The Current Icon Crush List

It’s easy enough to rattle off a list of musicians that are icon crushes that we’ve been knowing, right? They have careers that have, in so many ways, influenced the basis of modern music. Whitney’s voice, Michael’s moves, Mariah’s chart-topping reign. Not to mention Madonna’s wedding dress, Elton’s piano, and Dolly’s well, Dolly’s everything. These are just a handful of artists that, again, are already icons much like Jason Hendrickson’s icon crush, Janet Jackson. So I wanted to do something different and highlight artists I think are currently on the same level of legacy. Not all of them are brand spanking new. Some have careers already spanning three decades, but I think years from now are still going to be regarded as some of music’s best icons, and perhaps in 50 years someone will have their own thing about crushes and the following artists will be on their icon list the same way Mariah and Janet were on mine and Jason’s. 

Backstreet Boys

Who knew in 1993 that these five random guys would go on to be the #1 selling boy band in history? So yes, Backstreet Boys have achieved that, as well as so much more, in their lengthy career but I do think that with time their lasting impression on the world will only grow deeper. Also, let’s be real…there will come a day when we have another boy band explosion and when that does happen, we all know what boy band they’ll all get compared to – when they’re good. 

Bruno Mars

He’s got the voice, the moves, and the ability to pay homage to the past while still keeping it fresh. In 20 years’ time, we’ll still remember and respect all that Bruno Mars has given the world of music. 


What Lizzo does is create that type of pop music that is heavily mainstream to the point that it’s sung by any and everyone. It’s like when back in the 80s everyone knew Madonna’s hits – whether you liked her or not. That’s the sign of an artist that knows what they’re doing to stay around for the long run. 

Britney Spears

Can I just say that Britney’s second album is pure pop perfection and I’ll die on that hill? Okay, as far as being an icon is concerned – all she could have ever done is that debut single and she’d still be on this list because that ensemble is STILL a Halloween costume. It’s on the same level as Michael’s “Thriller” lewk. Aside from that first single, Britney has put in the time in her career, taken some tumbles, but has remained a mainstay name in pop music, and will be in history books. 

Taylor Swift

I’m not sure Taylor Swift would be as grand as she is if she hadn’t shed the country girl charm and gone down the pop…indie…folk…The girl has done a lot in her life already and there’s no doubt she’s going to do much, much more. 


All these lists here and there like to omit and forget the bands that dominated the Warped Tour scene in the ‘00s and you know what, fine but there are a handful of those bands that definitely rose above and beyond a Hot Topic explosion and went on to be influential powerhouses, and Paramore is the best among them. Refusing to rely on the greatness of one album or the nostalgia of another, Paramore has managed to grow with their fans and unveil new layers to their artistry with each new release, and for that – they won’t falter anytime soon. 


This is one of those instances where she could literally make a record every decade and still be fine because Rihanna stays relevant even when she ain’t on the charts thanks to her business ventures. 

Linkin Park 

I’d need at least 1,000 words to break down what Linkin Park means to people around the world, but I’ll just say that no band in the early ‘00s quite captured that ball of angst that stirs in the pit of one’s stomach like them. From the way, they married genres seamlessly to the lyrical content that made a generation feel seen, Linkin Park will live on forever much like Nirvana has. 

Lady Gaga

There was a time when Lady Gaga first emerged that I thought she was just another pop star. Then I won tickets from the grocery store to a radio show where she wasn’t even the headliner and was absolutely blown away by her vocal performance. Yeah, there’s no way Lady Gaga is allowing herself to go anywhere. 


Beyonce is without a doubt one of, if not, the best performers out today. She’s one of those artists that even if you don’t quite like her music, you can’t help but respect that what she does when she steps on stage is true art.


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