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It's with good reason that some speculate that the 'Baby' singer would be next to rule the pop charts for the foreseeable future. He's broken his fair share of records -- his film 'Never Say Never' trumped Jackson's 'This Is It' in the box office -- at an startlingly young age, not to mention, like MJ, he made his mark on the style frontier (who hasn't talked about that enviable shaggy-haired 'do?). But is that all it takes? Is the Canadian singer destined to be crowned the next King of Pop one day? Only time will tell. In the meantime, we've investigated some of the commonalities between the two mega-stars to shed some light on the matter. Read arguments for each and vote in our poll below!
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Although he was the second youngest of the group, young MJ went from backup conga and tambourine player, to backup dancer and vocals, to lead vocalist of the Jackson 5 by age 8. Michael's father Joseph Jackson had Michael and co touring the Midwest, opening for adult acts in the night club circuit before landing a record deal with Motown at age 10. By the time little Michael was 13, he already had nine albums with his famous family under his belt ... and three solo albums!
While Michael has a good 40-plus years on Justin, Bieber is steadily catching up with Jackson's chart achievements. The pre-launch success of Bieber's album 'My World' saw him become the first solo artist to have four top-40 singles prior to an album's debut. When his full studio album, 'My World 2.0,' finally dropped, it debuted at No. 1 in the US and sold more than 283,000 copies within its first week -- making Bieber the youngest solo male act to top the charts since Stevie Wonder in 1963 and the first artist to occupy two top five spots since 2004. The Biebs also became the first artist to have seven songs from a debut album chart on the Billboard Hot 100. If that's not enough, in July 2010, Bieber's lead single 'Baby' became the Most-Viewed Video in YouTube history.
Bieber's ticket sales came in just above the $72.1M Jackson's 2009 movie made. 'This Is It' gave MJ fans a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Michael's sold-out and highly anticipated concert series of the same name. MJ tragically passed away just 18 days before the concert's opening night and the movie premiered just three months after the star's death. While 'Never Say Never' may have topped Jackson's film in the US, 'This Is It' blew Bieber's out of the water internationally -- grossing more than $261M worldwide to Bieber's $10.8M.
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Crowd reactions aren't exactly what one would call subdued for Biebs, either. Throughout his short career, Bieber has canceled performances and appearances worldwide because of crowd control issues and safety scares. Fervent fans sent out death threats to Bieber's new girlfriend Selena Gomez, caused a near riot in Liverpool, England and almost crushed concert-goers at an Australian concert. Over-zealous fans have prompted Bieber's management to only book the star at arenas and other venues that have seats. Love of the teen heartthrob has even earned its own unique title -- "Bieber Fever."
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Jackson's first Grammy win was in 1980 at age 21. He took home the gold for Best R&B Vocal Performance for 'Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough' from his solo debut 'Off the Wall.' His second solo album 'Thriller' won a record eight Grammy awards in 1984. In his career, Michael Jackson won 13 Grammys total and 26 American Music Awards.