Hip-hop Media training

Janet, Mariah And Madonna Fight For The Diva Crown

Hip-Hop Media Training

Well, what do you know? I looked up Madonna's new single "4 Minutes" on a competing site that sells MP3s and it said, "Customers who bought this song also bought this album" and it pointed to Janet's Discipline. Underneath Discipline, it read, "Customers who bought this album also bought this item" and--you guessed it--Mariah's "Touch My Body" was at the top of the list.

Madonna, Janet and Mariah are such huge pop divas that it makes sense that there would be some overlap among their fanbases even though each offers something quite different. It is interesting that all are returning to the market with new records.

Janet's Discipline debuted at No. 1 following its February 26 release. Mariah's E=MC2 is due out on April 15 and Madonna's Hard Candy hits the shelves on April 29.

Since all are releasing new albums I'd like to call for a special three-way session of MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch. I'd love to see claymations of the music icons duking it out, America's Best Dance Crew style--Jabba Wockeez masks and all--to see who is the most beloved American Idol.

However, since I can't wait for the fantasy battle to materialize and I lack the technical ingenuity to pull a knockoff version, I'll instead resort to my familiar blog format.

In gauging who is the Most Significant Pop Diva, I found it only fair to judge them in few areas--singing ability, dancing, acting and lifetime achievement.

Best Singer: Mariah, can you please come to the stage to receive your award? There wasn't a need to handout ballots for this category. It was unfair to even pit Madonna and Janet against Mariah. Even though Mariah's recent choppy, hoarse performance on The Hills pre-show gave the delusional Heidi Montag a vote of confidence that she might have marginal singing talent, Mariah has never been accused of being anything less than a great vocalist. Well done, MC.

Best Dancer: Clearly, Mariah could be omitted from this category and that's not to say that she does not have rhythm; dancing just isn't her focus. Ten years ago, I would have given this honor to Janet without discussion based on her choreography in her "Control," "Rhythm Nation" and "Pleasure Principle" videos. During the late '80s and early '90s, Janet set the curve for dance and created the formula used by followers Britney, Ciara and the late Aaliyah. But the release of Janet's All For You album revealed that she reached a benchmark with "Rhythm Nation" and would no longer attempt to set trends.

All of her choreography displayed since appears to be rehashed routines. I must sadly admit that the Discipline videos "Feeback" and "Rock With U" have confirmed for me that Janet is content. And with that, I do strongly consider giving the honor to Madonna, who turns 50 this August, and continues to push it to the limit with every record. But I can't.

Janet's contribution to dance is too great. But as I hand Janet over this award, I pull her in closely for the congratulatory hug and whisper into her ear:

"Janet, you know you been slacking. Quit being scared. Let Ciara sponsor you at You Got Served camp and show everyone that you can do more than that same old two-step, shoulder pop that you did on Diff'rent Strokes 24 years ago.

Best Triple Threat: Janet, Mariah, and Madonna, have proven that they can sing, dance, and act to varying levels. But the true question here is: who is the best actress? Clearly, Janet has the most credits, including a number of television series (Good Times, Diff'rent Strokes, Fame) and movies (Poetic Justice, Nutty Professor, Why Did I Get Married). Still, Janet's shockingly unconvincing performances as the foul-mouthed, South Central homegirl in Poetic Justice and the "oops I had a wardrobe malfunction" victim of Super Bowl XXXVIII disqualify her from this category. The same goes for Madonna's portrayal of Evita in the biopic. The Nice Try honorable mention goes to Mariah for playing a teenager in that movie that starts with a G and ended with a flop. Let's just say that the winner of the Best Triple Threat honor is not here to receive her award tonight. This category has been nixed.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Drum roll please, though this should not come as a surprise. You must acknowledge this woman for having minimal vocal talent, yet managing to become one of the most significant voices in pop music. She has sold more than 275 million records worldwide which makes her the top selling female artist of all time.

Despite her music's consumption with sex and her public romps with everyone from Sean Penn to Vanilla Ice to Dennis Rodman to Warren Beatty, she still miraculously used her voice to speak out against the war and to write children's books.

Her music reflects that of a chameleon as she reinvents her sound with each record, always preferring to be cutting edge as opposed to safe.

Earlier this month, she was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Ironically, during the same time, GQ magazine ranked her husband No. 1 on its list of the 25 Most Whipped Men On The Planet. She is so powerful, I'm sure that Guy doesn't care if the fellas call him Mr. Madonna.

Madonna Louise Ciccone, from Bay City, Michigan, will you please come up on this stage and receive Hip Hop Media Training's Most Significant Pop Diva award?

Now, I have to make myself a Madonna mixtape with "Music," "Justify My Love," "Material Girl"... I'd better stop here before I further incriminate myself.

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