VoReason wrote:^^^^ Surely Shania SHOULD be on the list on a global scale? She broke SERIOUS ground with country music outside of the US (albeit it was very much redone for Europe to sound more rocky).
But yeah, wouldn't put Madge at the top for the last 20 years.. Mariah for US, Brit WW. Spice Girls should be up there somewhere too - there is more to music than sales; these two artists had more influence over teenage girls at the turn of the century than artists like GaGa, Rihanna, Beyonce will have in their entire career. It's just the culture that the world was in..
You'd place Britney Spears at #1 for the last 20 years? In my opinion, for the last 20 years, Madonna should still rank ahead of Britney. And Madonna shouldn't even be #1! Britney would round out the top 5 nicely.
The #1 slot for the last 20 years should go to either Celine or Mariah - I'd give the edge to Celine for having remained on top of her game for longer. Like Madonna, Whitney also saw her best days were before 1992 [despite The Bodyguard]. In my opinion, for the last 20 years [1990/1991 onwards]...
4. Whitney Houston
5. Britney Spears
6. Janet Jackson
Shania didn't break down nearly as many barriers as some like to think; her biggest hits were pop oriented singles. And despite being labelled as a country crossover artist - which she was - her biggest success came with Come On Over, which was more pop than country. Shania never charted a country single in the UK for e.g. without first charting a pop single - all of her biggest hits were pop singles - That Don't Impress Me Much, From This Moment On, You're Still The One, Man! I feel Like A Woman, Up!
To me, simply saying Shania put country music on the map is a short sighted comment, especially considering the fact that Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette and Patsy Cline all recorded chart successes a long time before Shania.
In my opinion, Mary J Blige is a real influence on US R&B. She has dramatically influenced the direction of R&B in the US and worldwide, but I think that internationally, Alicia Keys has had a bigger impact over the last 20 years.