What Makes An Artist Iconic?

Today’s musical audience bestows artists with the “Icon” title well before their work warrants such an honor. The notion of being “iconic” has become as watered down as an artist christening new music as “organic.” Some assert that the time is gone where true icons are born and the new generation will fail to produce global icons such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, or Prince. After the jump we will breakdown what we feel it takes to be a true “Icon” in today’s musical landscape.

Below awaits That Grape Juice’s four T’s of being an Icon.

Talented: [adj. having talent or special ability; gifted]

Whitney (2)

First and foremost, a trait iconic figures (such as the Jacksons, the Bowies, the Bowies) possess is talent. An authentic ability and connection with their craft that is unmatched by others. These artists contain a true gift that you either have or you don’t. In a climate where acts are constantly pinned against each other, an artist’s talent is often challenged. Sadly, the abilities of many artists of today should be chastised and scrutinised, because more often than not their tabloid stories show more promise than their natural or honed skill-set.

Trancing [n. a state of complete mental absorption or deep musing; to put in a trance; stupefy]

MAY 15 1988 Jackson, Michael - Ind.

Every icon has that “it” factor.. that presence that can be felt when they walk across that stage or when he or she enters a room. They have magnetic draw that instantly pulls you in. Icons are able to connect with their audience and create movements with their craft. It is more than a dismal interest or periodic attention shift. These artists manage to create a bond that carries on despite any obstacle.

Tenacious [adj. pertinacious, persistent, stubborn, or obstinate.]


Tenacity is engraved within the confines of their being. They contain a work ethic that many lack today. Artist development is a thing of the past, and it shows in the diluted arena that is the music industry. Icons put in the time, the work, and the effort needed to achieve their fullest potential. “They don’t practice until they can do it right; they practice until they can’t do it wrong.”

Timeless [adj. without beginning or end; eternal; everlasting.]


Above all, a true icon is timeless. In the realm of Instagram models, purchased Twitter followers, and Facebook thirst traps, people are caught up in the now. Sure Kim and co are hot now, but history has proven that the likes of ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ will be of interest but for so long. ‘Love and Hip Hop’ too. A timeless artist is able to have their music transcend generational gaps and current trends. Their music resonates with the initial listeners and the audiences to come.


While this list is not conducive of all the elements it takes to be a true icon, it does signify four key characteristics that any authentic “Icon” holds. We have a few names in mind, but we want to hear from you. Will this generation birth an Icon? Who is on their way to Iconic status?

Your thoughts?

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  1. QueenRiah May 26, 2016

    As Mariah would say……LONGEVITY Dahlings. ??

    • ?+✈=? May 26, 2016

      People think this makes you iconic ?+✈=?

    • LmfaoHoe May 26, 2016

      This list is so true and sad knowing the first three are no longer here :/ God we have got to appreciate the legends while they’re still here. You stans like the start s***, I wonder how ya be when Bey, Riri, Mimi, Janet, Madonna, Celine, ect are called to be with the Lord. Get ya life right and together and stop the negativity.

    • What Now May 27, 2016

      That is major

  2. CHAKA May 26, 2016

    You guys forgot the most important one, ORIGINALITY. Come to think of it, lack of originality is why Thiefoncé will never sit on the Legends Panel. Kiii

    • Nahhh May 26, 2016

      You tried but Michael whole style was stolen from James brown before he was even a solo artist, which he said himself. The whole theifyonce thing is played out and tried. Almost every artist from Madonna to Rihanna to everybody has been accused of stealing some how some way. Beyonce can’t steal stuff and then all the behind the scenes of her talking about the inspiration on the Internet. That ain’t stealing trick

      • Travon.Austin May 26, 2016

        Not Mariah. She writes and produces her own songs. That seperates her from the rest. Sorry get your facts straight please! Lamb for life;)

      • CHAKA May 26, 2016

        1) Who are you calling a trick? I am not your mother! 2) Would you rather I call her Trashyoncé? The day Gisele retires her tired yellow wig will be the day I retire her “tired” nickname. 3) You talked about three different artists in your reply, none of whom I ever even acknowledged to be original. But I see you failed to come crazy at Chaka, because you know her music/impact/creativity/originality is the real deal! Chaka is original just from the fact that she sings mostly Funk, a genre that before her was widely dominated by men. And not only did she break the gender barrier, but she proved that a women can be an even better, funkier, and more soulful Funk singer than any male musician could ever dream of being. You tried it. In the words of Bey “You play me and you play yourself.” Oops my bad Thiefoncé stole those words from Prince, too, right? Kiii

      • Danzou May 26, 2016

        To be honest it is stealing if she isn’t giving props or making it known where she got it from or if she isn’t giving royalties to the artist she got the idea from. I don’t think she’s a thief seeing as all artists are inspired by people before them however she does borrow a hell of a lot more than her contemporaries.

      • Keri Qween May 27, 2016

        U tried it. King Michael didn’t STEAL anything he ALWAYS credited Jane’s Brown

        Beyonce steals people music and doesn’t givr credit until they SUE. She steals video concepts and has been called out on it. Michael was inspired by James but he created a legacy of his own. His dance moves, his videos were EVENTS. He was the first to turn the music video into small movies.

        And Michael could write his music too never compare him to your fave

    • Jay May 26, 2016

      Bey is already in the making .. you mad tho!!! Thats why every artist and old skoo artists gives her praise! Gtfoh …

      • Nahhh May 26, 2016

        Watch this whole post be 30+ comments about be a Beyoncé bashing

  3. #TeamTinashe Stan May 26, 2016

    It’s definitely NOT sales.

    1. Signature style
    2. Creativity
    3. Music Videos
    4. Tours
    5. Charity work
    6. Drive & Ambition
    7. Talent (of course)
    8. Barriers they broke (i,e Michael, Janet, Whitney)

    • Tyler’s crack pipe May 26, 2016

      So everything Tanishe isn’t?

      • Mimij May 30, 2016


    • kwinzy May 26, 2016

      Let ’em know! Sales don’t mean s***, even Vanilla Ice’s debut sold over 17 million. Agree totally with your points.

    • What Now May 27, 2016

      I agree the most with your list.

  4. Hur May 26, 2016

    Mariah Carey
    Michael Jackson
    Janet Jackson
    Celine Dion
    Shania Twain
    Whitney Houston

    All Icons and Legends

    • CHAKA May 26, 2016

      Don’t forget the Queen of Funk! The wonderful Chaka Khan! ?

  5. Danzou May 26, 2016

    To be honest you make icons. You’re either born one or you’re not.

    • Danzou May 26, 2016


  6. Tyler’s crack pipe May 26, 2016

    Beyonce is a legendary thief

  7. MusicLife May 26, 2016

    Not taking into any of the legends from 80s, the only modern acts who I could see coming close would be:

    ➡️Mariah Carey-for her vocals

    ➡️Britney Spears-for her overall presence on stage and success

    ➡️Beyoncé-nearly performing perfect each and every time on stage with live vocals

    And that’s about it that comes to mind. Not a Kanye West type egomaniac.

    • Travon.Austin May 26, 2016

      I agree but Mariah is known by more than just being a vocalist. She is an extremely successful songwriter and producer. She is also an Executive Producer on her albums. She is a Music Video Director and she has a bigger inflience on todays generation than any other artist from the 80s or 90s. This is a very small list, but Lady Gaga, Christina, Britney,Beyonce,Katy Perry, Mary J. Blige, Sam Smith, Pitbull, and Adele have all said Mariah was their biggest infliences growing up. She defines an Icon to the MAX! I don’t like just hearing vocalist when people talk about Mariah.

      • FAF May 26, 2016

        Producing albums doesn’t have anything to do with being an icon
        Icons are polarizing figures
        Amy winehouse is an example
        Lady gaga
        They make u want to relate to them and inspire a group
        Basically anybody with a notable fan name is an icon
        When u think of fan names notably barbz, hive, not dumb s*** like selenators or lovatics, either

      • Travon.Austin May 26, 2016

        Mariahs influence is about Mariah as a strong artist and her overall artistry. She is loved because of her talent and her talent isn’t just singing. People relate to her because Mariah is authentic(despite the diva) and her music has stood the test of time. The artists I mentioned above and her being a great musician is clearly reflected in today’s generation. That’s my point.

      • Danzou May 26, 2016

        Producing albums has ALOT to do with being iconic. If it didn’t then r Kelly nor pharrell nor smoky Robinson nor quincy Jones would be where they are in life. Where do you think all the music these iconic artists sing comes from? Their ass?

      • SCALPING THOTS May 27, 2016


    • Briano May 27, 2016

      Do we mean pre recorded live vocals

      Y’all stiiiiilllllll believe that lie, one of her biggest by the way

      Wow. She has lied and tricked the public as no other has.

      She even mimed st the inauguration, she will go down in history for that never happoened before this fraud hit the scene

  8. Danzou May 26, 2016

    Icons are generally born with a certain type of personality from others. But let’s keep in mind that “icons” in the music industry are nothing without a team. Any true icon knows that they need people. The fans, their team, so forth and so on.

  9. Danzou May 26, 2016

    You never know who an icon is until it’s too late to be honest. Icons are never appreciated. For example, yall are about to thumb me down for this but, nicki minaj is an icon. Kendrick is an icon. Nas is an icon. Bey is an icon. Rih is an icon. They’re all modern American icons. Not saying icons only come from America but yeah.

    • Danzou May 26, 2016

      I think they’re ICONS not legends except for Nas he’s both.

  10. Grande the Way May 26, 2016

    I’m sorry but talent is certainly not needed to be considered am icon. Paris Holton is iconic. The Olsen Twins are iconic. Kim Kardasian is iconic. Love them or not but they are considered to be Hollywood icons. Even in music, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Britney Spears are icons with no real talent other than dancing (which is irrelevant considering they’re singers). Honestly, the only thing needed to be an icon is impact and longevity. All icons have made an impact and they done so consistently over a period of time.

    • Danzou May 26, 2016

      Ok well were obviously talking about music here, genius. Stick to the topic.

      • Grande the Way May 26, 2016

        Except I clearly mention music. My comment wasn’t that long, surely you can finish reading.

    • Grande the Way May 26, 2016

      I think people often confuse icon with legend. Things like talent and timelessness I associate with “legend”. To me icon is more about impact at that moment. Legendary is timeless and eternal. Something bigger.

      • Danzou May 26, 2016

        Yes I totally agree. If you scroll up I actually commented the EXACT same thing you just said. You’re absolutely right.

    • Danzou May 26, 2016

      Lol psyche I’m just playing I agree talent is not always needed. I will never understand why Miley or selena have sold a single record.

      • Grande the Way May 26, 2016

        Lol bloop, just saw this one. Ignore my previous comment lol

      • Okayyyy May 26, 2016

        True. You don’t have to be exceptionally talented to be exceptionally iconic…

        *See Madonna and Britney. I’m not saying they aren’t talented at all, but if being an icon was based solely on being talented, they wouldn’t come close.

  11. Danzou May 26, 2016

    To be honest usher is a legend. He has one of the greatest R&B album under his name. R. Kelly is a legend as well. Celine is a legend. Tina Turner Aretha Franklin. All legends.

    • BEYICON May 26, 2016

      Usher is an icon*. He has sold alot and has longevity but his impact isnt even on the level of Bey or Rih tbh.

      • Danzou May 26, 2016

        We’ll have to agree to disagree. How can you say that he hasn’t had impact better than bey or rih when neither of those two have diamond selling albums under their names? He’s been on world tours just like them, he’s sold significant amounts of albums like them, and he’s been around since 1994.

      • Coolness May 27, 2016

        I agree. Usher is a certified Pop/R&B icon. Not as impactful as Bey in the long run but is one of the definitive faces and voices of modern Contemporary R&B music alongside Bey and Alicia Keys.

  12. Okayyyy May 26, 2016

    Recognizability. Iconography relies on it. People should be able to recognize you by some sort of signature.

    Say what you want about Beyoncé’s leotard and wig but she’s kept it for a reason. If I see a silhouette with a wavy wig and a leotard I immediately associate it with Beyoncé. People remember consistency. They’re gonna remember Tupac’s nose ring and bandana, Michael’s glove, Bowie’s lightning Bolt, Amy Winehouse’s beehive hair and cat winged eyeliner, Dolly Partons bleach blonde wig and boobs etc. If the iconography of who you are as an artist, your brand, isn’t immediately recognizable like that, you Will be forgotten.

    • Danzou May 26, 2016

      You used the word “iconography” completely wrong lol

      • Okayyyy May 26, 2016

        Not really. I used the word iconography to mean ‘the science of identification’ as it relates directly to my point of recognizability. Being an icon is simply being a symbol. I found iconography to be more appropriate because it gives the simple act of “being a symbol” purpose.

      • Danzou May 26, 2016

        Lol no you’re wrong. What this post is talking about literally has nothing to do with iconography and what you’re taking doesn’t either. You’re talking about trademarks. Michaels glove is a trademark not “iconography.” I’m sorry but you’re wrong.

      • Okayyyy May 26, 2016

        As I mentioned below somewhere, according to the logic of the encyclopedia, Michael’s glove, is a trademark, a symbol, and is appropriately described by the term “iconography”. Either that or Britannica is wrong and you’re right. Hm..

        Furthermore, I was highlighting an interrelationship. That’s it.

        Trademark- a distinctive mark, symbol, or feature particularly characteristic of or identified with a person or thing.

        Icon/Iconic a widely known symbol; widely recognized, known, and acknowledged especially for distinctive excellence.

        ? I don’t see how you believe that a trademark couldn’t possibly pertain to an icon but alright.

      • Danzou May 27, 2016


        the visual images and symbols used in a work of art or the study or interpretation of these.
        a collection of illustrations or portraits.

    • BEYICON May 26, 2016

      I agree 100%!!

    • Danzou May 26, 2016

      And by the way, what you’re talking about us a trademark not “iconography” lol Beyoncé leotard, Michael glove, bowie bolt, beehive hair, etc are all trademarks.

      • Okayyyy May 26, 2016

        Yesss, riiigghhhhtttt. I think you misunderstood the purpose of my comment. Whether that’s your fault or mine, whatever, If you need more clarification as to what I meant: Encyclopedia Britannica, “the term [iconography] can be used to refer to an artist’s use of this imagery [symbols, emblems, themes] in a particular work.” I most certainly used it the way I meant to use it… But my point was, signatures, trademarks, and those alike, i.e., things that demonstrate individuality definitely contribute to one being considered an icon.

      • Danzou May 26, 2016

        Well I guess but that’s still not what you meant to day initially.

      • Okayyyy May 26, 2016


  13. Slay_Hive May 26, 2016

    When your name is Beyonce?

  14. Danzou May 26, 2016

    Charlie Wilson is a legend.

  15. Yes girl May 26, 2016

    Whitney, Michael, Prince, and Michael,..the image of those four alone, is legendary.

    Also, didn’t Beyonce receive a Legend award from the AMA? Besides that, Beyonce is beyond surreal, and definitely a legend in my eyes.

    • Yes girl May 26, 2016

      Whitney, Michael, Prince, and “I meant to say Mariah”.

  16. Stephon Jackson May 26, 2016

    “I’m kinda drunk, so I’ma just express my lil opinion, and not worry about grammar errors & trying to make any sense blah blah blah…. Y’all n****’s get the damn point. So, I’ma just let it do what it do…
    Alright now, here we go………..

    Originality in the entertainment industry died years ago. Everything’s been done 10x over, just by different people (artists), during different eras of life. So, that’s that on that. Let that hurt go… Beyonka ain’t doing no different than what MJ, Madonna etc… Did to their idols/old school Hollywood pioneers. The 1970s is arguably the last decade s*** was 90% original. After that, whelp… Even with Hip Hop, that s*** was basically created by James Brown! Oh and Jackson took ALOT from Fred Astaire, Bob Fosse etc… So move OOOON!
    Anyways, what makes an artist legendary is mostly impact not originality. There’s a plethora of great artists underground, that will never be acknowledge for their genius, simply because they’re not “popular”. So it depends on what type of artist we’re talking about here… I’m guessing, Popular/mainstream acts. So in that case I think the question should stand as: What makes a great pop/rock/R&B/crossover artist, legendary?
    1.) A catalog of music that stands the test of time. Not just an artist that’s only known for hit singles, but an artist that serves hidden gems throughout their bodies of work. The most important factor I look for in an artist (whether mainstream or not) is a catalog that’s worth exploring. Just filled with so many great classic songs that weren’t even hit singles on the radio/charts. But, still managed to become a fan or non-fan favorite.

    2.) An artist that excels in either writing, producing/composing, vocalizing/singing, being a great instrumentalist & last but not least a great live performer/dancer. Or better yet, EVERYTHING ala PRINCE! But, he’s a rare case. To me, there’s a difference from a talented musician/artist… And a flat out musical genius. But, yeah I think you gotta at-least excel at one of those things… ATLEAST ONE!

    3.) Longevity, Dahhhhhhling! Whether its in constantly having commercial success for 10 – 30 years… Constantly slaying the stage, selling out shows, writing great songs, producing great records etc…. You just gotta last at-least 10 – 20 years to even be thought of as a “legend” in the entertainment world. Now, there’s an exception! Unless you DIE, too early, but your body of work is still undeniable then I think you can still get that iconic status. But, you gotta at-least slay at something for more than 10 damn years! Come on now…

    4.) This is for legendary commercial artist only. Hey, don’t forget about the greatest thing in the world…akakakakaka MARKETING! How can you get your music known globally, without that magical word called PROMOTION!?!?! Honey, yo ass needs to be serving all types of visuals, colors, signature styles/sounds etc… To be REMEMBERED IN PEOPLES MINDS! Look, my n**** MARK made me realize that LOOKS/STYLES are just as important as the music/talent (unfortunately). Just look at all the staple “legendary” acts: James Brown, Madonna, Beyonka (yeah I said it), Tina Turner (Beyonka’s Mama), Janet & Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley etc…… All dem n****’s got signature styles, sounds, hairstyles, dance moves etc… That makes people automatically know it’s them! And, let’s not forget BUSINESS SAVEY MINDS! Whether you’re backed by brilliant men like Tommy | Clive | Mathew Knowles | Renee etc… You gotta have a great TEAM & MACHINE around you to make sure yo stankin ass music becomes a success. In this industry, If you’re not backed by a huge cooperation or gotta massive following/connection with radio… SHiiiiiiiiit, you can forget about being nobody’s “icon” in this BUSINESS! You gotta have yo marketing team on point. THAT’S A F****** MUST!

    5.) I don’t know… I’m sure there’s more but I’m tipsy as hell. So, whatever. Oh wait, you gotta connect with the people!! We ain’t no damn ROBOTS! I don’t care how much payola, marketing, promotion is put into yo lil narrow behind. If the motha f*****’ public ain’t feeling you… It’s a WRAP for your white/green/Asian/black ass!
    ”AT THE END OF THE DAY, YOU CANNOT FORCE PEOPLE TO DIG INTO THEIR POCKETS & BUY YO S***! <—– And that ain’t nothing but the truth. Ight, BYE!

    • Yes girl May 26, 2016

      Alright now, you better speak that truth!

    • toeknee May 26, 2016

      Wooow I know there’s much to it but you definitely highlighted a lot of it.
      Where your loved or hate its about having impact on your Generation & those to come just like the great Michael & Whitney.
      To impact peoples lives, get fans go crazy for you because your music/entire personna connects to them.
      Yeah & beyonce (she is to me) & rihanna whether she has talent or not will definitely be legends because they have influence a plethora of artist & have forever loyal fans who will keep their legacy carried on.

    • Coolness May 27, 2016

      You better say all that I wanted to say with your drunk self, lmaoooooo!!!!

  17. Credits May 26, 2016

    Brandy-iconic for the way she layers her harmonies, her one of a kind Adlibs and runs, she set a precedent in contemporary r&b. You can literally hear her Influence in the music of others. Oh and her braids were iconic too lol.

    • Danzou May 26, 2016

      Yes I absolutely love her. Her influence is undeniable! Unless you’re white lol.

      • Credits May 26, 2016

        What do you mean? Sam smith and jessie j praise her!

      • Danzou May 26, 2016

        That’s different. In the UK they don’t think of it the way the American industry does. You’re right Sam and jessie are heavily influenced by her and jessie even brought her out on a show! The UK artists always show love to black culture and educate their fans on where they get their inspiration. In America the mainstream media only takes from black culture to make money and never really look more into it.

  18. Credits May 26, 2016

    lil kim- iconic for her style and subject matter of her music, that pushed the envelope. Iconic for being hardcore. She is the blue print for most of these female rappers today.

    • Danzou May 26, 2016

      She is iconic.

  19. IStan4Rihanna. May 26, 2016

    “Iconic” is a word that has different meanings for different platforms. Generally, in the case of music, an artists image or brand is and/or can be more iconic than their actual musicality or musical ability as that is what is significantly more remembered more often than not.


    “Spongebob Squarepants”, “Wolverine” and “Stewie Griffin” are iconic and that is all I have to say.

    • Danzou May 26, 2016

      Ok but we’re talking about music…

    • A&R May 26, 2016

      Wow!!! It’s so refreshing to come across another person who processes things the way you do. After I read this I instantly thought… TGJ seem to have Iconic confused with Legendary. An Icon is a symbol that restores wants and or embodies a moment of time. It’s actually more about the moment than living beyond it. What they describ is what a legend does. Icons are those who were leaders and creatives of a moment that set tends that were undeniably hot and couldn’t be stopped… For the moment. Think about the purpose of an actual icon for a brand and or thing.

      The Webster defines Icon as…
      : a person who is very successful and admired
      : a widely known symbol

      I think Iconic entertainers are those who make a big mark for the moment but their success doesn’t hold much grip beyond that. I think the Spice Girls are iconic. I think legends make such a mark… Beyond trends, that their legacy is so vast it’s almost hard to believe the stories told about them. Their impact reaches so far that it goes beyond their brand because, like listed above, their talent and accomplishments actually backs it. Legends don’t just sale they’re highly respected for your craft and have evidence to support it. They receive accolades because of it. They don’t only rock the trends, they set or create them. I think Mj is a legend while Janet is an Icon. I think the Surpremes are legendary while the Spice Girls Iconic. I think Beyonce has earned her spot among legends while, at this rate, Rihanna is iconic. She still has time tho.I also think Ciara is iconic but far from having her legacy live beyond her being one of the girls who was respected during her time and well known for a few things. All that to say.. I think TG got it mixed up.

  20. Danzou May 26, 2016

    Brandy Norwood is a legend.

    • Danzou May 26, 2016

      And an icon.

      • Danzou May 26, 2016

        Please don’t deny this.

    • Mark111 May 27, 2016

      Of what? She only had two successful eras. She’s basically Ciara and Ashanti.

      • Danzou May 27, 2016

        I’m not about to argue with you. Go away.

      • King Mark111 /.\ May 27, 2016

        Because you have NOTHING to argue about. Brandy was a flook for 5 years and a flop for over a decade. One would think that she was the one that died in 2001, because she haven’t done a thing, not ONE thing since what? 1999 or 2000? FACT: Brandy only had two successful albums, just like the other two has beens I named. So how is she a legend? What is her legacy without time traveling to the mid 90s when she’s STILL alive?

      • Danzou May 27, 2016

        You’re so bitter because aaliyah died and hasn’t left behind anything iconic nor legendary so get off my d*** f**. Brandy has three platinum selling albums, countless platinum singles, a vocal range that spans three octaves and a semitone, she is revered in the industry as one of the best vocalists with incomparable riffs and runs, the first black singer to be endorsed by cover girl, the only black cinderella, she still successfully sells out tours worldwide, her latest album spawned a platinum selling single, she’s had two TV shows, countless awards, the list goes on now get your messy, bitter, argumentative ass out of my section. Negative f**.

  21. No favs, just here for the music May 26, 2016

    Ahahaha I love how Beyonce is the photo used for this post. YES.

  22. brazio May 26, 2016

    BRANDY is my icon and legend

    • Danzou May 26, 2016

      She is THE most imitated contemporary in this industry. Her vocal polyphony, riffs, runs are bar NONE.

  23. Danzou May 26, 2016

    Brandy was the first black woman singer to be endorsed by cover girl. She’s the only black cinderella. How is that not iconic or legendary? I feel like the only people thumbing brandy down are white people.

    • Credits May 26, 2016

      If only they knew how much their favs love her. Ariana Grande does.

      • Danzou May 26, 2016

        Exactly if they only knew. A lot of these people don’t really love music they just love the idea of it. That’s why when in comes down to actual discussion and history of the industry they start to sound stupid. Notice how there are no comments from all the cheryl and selena or Bieber stans. Cuz they know this post is out of their league and they know that they’re not capable of giving substance to this topic. Lol

      • Danzou May 26, 2016

        And speaking of ariana did you notice she sounded a lot like brandy on “let me love you?” Not her in specific but the vocals.

  24. Danzou May 26, 2016

    Lil kim is an icon.

  25. rip May 26, 2016

    Icon:person or thing that is revered or idolized.

    By definition anyone with a following can be an Icon.
    People who haven’t even had as much impact as the popular mainstream artist throughout the years can be considered an Icon.
    The word gets thrown around far too much.

    It’s just a title!
    I respect anyone that can amass a following and hold on to it beyond the normal 5 year run most entertainers get.

    Legendary would be Ella,Elvis,Billie,The Beatles,Count Baisie,,Sam Cooke, Stevie Wonder,Ray Charles,James Brown,Aretha Franklin,Diana Ross and all the great pioneers who really paved the way for the artist we love today.By the time the big artist of the 80’s and 90’s came along nothing was new or oringinal at that point.

    As far as originality, artist post the 70’s era should’nt be given so much credit.

    Minnie had been whistling and writing her own material(Mariah)
    Ella had already took black vocals and added the magic to pop music(Whitney)
    Jackie Wilson,James Brown and countless other male singers we’re already dancing and giving electrifying performances.(Michael)
    Diana Ross and Josephine baker were already giving provocative performances and dancing because they didn’t think their voice were strong(Janet)
    Stevie and Ray Charles were already skilled at multiple music instruments and writing their own music(Prince)
    Bessie Smith was already talking about s** in the 30’s(Janet/Prince)
    Judy Garland and Dusty Springfield was already singing everbody else’s catalog and making then into hits(Celine)
    Countless golden era rappers were rapping about social problems, in fact “the message” was rap’s first mainstream hit and it was just as prolfic as any has social conscious rap album(Nas)
    Janice Joplin was already controversial(Madonna)

    I love the big 7:Whitney,Madonna,Micael,Prince,Mariah,Janet, and Celine but they aren’t the only legends.That’s not to discredit them but to educate some who seem to think they are the only ones.

    This new genration have a huge void to fill,sadly they aren’t.

    • Danzou May 26, 2016

      Yep. I agree. Our industry today is money minded and wants instant gratification. The industry today isn’t into supporting an act for decades. They always want the next thing. The industry today has been taken over by white people who only care about money, not the actual culture because you know white people could care less about culture if they can’t find a way to include themselves or colonize it.

  26. A May 26, 2016

    The only new icons this millennium has brought are Beyoncé, Ms. Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and to some of extent Rihanna. This is purely because of their success and cultural impact. Artists like P!nk, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Kelly Clarkson have been very successful on the charts but their music will not last the test of time. Drake is also another one who in a few years we will be calling a legend.

  27. Mariah Carey May 26, 2016

    Dahhlings! I’m not a legend just yet because I’m still young! But thank you for recognising my contributions to music. Sometimes people don’t realise that I’m a song writer and I produce my own songs. Love you #Lambily

  28. Usual Observer May 27, 2016

    Of THIS generation’s solo artists (2000+), as relates to Pop Icon’s, I say beyond any reasonable doubt, Beyoncé, and yes, Rihanna. People will try to talk about Rihanna and her singing but, no tea, no shade, Rihanna’s voice is as good as (or better than) Madonna’s and she is heralded as a global icon. Britney Spears and JayZ are the other two names that come to mind. Every era will have its “of the moment” artists but there are some ppl that will be celebrated for decades to come. Another important point to make: ICONS HAVE TO BE GLOBAL SUPERSTARS. Not local ones lol.

  29. Alex May 27, 2016

    Beyoncé is legendary. The term icon is interchangeable with legend. Didn’t Celine just receive an icon award?? But she’s a legend too right?? Yeah I thought so. Beyoncé been in this game 20 years and is still competing with the NEW SCHOOL. People forget that bey was out in the 90s with Toni Braxton, En vogue, Mariah Carey, TLC, Whitney Houston, boys to men, Mary j, and the list goes on. Beyoncé is an ARTIST. She cares about the show and PERFORMANCES. Bey is a rare gem. The term icon is used too much at times. However, we do have a few that can be called icons. BEYONCÉ, Rihanna, Brittany Spears, Usher are the icons of this generation.

  30. Justafan May 27, 2016

    Iconic = Mariah

  31. Mark111 May 27, 2016

    The definition if icon is image. To me and by definition, icon is Prince’s symbol, MJ’s moonwalk or glove. Aaliyah’s hair bang, Diana Ross Dive Pose. It’s the style, it’s the signature. I think tgj mixed icon with music legend. Everything that was typed is about the artist legacy. No matter how large or small your legacy is what people remembers. Impact during your time is every lasting as well.

  32. Theman May 27, 2016

    Pink, Adele, Usher, JT & Britney are icons…..

  33. TAYLOR SWIFTS NUMBER 1 FAN!!!! May 27, 2016

    Taylor Swift is iconic! She’s on her 5th album and more popular than ever! She’s a true star and iconic, and she does it without taking her clothes off.

    • King Mark111 /.\ May 27, 2016

      Because no one wants to see her skinny non having @ss.

  34. Royalkev May 27, 2016

    It’s several things imo! Everyone that’s iconic may take different routes, but all that matters is that they’ve managed to get across the finish line.

    What many iconic artists have in common is a huge hit that synonymous with their name:

    MJ (Thriller)
    Whitney (I Will Always Love You)
    Janet Jackson (Rhythm Nation)
    Prince (Purple Rain)
    Madonna (Vogue)
    Celine Dion (My Heart Will Go On)
    Mariah (We Belong Together)
    Toni Braxton (Unbreak My Heart)
    Brandy &Mo (Boy Is Mine)

    Again, everyone must get across the finish line (however they do). Imo, artists like Mary J, JLO, Lauryn Hill, Sade don’t have a “signature song”, but still belong in this league.

    New(er) School:
    Beyonce (Single Ladies)
    Christina Aguilera (Beautiful)
    Britney Spears (… Baby One More Time)
    Usher (Yeah)
    Alicia Keys (Fallin’)
    Rihanna (Umbrella)
    Lady Gaga (Bad Romance)
    Adele (Rolling in the Deep)
    Bruno Mars (Grenade)
    Taylor Swift (We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together)
    Shakira (Hips Don’t Lie)

    Artists that fit in this group without a “signature” are: Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, Drake etc

    *Not everyone I’ve listed has fulfilled each requirement to become an “iconic”, although they might be/might have been on track.

    You must be RELEVANT for TWENTY years, if an artist have at least a solid 10 years a case can be made for you (the only exception: see Lauryn Hill … and you will deal). It doesn’t mean that this artist is at the top of the charts for twenty years straight, it just required that these artists don’t end up like Alanis, Norah Jones, Hammer, etc.

    Every artist must have “one of those albums” aka a classic!

    Again, Thriller(MJ), Rhythm Nation (Janet), The Velvet Rope(Janet), Purple Rain(Prince), Bodyguard(Whitney), Private Dancer(Tina), Like a Virgin(Madonna), Music Box(Mariah), Secrets (Toni), Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Crazy,S***,Cool (TLC), Dangerously in Love(Bey), Confessions(Usher), Never Say Never (Brandy), 21(Adele), Future S**/Love Sounds (JT) , Speakerboxxx/The Love Below(Outkast), Missundaztood (Pink), Mary J(411), Sade(Promise), JLO (J.LO) Come on Over (Shania Twain), Tragic Kingdom (No Doubt), Jagged Little Pill (Alanis), Breakaway(Kelly Clarkson) etc…

    Achievements help: Albums sales, #1 hits, tour success, awards, records/milestones reached. Memorable performances that are deemed iconic always help to back up claims.

    R-e-s-p-e-c-t! – This is hard to earn, this usually is talent based.

    Talent! – This is subjective … but one way to truly tell if your fav’s talent is appreciated is by their reputation.

    Whitney – the vocal standard, labelled “the voice”
    Mariah – a respected singer/songwriter that’s written most of her #1’s
    MJ/Janet – perfectionists – influenced every dance artists in the industry.
    Prince – A writer/performer/over all musician in every way possibly imaginable, who’s talent is always held in high regard.
    Madonna – A touring phenomenon, Pop culture chameleon.


    Alica Keys – well respected singer/songwriter
    Beyonce – An artist with an unbeatable stage presence
    Adele – accomplished diva, bringing back a classic style in modern times.

    These are the main factors!

    • Royalkev May 27, 2016

      Excuse the errors… in a rush, heading to work! Happy Friday people! 🙂

  35. Briano May 27, 2016

    History will not be kind to beyfake as it will tell the truth, she hasn’t broken any noteworthy record she is unoriginal and is affiliated with bullies and endorses it by staying mute

    Yo each is own that shows how we are different as you cannot pay me to listen or look at what is a POS in my eyes

    • BEYICON May 27, 2016

      But it has hence why 15-20 years ago she was still a popular singer.

  36. Reddish tran ivy blokz Need UK timely May 27, 2016

    Amazing those 3 people are no longer here and will always be missed while theirs Music still here for people to listening to.

  37. Briano May 28, 2016


    She has the records, the style, the story ….she will be the one remembered from this period

  38. Briano May 28, 2016

    Its amazing rihanna came out of nowhere and left everyone in the dust

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