The 21 Biggest Egos in the History of Pop Music

Categories: Lists

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Egos have been around for a long time. Odysseus had an ego, Louis XIV had an ego, Wu Zeitan had an ego. For as long as we've recorded history, there have been people feeling themselves, sometime for good reason. So, naturally, many of the people on this list are responsible for some truly amazing music, a feat that often leads to a lot of hubris. But who, in the grand history of pop music, is most convinced of their genius and relevance? Don't worry, I've come up with a highly advanced formula to determine just that.

Each contestant's ego was rated on five different aspects: 1) Self-Importance (how much better they think they are). 2) Self-Righteousness (how much better they think their ethics and practices are). 3) Diminished Self-Awareness (how little they're aware of their own silliness). 4) Messiah Factor (how much they think they're leading people out of darkness. And, lastly 5) General Dickishness (self-explanatory). The scores for each aspect are graded from 1-10, then all scores were added up into the ego's representing number. In the event of a tie, I selected the contestant that just felt more deserving to by higher on the list.

See also: Top 10 Douchiest Guitarists of All Time

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21) Damon Albarn

Self-Importance: 6
Self-Righteousness: 8
Diminished Self-Awareness: 3
Messiah Factor: 2
General Dickishness: 8
Total: 27

Damon Albarn barely makes this list by being just enough of a dick to separate him
from boring stardom. Eventually the mountain of chiding, monosyllabic interviews and hoity-toity pop art pretensions earns you a reputation. Surprisingly, Albarn is perhaps the sanest of the Britpop icons.

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20) Beyonce

Self-Importance: 9
Self-Righteousness: 7
Diminished Self-Awareness: 5
Messiah Factor: 6
General Dickishness: 1
Total: 28

Look, I know you don't want to believe Beyonce has a big ego, and there's no question she comes off as genuine and humble in plenty of interviews. But the woman has a museum dedicated to herself in her house. Is there anyone more caught up in the Beyonce mythology than Beyonce herself? Do you really think you could be friends with Beyonce?

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19) Dee Snider

Self-Importance: 7
Self-Righteousness: 5
Diminished Self-Awareness: 7
Messiah Factor: 6
General Dickishness: 3
Total: 28

Dee Snider was the lead singer of Twisted Sister. Somehow that's afforded him enough cultural capital to think he belongs on every VH1 talking-head retrospective that exists. If you are the guy from "We're Not Gonna Take It" you are not an authority ofnanything.

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18) Noel Gallagher

Self-Importance
: 6
Self-Righteousness: 8
Diminished Self-Awareness: 1
Messiah Factor: 5
General Dickishness: 10
Total: 30

I interviewed Noel Gallagher once. He told me he had a giant house that makes you feel like a rockstar, and implied that I would never even come close to tasting such a thing. It's really hard to hate Noel, he's a dick in such a pure, knowing way.

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17) Adam Levine

Self-Importance: 7
Self-Righteousness: 5
Diminished Self-Awareness: 8
Messiah Factor: 5
General Dickishness: 7
Total: 32

I'm fairly certain Adam Levine has absolutely no idea why he should be on this list. That is what makes him tragic.

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16) Steve Albini

Self-Importance: 5
Self-Righteousness: 8
Diminished Self-Awareness: 5
Messiah Factor: 5
General Dickishness: 10.
Total: 33

Steve Albini is so staunchly, antagonistically attached to his DIY ethics that it's filled him with the same resentful, segregationist pretentions he was ostensibly fighting against. You're not encouraging anyone when even Sonic Youth isn't punk enough.


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