The Great Debate: Justin Timberlake vs George Michael

Justin Timberlake vs George MichaelIt’s customary for music-loving individuals to debate which songs, albums, and artists they consider the best, especially when comparing one artist head-to-head with another. Opinions are openly expressed, facts are justifiably revisited. It makes for a great, educational, and often aggressive but fun conversation. is going to start one right now!

Artist: Justin Timberlake
Debut: 1992
Albums: Justified (2002), FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006), The 20/20 Experience (2013); The 20/20 Experience—2 of 2 (2013)
Singles: “Like I Love You,” “Cry Me a River,” “Rock Your Body,” “SexyBack,” “My Love,” “Summer Love,” “Mirrors,” “Take Back the Night”
#1s (Singles, Albums): 6


Artist: George Michael
Debut: 1981
Albums: 6 total, including Faith (1987), Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 (1990), Older (1996), Patience (2004)
Singles: “Carless Whisper,” “I Want Your Sex,” “Father Figure,” “One More Try,” “Too Funky,” “Jesus to a Child,” “Fastlove,” “Freeek!”
#1s (Singles, Albums): 9

Michael Jackson dominated the crown as pop music’s global king, but only a jester believes his throne had no contenders. George Michael is one of those artists who made the claim competitive. Like MJ, the UK native crooner (formerly of group Wham!) could seamlessly transition from bubble gum to soul food. See: “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” with Aretha Franklin

Justin Timberlake also makes the transition sound easy. Often compared to MJ, the former N’Sync member reintroduced the merger of pop and R&B, a multiplatinum partnership the late King of Pop brokered. Like George Michael, Timberlake is also a legitimate contender.

But which of them is better, and why?

Tweet @SoulTrain with your pick at #TheGreatDebate!

—Mr. Joe Walker

Mr. Joe Walker is an urban and pop culture enthusiast. Known as “The Word Heavyweight Champion”, the biographer, author, entertainment and celebrity journalist, and columnist is currently a senior writer for, staff writer for Muskegon Tribune Newspaper, and writer of weekly classic hip-hop reviews for Concrete Magazine’s Also co-creator of, Walker’s acclaimed, award-winning work has been published thousands of times regionally, nationally, internationally, and online. He is also working on a book project with Liquid Arts & Entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @mrjoewalker, connect with him on Facebook, and also visit his blog

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