10 Most Overrated Singers of the 2000s

Published on August 27, 2013. Updated September 20, 2016

The word “overrated” is defined as “having a higher opinion of someone or something than is deserved.” There’s no denying that the following musicians are popular and successful (their record sales and Twitter followers, as shown below, prove how popular they are) but does their talent match the level of success they’ve achieved? We’ll leave that up to you to decide….

10. Avril Lavigne

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Avril was as much affected by punk rock as she was by her encouraging parents, and Avril’s mall and skateboard videos reach scores of kids.  Along the way, she’s sold 18 million records and collected over 12 million followers on Twitter. She sells out over 85 percent of her concerts and grosses over four million dollars in concert revenue alone. So, is Avril overrated? Some point to her big hit, “Complicated” and say she’s basically a one-hit wonder.

9. Jennifer Lopez

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Jennifer Lopez became a rocker superstar as an actor first, playing tragic figure Selena in the feature film. With an acting career launched, J Lo branched out into singing, dancing and acting – combining Latin romance and hip-hop music. 75 million records and over 22 million Twitter followers suggests she’s one of the most successful singers in the world. Does her talent warrant that title?

8. Lady Gaga

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While her gaudy style, assorted costumes and startling performances have the rock-emeritus crowd buzzing, Lady Gaga has combined the ideas of Andy Warhol and Madonna and the vocals of Britney Spears to create a fan-base larger than some musicians who have been in the business for decades. With 85 million records sold, a record setting concert tour and almost 40 million Twitter followers, many argue that her actual vocal capabilities fall second to her publicity-seeking stunts.

7. Mariah Carey

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After an amazing self-titled debut album, Carey followed up with three winning albums that established her as a voice to beat for unbelievable range and power. Songs like “We Belong Together,” “All I Want for Christmas is You” and “One Sweet Day” are going to be around for a long time. With 200 million albums sold, big concert revenues and 13 million followers on Twitter, there’s no denying that Carey has star power. Unfortunately, she’s become known for her over-the-top diva behavior and unwarranted arrogance.

6. Rihanna

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There’s no shortage of sex appeal in Rihanna’s music – and that’s precisely the reason she’s become so popular. The pop/rapper hybrid from St. Michael, Barbados has scored with great tunes like “Umbrella” by combining dance, pop and reggae. With over a million records sold worldwide and 31 million followers on Twitter, critics blast her for her vocal range and how her sexy themes have overlapped with her personal life, in particular, her strange relationship with Chris Brown. Would Rihanna be as popular if she relied solely on her voice instead of her body-baring outfits and crass attitude? Probably not.

5. Michael Jackson 

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When you’ve sold 35 million records, you’re responsible for extravagant concert tours and 35 million people follow you on Twitter (even though you’re dead) there’s no arguing that you’ve reached the level of success. Michael Jackson produced countless hits during his time in the spotlight but his rumored drug use (that eventually killed him), his questionable love of children and his disturbing plastic surgery choices seem to outperform his musical success when it comes to media attention. Was Michael really one of the most talented musicians of his time, or was he simply successful at staying relevant by any means possible?

4. Madonna

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Madonna was a nice midwestern girl who grew up to become a crotch caressing bad girl with a pupil-dilating sense of fun. The Queen of Pop is worth more than a billion dollars – money earned from controversial concerts, songs that are borderline inappropriate and performances that are blatant publicity stunts. Fortunately for Madonna, these stunts have garnered her billions of dollars and kept her in the spotlight for over 3 decades.

3. Lil Wayne

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Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., known world wide as Lil Wayne, has scored with over 100 songs on Billboard Top 100. He started his rap career at age 9 and has earned tremendous Grammy recognition. He’s so successful, he’s considering retirement at age 35. With six million records sold, capacity concert crowds and 13 million Twitter followers, Lil Wayne’s reputation as a leader in the hip-hop scene has been called into question. The question is, does Lil Wayne’s ability to spew out controversial lyrics warrant him billions of dollars?

2. Britney Spears

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Britney Spears landed her dream job with the Mousketeers in the late 1990s. With successful dance music full of teen angst, hip hop, and heart-felt blues, she zoomed up the charts faster than any other musician on the scene. Brit-Bri has racked up over 100 million in sales, she sells out almost all of her concerts and 30 million people follow her on Twitter. Is she overrated? Her transparent lip-syncing and frigid dance moves suggest yes.

1. Justin Bieber 

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Justin Bieber’s phenomenal success started on You Tube where he sang kids songs to wayward surfers. Producers turned him into an overnight teen heartthrob with an enormous following. With 15 million album sales, sold out concerts around the globe and over 43 million people following him on Twitter, few observers think there’s little more than hype to Justin’s career.

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