first time being held by Michael Jackson. His next big album hit, Scorpion also had seven singles topping Billboard Hot 100’s top 10 singles.
Check: Justin Bieber Net Worth 2023
With his sixth studio album and 10th, No. 1 Billboard — Certified Lover Boy released, Drake has set new career records for himself. CLB, on the first day of its release, got the title of the record with the most streams in a day with 153 million streams, and within the first week, had 700 million streams in the US! This is not a surprise, because Drake has always been a record-breaker in the streaming business and has become quite popular at it. That level of streaming can only be achieved by an artist as popular as Drake in modern music. The album made a chart-topping record on the US Billboard and took nine songs to Billboard 100. these songs did not just get listed — but all occupied the first top 10 singles on Billboard 100, giving Drake the record of the most top 10 singles from one album — breaking MJ’s long-time standing record for Thriller.
.@Drake's 'Certified Lover Boy' breaks the all-time record for most Hot 100 top 10 hits from a single album (9).
It surpasses 'Thriller', 'Rhythm Nation 1814', 'Born in the USA' and his own 'Scorpion' (7 each).
— chart data (@chartdata) September 13, 2023
This manner of success is not new in Drake’s career history, however, it has yet again elevated and established his status as a distinguished icon in the music industry.
Michael Jackson broke the Grammy’s record of the first artist ever to win eight Grammys in one night including Album of the Year in 1984. Also, he holds the position as the best-selling and top-earning dead artist while coming third as the best-selling music artist of all time, after The Beatles and Elvis Presley. Even after death, Michael Jackson remains the most awarded artist in music history, including 13 Grammy Awards, 40 Billboard Music Awards, 12 World Music Awards, 39 Guinness World Records, and a host of others.
Check: Top 15 Most Popular Female Singers in the World 2023
Drake has also enjoyed an excellent record-breaking career so far. He did not only get named Spotify’s most-streamed artist in the decade but one of his most recent awards is the Billboard’s Artist of the Decade Award in May 2023. He is also the United States’ highest certified digital singles artist ever. At 34, Drake has received over a hundred awards for his dynamic contributions to rap music. These include 4 Grammys, 29 Billboard Music Awards, winning 13 awards in one night, 5 American Music Awards, 2 Brit Awards, and multiple Guinness World Records.
View this post on Instagram
Is Drake as Popular as Micheal Jackson?
Indeed, Drake is a master of his craft as a multiple chart-topping rap lord, a digital-savvy streaming artist, and one of the most popular artists in modern times. However, the fact remains that Micheal Jackson is a phenomenal artist and person who has gone beyond being compared or likened to anyone. If an artist could be so popular in a generation where there was no social media or a strong globally connected internet as we have now, you can imagine how enormously explosive Michael Jackson would be now that artists can get through to a large number of their fans through different platforms and gain popularity within a short period. As one great multi-talented entertainer, MJ wielded an unequal influence that went beyond his music but was felt across the globe, with a legacy that lives on.