One question often nags us as we consider all the possibilities in any given situation: “What if?”
That question is now being explored in a Reddit thread that tackles the “what ifs” of pop music.
It started when a user posed the question: “What are your biggest pop music what-ifs?”
Examples included: “What if Mariah Carey and Tommy Mottola never met? What if Zayn decided to sleep in on his X Factor UK Audition? What if Jay Z and Beyonce never met?”
“What if Kanye didn’t interrupt Taylor at the VMAs?” the user posed.
“I don’t think Taylor would be as big as she got. I think she would still be wildly successful, but Kanye put her on the radar of so many people that wouldn’t have listened to her before,” someone answered.
Another person brought up Britney Spears, wondering, “What if Britney didn’t break her leg during the [music video] shoot for ‘Outrageous’?”
Another Reddit user offered that the singer’s In the Zone era may have gone on much longer, while another put together a string of butterfly effects, including her not getting married to ex Kevin Federline and not having her public breakdown and subsequent conservatorship battle.
Another user focused on Miley Cyrus and her breakout role in the Disney Channel series Hannah Montana. “What if Miley Cyrus was never cast for Hannah Montana?” they questioned.
“Her musical career would have started a bit later and from country, not pop. She clearly has the need to be a singer and she would still have had the connections to make it happen,” someone replied, while another suggested “Billy Ray Cyrus never would have been on ‘Old Town Road.'”
Yet another Reddit user posed a series of questions, including: “What if Katy [Perry] hadn’t tried to change up her style and image with Witness? What if Aaliyah hadn’t died? What if Nipplegate hadn’t occurred?”
“If Aaliyah was still alive, I don’t think she would’ve been as big as Beyoncé, but she would’ve definitely been a little bit bigger than Brady and Monica,” someone offered, adding, “Somewhere on Alicia Keys’ level I would say. She would’ve completed The Matrix sequels and probably would’ve been a huge movie star and trendy fashion icon around 2003. She would’ve been a huge icon in the 2000s overall and probably settled down in the 2010s plus.”
“Nipplegate changed the digital era as we know it. The demand to rewatch it started YouTube and there’s a connection to Netflix which left the DVD rental sphere and took a chance on streaming and then became a giant,” one user responded to the question about Janet Jackson‘s infamous Super Bowl Halftime Show wardrobe malfunction.
The thread included many other theories and questions and can be found here.
What’s your biggest pop music “What if?” Let us know on Twitter!