People talk about the rock gods. Who would you put in the category of “Pop god?” Those people who have mastered the writing, production, singing, performing of tremendous pop music.
First thought: Henry Mancini
Michael Jackson, for me, would be the obvious choice. In fact I beleive one of his nick names was the King Of Pop.
Prince would be another one. He has the chops to be a rock god, but he can (and does) churn out a crown pleasing pop hit any time he wants (with the sexual innuendo tucked neatly away in the lyrics).
Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, the Bee Gees, Brian Wilson, Giorgio Moroder, Nile Rodgers, the guys from ABBA
And just FYI: I didn’t mean to exclude women. By “pop gods,” I also mean goddesses.
In that case, several:
I take the OP to mean a pop god(dess) has to have mastered the art of “production” as well as songwriting and performing, is that correct? None of the women in the above post were producers or songwriters except for Diana Krall (as far as I know).
Last night I happened to catch the Supertramp song “The Logical Song” on the radio, and thought to myself, “pop perfection!”.
So, a short-lived but, I think, appropriate entry would be Supertramp. I know nothing of who produced them, though.
Jeff Lynne with ELO and The Traveling Wilburys
FFS, people: Madonna
He didn’t have a lot of big solo hits but Todd Rundgren wrote, sang and handled production on his own records and played all the instruments as well. He also produced a bunch of popular and/or highly regarded albums like the New York Dolls debut, Bat Out of Hell and Skylarking to name just three.
Agree. People know him only from his fun, poppy music but he was the production behind some groundbreaking albums. He is one of the few musicians to master almost every facet of modern pop music.
While that song is very pop, most of Supertramp’s music could hardly be called pop at all. Much more progressive rock than pop in their catalog.
Jeff Barry, although I suppose he doesn’t meet the OP’s criteria because he wasn’t much of a performer - a few pretty forgettable singles in the early sixties.
But as a songwriter and producer, he was a (perhaps the) towering figure in bubblegum pop.