6 Real cred: Among her many honors, Madonna was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008, which places her on the same ground with such immortals as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin.
7 Longevity: She was 23 when her first single, "Everybody," came out in 1982. She's now 54 and still on top of the world. Hard to name many other pop stars who have remained relevant for that long a period.
8 Millions sold: Sure, Adele, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry have been hot as of late. Yet, they all have a long way to go before they approach Madonna's career totals. She has sold more than 300 million records across the globe -- which, according to the Guinness Book of Records, makes Madonna the world's top-selling female artist.
9 Queen of all media: From the very start, it seemed like Madonna wanted to be more than just a pop star. She's certainly pursued other business and artistic endeavors with gusto -- such as running her own record label, Maverick, and starring in films like 1985's "Desperately Seeking Susan" and 1996's "Evita." She's also an acclaimed film director and clothing designer, among many other things. Diversifying is the name of her game, but so many other acts (including Bieber) are now playing along.
10 Key tracks: This is a tough one -- because there are so many. But, if we have to pick, here are five downloads that will help one get to know some of the Material Girl's many musical sides: "Lucky Star" (lightweight pop), "Crazy for You" (romantic ballad), "Papa Don't Preach" (topical), "La Isla Bonita" (tropical) and "4 Minutes" (dance-pop, featuring Justin Timberlake).
Bieber for beginners
1 The Hair: Bieber's 'do is a pop culture phenomenon. It's discussed as widely, and as rabidly, as any of his songs. His original hairstyle -- kind of a bowl cut, swept-to-one-side thingy -- is more memorable than most of his hits. Anytime Bieber changes his cut, it sends ripples through Twitterdom as well as junior high schools across the planet. His hair even has its own fan clubs and Facebook pages. Yet such attention to a haircut is hardly new -- as fans of the original mop tops, the Beatles, can attest.
2 YouTube: Bieber has arguably used online video sharing services more effectively than anyone. His videos have collected nearly 3 billion views on YouTube alone. The platform is new, but the effect isn't unlike what Madonna, Michael Jackson and others accomplished with MTV in the '80s.
3 Child star: He was only 15 when his first single, "One Time," hit radio. Now, he's 18 and trying to transition from child star to legit pop singer. He's hoping that the result is more Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears (both former TV Mouseketeers) than Tiffany and Lil' Romeo.
4 Cover boy: He's the bread-and-butter for all those teen idol magazines on shelves. Nothing sells copies quite like Bieber's cute mug out on the cover. Unless it's Bieber on a date with his girlfriend, Disney star Selena Gomez. Of course, some of these publications (like the immortal Tiger Beat) once turned to Shaun Cassidy, the Monkees, Leif Garrett and (gulp!) even the Righteous Brothers to entice readers.
5 Usher Jr.: If you want to know what Bieber is shooting for onstage, look no further than his mentor, Usher. He's trying to be a song and dance, um, man. And he's pretty decent in that role, but still nowhere near as good as Usher.
6 Influence: According to the social-media tracking website Klout, Bieber is a more influential online presence than President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama. That's impressive, but still might pale in comparison to the influence the Beatles once exerted on the pop world. Remember when John Lennon once infamously proclaimed that his band had become more popular than Jesus?
7 Twitter: These days, it's all about how many followers a star has on Twitter. Bieber has more than 28 million, which makes him the second most followed person on the globe (just a million or so behind Lady Gaga). That's taking the old fan club plan, which has been used by pop stars for generations, to a new level.
8 Top seller: Bieber has released three studio albums, each of which has hit No. 1 on the charts. Yet, he still has room to grow: Bieber has yet to notch his first No. 1 single in the United States.
9 Merry Christmas: The "most wonderful time of the year" is a key period for pop stars. Hundreds have mined the Christmas songbook over the years to the tune of chart success. Bieber got in on the action in late 2011, with his "Under the Mistletoe" moving more than 200,000 copies in its first week on shelves.
10 Key tracks: Here are five songs you should download to prep for Bieber: "Baby," "Boyfriend," "Never Say Never," "Somebody to Love" and "Eenie Meenie."
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