|Pictured: treasure (left) and trash (right).|
Musical styles and influence
Britney is always ahead of the curve, setting trends with every song she releases. She's often credited as leading the revival in teen pop in the late 1990s. This blast of bubblegum pop would later allow artists such as Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, and Justin Bieber to start their music careers at an early age. With Britney's R&B influences and In the Zone's urban elements, B segued into electropop dance music, which has defined the later half of her career. Without her taking those reins, artists like Lady Gaga wouldn't have careers. And whether you love it or hate it, dubstep was first introduced into mainstream music by Britney's "Freakshow". Blackout was dubbed the most influential pop album of the decade by Rolling Stone, and it was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Britney's influence is massive and beyond reproach!
Christina's R&B influences and preference for low-profile producers helped her establish a unique identity that was pretty different from Britney's at first. And it worked, and her willingness to take risks produced the wonderfully jazz-infused Back to Basics album. But in recent years, Christina has had an identity crises. After dismissing autotune, her vocals on Bionic were notably computerized. (She later called the album "ahead of its time" after it flopped, but I just call it "shit.") Her most recent effort, Lotus, proved that she had finally caved in. She worked with the hottest producers and assembled a collection of the most reductive and formulaic dance songs you could imagine. There's a reason you're probably unaware that she released an album just last November. Obviously, this round goes to Britney!
Everybody has to admit that Christina is the better vocalist. (Some even think she's black!) Britney has said, on numerous occasions, that she would like to have a voice like Christina's. While it's worth noting that Britney has an amazing voice, one that her music generally doesn't show, it's nowhere near Christina's level, and thus this round goes to Christina!
The wow factor
Slutty school girl, red latex, sheer bodysuit, albino snake, bejeweled skin, three-ring circus. What do all of these things have in common? They are elements of Britney's most memorable performances. Christina may have the better voice, but Britney has always been the better performer, and has contributed far more to pop culture iconography than Xtina could ever hope. This round goes to Britney!
Sales, numbers, and figures
Let's talk albums first. All but one of Britney's have gone to #1 in the US (Blackout hit #2). All of her albums have been certified platinum, with ...Baby One More Time and Oops!... I Did It Again both achieving the highest honor of diamond. Collectively, she has sold over 100 million albums worldwide. Only 2 of Christina's 7 albums have hit #1, and only 5 have gone platinum (the other 2 haven't even gone gold). Worldwide, she has sold 50 million albums, only have of what Britney's done.
Now let's talk singles. Both singers have boosted a surprisingly low five #1 US hits (including Britney's feature on "S&M" by Rihanna and Christina's features on "Lady Marmalade" and "Moves Like Jagger"). The only difference? The last time Christina hit #1 as a solo artist was in 2000 with "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)". Britney had her last solo #1 in 2011 with "Hold It Against Me".
As for concert tours, let's just say this: Britney's Femme Fatale tour was amongst the top-selling global tours of 2011. Christina's last tour was cancelled due to lack of interest. All together now: this round goes to Britney!
It's sad but true that unless Britney is going up against Lindsay Lohan or Amanda Bynes, she'll always have the burden of having had one of the biggest celebrity meltdowns ever. Between questionable parenting choices, alleged drug use, a messy divorce, and a shaved head, 2006-08 was not a great time for Brit. And even though she was never arrested like Christina was for being a damn hot mess in 2011, I have to be honest and give this round to Christina.
- The Voice routinely beats The X Factor in ratings. Point for Christina!
- Everybody and their mother has come forward to say that meeting Christina was like meeting the devil himself, but Britney is constantly complimented for her sweet modesty and professionalism. Point for Britney!
- Britney doesn't exploit her children, but they're celebrities anyway, kind of in a Suri Cruise kind of way... What was Christina's kid's name again? Point for Britney!
- Madonna kissed both Britney and Christina onstage during the same performance, but only Britney's smooch made headlines. Did you even know that Christina was there? Point for Britney!
- Before P!nk, Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry started churning out songs about the underdog, Christina released "Beautiful", one of the more poignant empowerment songs for the disenfranchised. Britney's music might be more fun, but she's never recorded something this meaningful nor powerful. Point for Christina!