For most of the world, today is Beyonce Day, as Jay-Z's hotter half releases her third solo album, the double-disc I Am …Sasha Fierce.
Pop critic Sean Daly is far too excited, as Ms. Knowles breaks down the release into soft 'n' sassy, the latter represented by her alter ego, Sasha Fierce. With ample amounts of gush and froth, Daly hereby declares Beyonce the Ultimate Entertainer!
Hold on, Drool Boy, says Stuck in the '80s apologist Steve Spears. If you want a real singing, dancing, acting dynamo, Janet Jackson has it all over Beyonce. It's not even close.
So just who is the Ultimate Entertainer? Sean's Beyonce vs. Steve's Janet? We let the boys cat-scratch it out.
Sean: Why Beyonce Rules
1. I meet a lot of famous folks, and lemme tell you this: 99 percent of celebrities have giant heads and little bodies. Except for Miss 1 Percent, Beyonce, who is larger than life, especially those superheroic thighs. Kablammo! Janet Jackson could get dunked on by a garden gnome.
2. Janet coos; Beyonce sings. Jackson has been busting out the same militaristic march-march-thrust dance since the Reagan administration; Knowles causes glorious seismic shifts with Aileyesque undulations and her Crazy in Love glute getdown.
3. In an age when class is rare and crass rules, Beyonce conducts herself with grace and mystery. Janet causes a stir when she wears a bra. She's always showing it off. That's gonna be really awkward when she's 42. Oh wait …
Steve: Why Janet Rules
1. That wasn't a wardrobe malfunction during the Super Bowl — it was a wardrobe revelation! Janet is a kinky little minx, and we celebrate that. Beyonce couldn't score a striptease halftime gig at the Poulan Weedeater Independence Bowl.
2. Wasn't Beyonce the only person in Dreamgirls who didn't get an Oscar nomination? Jeez, even Eddie Murphy scored one. Janet did better acting in Ghost Dad.
3. Nasty, Escapade, What Have You Done for Me Lately. Janet fills our iPods with sexy sing-along fun. Beyonce has … Sasha Fierce? (Cricket, cricket.) Don't worry, B, there's always room for you … at the Golden Nugget showroom in Laughlin, Nev.
Sean Daly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8467. His Pop Life blog is at blogs.tampabay.com/popmusic. Visit Steve Spears' Stuck in the '80s blog at blogs.tampabay.com/80s.