She has sold more albums than MJ, her movie made much more many than his, people obsess with her like they did with Michael, and she has a better grip on her destiny unlike Michael who had no control or had to wage war for some control. Taylor has less people who hate her. Much more men liked Michael. Women maybe more for Taylor but that actually is debatable
Her skills as a musician are not praised as much as MJ was and his dancing and performance were loved as much as MJ himself was loved. Taylor has big tours and shows but MJ was a much superior performer and that cemented him as a legend.
I don't think she sold more albums than MJ tho? Thriller has sold 33 million copies worldwide and the most popular TS album is 1989 at 10 million copies worldwide. She has more #1 singles than him but she's also more prolific imo. She might surpass him eventually depending on how long this current cultural peak lasts, but she isn't there yet
Eras Tour was a superstar cultural event for white women, will give you that
Edit: oh goodness she doesn't even have more no.1 hits than him, scuse me. Give it till her sadgorl album comes out to break that
taylor has made herself monoculture in an era where monoculture doesn't exist anymore
mj was for sure more popular overall (and a better artist/performer overall), and prob still is more popular most places outside the US etc. but i think taylor being at her level in today's era where pop culture is completely fragmented and everyone is stuck in their own bubbles is a far more impressive feat.
like for reference the weeknd played the super bowl a couple years ago and my parents had never even heard of him. they don't know who drake or bad bunny or ed sheeran or adele are either... but they've known who taylor swift is and all her biggest songs and media exploits for the past 15 years.
there was nobody during mj's peak who wasn't also fully aware who prince and madonna and bowie were. mj was the biggest star but all stars were bigger way back when. swift is so much further past her competition by comparison. the only person who seems even remotely close to her is beyonce and we just watched her tour/movie absolutely trounce beyonce's. (and i guess kanye but maybe a slightly different case there lmao, and the thing he's most famous for has to do with taylor anyways)
i think people are just as obsessed as they've always been... there's just way more """celebrities""" today than there were back then / what passes as a celebrity today would not pass as a celebrity 25 years ago.
the only way to be a celebrity during mj's time was to be a famous musician, athlete, or movie/tv star essentially. pretty much everyone consumed all the same content and news, if not directly than through word of mouth osmosis. nowadays you can have 100 million tik tok followers and be completely unrecognizable walking down the street to anyone above the age of 25. stars of yesterday like JLO and gwen stafani are probably always gonna be more famous than their modern day equivalents (dua lipa, olivia rodrigo)... that's just how it goes these days with very few exceptions.
everyone knew who michael jordan was. the much bigger and more popular nfl basically has their jordan-equivalent right now and an unfathomable amount of people only know him as the guy who throws the ball to taylor swift's boyfriend, if at all
Looked it up and while I'm seeing she hasn't sold more gross records than MJ, 2022 was the first sales year where she surpassed MJ. In 2022 she moved 22 million albums, and the most MJ ever sold in a year was 21 million, so that's definitely something!