Who are the Reigning Queen and Princess of Pop?

Jolin Tsai

At 30 years old, Jolin Tsai is probably considered a Dance Queen in Taiwan, with a discography that spans a little over ten studio albums and countless dance pop tunes. According to a recent poll in 2010, Tsai was the 2nd top-earning Taiwanese singer of the year, just behind King of Mandopop, Jay Chou [1].

Jolin Tsai’s Dance and Sexy Queen titles have been pretty much undisputed in Taiwan, and she seems to work her butt off for it. She does it all, commercials, acting, putting on shows with loads of costumes and dancing — we can probably call her a Hardworking Maiden, as she gets compared to a cactus for being able to grow in harsh conditions.

Those harsh conditions? For someone as popular, a lot of people seem to hate her for no apparent reason. She gets called for copying other artists often and even blurring her chest on the music video for Lover Player [MV] caused an uproar. Also her love life is often material for headlines — but when you’re a Queen of Pop, when is your private life private?

Pop Queen / Princess Rate:★★★¼☆ 

Christina Aguilera

At 30 years old, Aguilera is truly the Britney contemporary. Though she branched out from dance pop — and got often relegated to second field when Britney made headlines — Aguilera became most known for her belting. She’s one of the few on our list who has done pop, pop rock, r&b, soul, jazz, synthpop and electropop, selling over 50 million albums and outselling Britney the past decade becoming Top Selling Single Artist just behind Madonna.

Aguilera is one of the best voices in the industry today and seems to be in control of what’s going on when it’s about work. Her evolution has been pretty drastic with each of her albums, reaching a point of sexuality with Stripped, and she continues the sexuality in her music even if people dispute her hotness now.

The fans that love her truly love her, but there are people that hate her with a passion. After the release of Bionic, her marriage ended amidst infidelity claims. Since then, she’s been going through a really rough time until her success with vocal competition The Voice. But she’s been talking about it and takes some responsibility for her mistakes.

Pop Queen / Princess Rate:★★★½☆ 


It seems that life for 30-year-old Beyonce has been pretty smooth. From best-selling girl group Destiny’s Child to becoming a best-selling solo artist with over 75 million records sold with only four albums!

Though it is disputed whether Beyonce can be the Queen of Pop since her career has been more focused towards R&B, her pop appeal is undeniable.

Beyonce can sync dance — as proven by her DC days — and can shake her booty a la Shakira. She can belt notes like nobody’s business and owns that stage… even people who don’t follow her music can attest to that [1]. She’s gone through a gradual and natural evolution of her image, but still is looked upon for her fashion choices.

Unlike many, she’s managed to keep her career with a balance of class — her biggest scandal? Probably those rumors of being difficult… but like any Queen of Pop, who’s not difficult?

Pop Queen / Princess Rate:★★★½☆ 


YAM Magazine editor, photographer, blogger, translator and part-time web designer. Film junkie, music junkie… and lately series (a.k.a. TV) junkie.

46 Responses

  1. what says:

    “Is she too Latin to be Pop? Or is she too Pop to be Latin?”

    what the hell is this statement?

    also, why is Ayumi’s fashion 5 five stars while Namie’s is barely 3 and a half? her performance should be higher too as that is what draws millions of people to her concerts. Hyori’s performance needs to be at 3 and her dance at like 2. Beyonce needs to be at 5 too.

    • amy says:

      @what, [we try to use real names here as much as possible or at least reasonable screenames].

      What’s the problem with the sentence? Shakira is a Latina, but she’s definitely crossover enough to be considered pop music. So which one is it? Are her albums regarded as pop or latin pop? It’s a valid question for a world that likes to label things.

      Namie Amuro’s popularizing tanned skins, dyed hair and minis with boots is hardly a fashion statement.

      I don’t think anyone’s got a 5 in performance.

      But thank you for your comments.

      • believer says:

        oh, you’re going to be picky about how people comment on your blog now?

        “What’s the problem with the sentence? Shakira is a Latina, but she’s definitely crossover enough to be considered pop music.”

        You missed the point. Of course, Shakira is both– pop music anywhere is a mixture of various elements. Lebanese, African– Shakira blends it all into what is her own brand of music, which happens to be popular.

        @amy, “Namie Amuro’s popularizing tanned skins, dyed hair and minis with boots is hardly a fashion statement.”

        Except that’s the very fashion statement she popularized and is still a trademark today– ever heard of an Amura? Hundreds of magazine spreads and covers later and she’s still a fashion leader for young girls. This is indisputable. Anyone that tries to say otherwise needs to educate themselves on the history on J-pop rather than coming to their own conclusions on what they think is or isn’t popular.

        What’s the point in having a 5-star rating system then? And the fact that certain people’s performances (which is a combination of voice and dance), get less than their voice and dancing score.. That’s just mathematically incorrect and doesn’t make your article look better.

        • amy says:

          @believer, I don’t know what’s picky about it. ‘what’ pointed out a sentence that he didn’t agree with, and I told him/her that it was a valid question. Some people who are focus on latin music, don’t consider Shakira latin music any longer though some of her recent releases have been focused on said market.

          The fact that the GRAMMY has a Pop category separated from the Latin Pop category speaks for itself.

          Also, like pointed out in a comment below, this is an opinion article that contains a poll for people to vote. You are obviously a fan of Namie Amuro, and you’re entitled to discuss in the comments without being hostile about it.

          The 5 star rating is a subjective scale, of course you think a 5/5 rating is possible… while I think it’s not. If you would bother to check my reviews, the most I give something it’s a 4/5 considering that a 5/5 is a distinctive thing for acts/films/albums that I find as favorite. Also, performance also means stage persona and theatrics which has nothing to do with how well someone can sing or dance.

  2. Juan Barquin says:

    Madonna still remains the Queen for me. Honestly, I couldn’t care less what the critics say about her film. When you’ve got eleven albums, you’re recording a twelfth, and you’re now trying your hand at directing and writing movies – you deserve that Queen title.

    • amy says:

      @Juan Barquin, I really think Madonna’s career in pop is a huge feature. I mean, twenty years at the top of her game is something huge… especially in pop music.

      In terms of number of albums though… xD I mean, BoA has 14 studio albums and she’s 25 LOL. But she’s a crazy overachiever. I think a lot of her fans are expecting her Hollywood dancing debut in that 3d dancing film xD

      • Juan Barquin says:

        @amy, So it’s like fifty months later (or just five whatever) and I still stand by my opinion that Madonna is f l a w l e s s. Although the Give Me All Your Luvin’ single really didn’t need Nicki Minaj or MIA at all honestly. The demo is far better because it’s just her solo work.

        • amy says:

          @Juan Barquin, is there a link to it? Because all I get searching for that is covers by fans. – Anyway, I like the song. I agree Minaj sounds out of place there, and… I don’t even notice MIA in it. But the song reminds me of Britney’s How I Roll… I wonder if it’s the same producer xD

  3. naomi says:

    I voted for BoA, Christina Aguilera and Amuro Namie :) I love BoA, she’s awesome, talented and has a great personality :D although, I think Christina Aguilera is definitely one of the top singers, her voice is just so strong, almost flawless…and strong.. lol

    and btw, why do people complain about if someone has more or less stars than others? this is an article and it has obviously some subjective point of view, its written by someone, its not an article based on a poll… it HAS a poll for you to vote.

    Anyways, i still think BoA’s the best for me :) nice post!

    • amy says:

      @naomi, Aguilera’s voice overpowers anything she does, so when she tried to play down her voice for Bionic, it just didn’t work.

      I like BoA’s I Eat You Up a lot – not because of the English lyrics… I can’t get over the lyrics, but I think it’s her best MV and her dancing there, that was the first time I was ever blown away by her power dancing. She literally blew those windows off.

      • naomi says:

        @amy, she’s awesome♥ and she’s a hardworker, i like that about her a lot :) Have you seen her ‘over the top’ performance? maybe its not the best dance or what so ever, but for me its one of her best performances :3 also ‘bad drive’ @ her ‘the face’ tour :)

  4. ghost says:

    I find it hilarious (and slightly disturbing) that fans – anonymous fans nonetheless – comment obviously in favor of their fandom but instead of saying things like “you’re wrong! BoA is an amazing dancer” while showing you with amazing links, they just decide to piss on the author of the post.

    • amy says:

      @ghost, look I understand the fans. I do try to be as objective as I can, but it’s incredibly naive to think that ANY journalist/writer/blogger/person doesn’t have a point of view. If it had been for me, I wouldn’t have given Namie so much dancing points because I do think she lacks swing and prowess for dancing.

      But then when I talk about my favorite singers (who don’t even show up on the list because I know they’re not in the same type of music), I’m quick to point out that they’re not dancers or that they know they’re not great vocalists.

      Britney, whatever you may say of her now, didn’t have the greatest vocals and she was pretty fine at dancing, but when she performed (specially on MTV) she was pretty amazing. That goes to show you, for one of the above comments, that vocals and dancing has nothing to do with performing.

    • amy says:

      @ghost, also… *laughs* you’re one to talk about anonymous fans. LOL

  5. Have to say…Minaj and Rihanna just shouldn’t be on this list. Their images, pop though they may seem, show nothing of the strength, talent, drive, and creativity of those touted as true Pop Divas (a la Madonna, Janet Jackson, and even Beyonce, though I was never a fan of hers starting from her DC days). Just because someone makes headliens doesn’t make them in any way pop royalty. Nicki Minaj has nothing remotely resembling talent in my opinion. She’s like a bad cartoon…she’s got lots of colours, plastic parts, and moves around a lot. (Tellytubbies, anyone?) Rihanna just doesn’t have any of the fire it takes to reign at the top at all. Gaga has the show and spectacle, but her sound is generic and, in fact, is more of a Madonna 2.0 or a Spice Girls hybrid of some sort. Nothing incredibly interesting for me. Of course, I know I’m in the VAST minority here, but that’s just how I feel.

    I’m sad that Janet’s not on this list because in terms of longevity, sexuality, performance, and heart, she and Madonna are the crux of the pop universe. They came about around the same time with the same attitude, strength, sexuality, and ability to pack stadiums with their presence alone. Scandals notwithstanding (however silly they may have been) both of these ladies carried off their diva status with the same amount of poise, class, and sheer love of music that these newfound starlets just don’t seem to have. These Disney clones all sound the same, all make the same music, and all follow in the same footsteps: Disney movie, horrible (and random to the point of ridiculous) album, some childish and idiotic rumour/scandal, fade into obscurity. It’s all very piontless in my opinion.

    I’m sad to admit that I don’t know much about the Asian stars on this list and hope to remedy that in the future to give a better assessment of where they stand on the whole Pop Queen/Princess debate.

    I think our best shot is Beyonce because she pretty much does the same thing that Janet and company have done which is put on a good show and maintain relative class (I’m not a fan of hers and actually find her quite uninteresting musically, and also am rather humoured by her sudden European appearance. But she does fit into that elite few that I’d give the crown to just on the basis of what I know of her).

    Note on Shakira: unique voice, incredible natural movement, uncanny ability to choose sexy as hell co-stars in her video (you think I’m bluffing? “Gypsy”. Rafa Nadal…nuff said). She’s at least a Pop Lady in Waiting in my opinion ;)

    Sorry that was so long. Just wanted to give my two cents (or 75 cents, depending on where you stand on my incredibly long responses…HaHa).

    • amy says:

      @Camiele White, well… this is a long comment xD

      In real life, I would agree with you about Minaj and Rihanna – but for the purpose of this post, I had to recognize them. If you go through each page, Minaj and Rihanna have generally average ratings, and you’ll see that both of their ratings for voice, dancing and performing are pretty low compared to the others.

      Each one has a music video sample to give you an idea of what they’re like as a package, even if you don’t know the Asian ones.

      My view on Gaga is half and half, I was greatly disappointed with her last album and have been less than impressed with all her performances this year.

      Janet is not on the list, because I would consider her more of Madonna’s contemporary which would also open the door to add Cyndi Lauper and other Latin (like Thalia or Paulina Rubio) and Asian musicians (… too many pop vocalists), so I made it a point to make it a list of people of Britney’s generation and below.

      • Camiele says:

        @amy, Well, I wouldn’t necessarily call Janet Madonna’s contemporary seeing as both of their respective popularity was at around the same time, give or take maybe a year. But, it’s your list. So, I won’t harp on it…HaHa ;P

        I’d also argue that it wasn’t a requisite to add neither Minaj or Rihanna. The list would’ve been just as complete without them, I believe. Or, if you want to go in terms of Britney and beyond, you’ve got Jennifer Lopez (dancing, acting, and “singing”…at least the first two are far more superior than M and R), Pink (her versatility drives her pop appeal), and even stronger, Mariah Carey (though I’d personally dismiss anything after Heartbreaker, her latest albums have sold considerably and have established her as part of the “Pop Queen” conversation).

        Another long response. Mwah-ha-ha-ha-haaaa!!!!! >=)

        • amy says:

          @Camiele, oh gosh. Mariah’s Heartbreaker – I really haven’t taken Mariah seriously since she became MiMi. But I’ll concede in that anything Mariah put out in the market pre-99 is miles better than 99% of what RiRi and Minaj has on the market – though I gotta admit that Super Bass song, I didn’t care for it online… but I was forced to listen to it on the radio last week. Damn, it’s catchy.

          I’ll concede on Jennifer Lopez too. Though, she really had a long break between the years of her Love Don’t Cost a Thing days to her recent releases…

          Though Pink’s pop appeal is undeniable — Just like Beyonce’s pop appeal is — I always thought of Pink as something else. I think the only thing in Pink’s career that resembled anything pop was her debut album. She’s done too much rock-ish song, I don’t think the industry has ever considered her pop.

          I always had the impression Pink is more famous in Europe and Australia than she is in America.

  6. Camiele says:

    @amy, You make a totally valid point about Pink. I’ve always taken the term “pop” as a more literal interpretation: anything that’s popular. If we’re talking about, say, “Candy Pop”, that’s when you get talking about Britney, Christina (pre-“Stripped”), etc. If you’re talking about pop that transcends and then becomes something worthy of royal consideration, you’ve got certain criteria (that I think you covered) that have to be taken into account. If certain “artists”, no matter how current they are, don’t even come close to fitting those criteria, they don’t deserve mention on the list.

    But I suppose I should stop…HaHa. I’m littering up the comment page.

    • amy says:

      @Camiele, I just wanted to avoid the flames. I’m scared of Lady Gaga, RiRi and Minaj fans. LOL Though apparently… I should be scared of Namie Amuro fans. xD

      Nah… I just think I had to considered them… I think there was a not so recent article with Rihanna talking about how they all reign the charts. I had to consider them… as well as some of the Asian singers I added, even though BoA and Hyori haven’t released new material in a while… they are considered pop queens in Asia.

      The inclusions of the names was only about people’s general’s perspective of who are dominating music now. The ratings are my own thing, and if you take a look at Beyonce’s – I think she’s the one with the most leveled rating in the whole list.

  7. Camiele says:

    @amy, Yeah. I saw that. For me of those on the list, it’d have to Christina or Beyonce, though, like I said, I’m not a fan of hers. I need to get up on my Asian pop stars, though, as Julili will tell you…HaHa.

  8. ghost says:

    Saw the post on your blog, and came to do my Nelson laugh *Ha ha*

    How much of a star will cost that Anahi lawsuit for discrimination against women for the Snickers commercial?

    Talk about shooting yourself on the foot.

    • amy says:

      @ghost, well… Anahi is already pretty low ranked in the “Scandal” factor.

      For those of you who don’t know, Anahi and (I guess) Snickers Latin America/Mexico were recently sued for discrimination against women for a commercial where Anahi is playing a dude named Carlos, and “he” is accused of behaving like a girl when he’s hungry. Turning once again into Carlos when he bites the Snickers.

      In contrast to the Betty White commercial, where a guy named Jamie is accused of behaving like Betty White – which is not sexist at all.

      Even though Anahi choosing to make the commercial is kind of dumb, I don’t think she should be held responsible, or at least sued for it.

  9. magge says:

    If anyone is a queen of these ones it’s Beyonce. No woman at the moment can compare to her performance ability!

  10. Castor says:

    I’m sorry. Where is Rebecca Black?

  11. Jay says:

    List is invalid without Britney Spears.

    • amy says:

      @Jay, pffft. This whole list is because Britney is not cutting it any longer, if you check the introduction. ;P

      • Rodrigo says:

        @amy, How would you rate Spears and Madonna on your star rating format you did for those other pop singers?

        • amy says:

          @Rodrigo, let’s see…

          at the height of their careers~


          Dance: 3.5
          Voice: 3.25
          Performance: 4.5 (go figure those mathematics hahaha)
          Evolution: 5
          Fashion: 5
          Likability: 4
          Sexuality: 5
          Scandal: 4
          Pop Queen/Princess Rate: 4.25 (automatic average)

          Britney (until her In the Zone days)

          Dance: 3.75
          Voice: 3
          Performance: 4
          Evolution: 3.5
          Fashion: 3.25
          Likability: 4
          Character: 3
          Sexuality: 5
          Scandal: 3.5
          Pop Queen/Princess Rate: 3.75 (automatic average)

          I don’t think Britney ever reached her full potential. T_T And I’m blaming that one on her lack of character. I was so sad looking at the photos that we got from her concert hahaha… like, really nostalgic xD

      • Rodrigo says:

        @amy, I should have specified that. Nowadays, I meant to say.

        • amy says:

          @Rodrigo, well… Madonna hasn’t performed in AGES. So I really wouldn’t know what her skills are at the moment. But Hard Candy and ever since American Life, I’ve been disappointed. So probably her performance has gone down, as well as her fashion and sexuality.

          Britney, right now, after the release of her latest Femme Fatale…
          Dance: 3
          Voice: 2.5
          Performance: 3
          Evolution: 3
          Fashion: 3
          Likability: 4 – this is up for debate, LOL. Still loads of people who root for her.
          Character: 2.5
          Sexuality: 3.5
          Scandal: 3.5 – I don’t think anybody cares about her scandals any longer. Or if something happens, nothing is shocking.
          Pop Queen/Princess Rate: 3

  12. Alexandra says:

    How can I vote?!?!?!

  13. Eri says:


    I’d really love to vote. Where can I?

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