Legendary Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger is finding out the hard way that you should never cross online pop stans.
Jagger recently made comments about fellow Harry Styles, who is often compared to him, that many fans took to be disparaging. And Styles' rabid fanbase is not having it--in fact, they're downright furious.
The controversy erupted after Jagger called Styles a "superficial" version of him who resembles him only in looks, and the backlash has been heated.
im not a big harry styles fan but mick jagger is actually the most annoying guy, every time i hear about him i find him more and more sad https://t.co/8hnZluivZc
— clara (@sadluigi4) May 21, 2022
Styles is having a moment right now following the release of his third album Harry's House and the soaring success of its lead single, "As It Was."
And as something of an elder statesman in rock-n-roll, Jagger was asked about Styles when he recently sat down for an interview with The London Times. His response can best be described as tepid at best.--with maybe even a hint of jealousy.
It started off well enough, with Jagger telling The Times:
"I like Harry — we have an easy relationship."
But it quickly became clear he doesn't exactly appreciate Styles' reputation as "the new Jagger"--and might even be a little jealous of the young superstar. He went on to say:
"I used to wear a lot more eye make-up than him. Come on, I was much more androgynous."
"He doesn’t have a voice like mine or move on stage like me; he just has a superficial resemblance to my younger self, which is fine — he can’t help that."
Yikes. Jagger's recent take stands in stark contrast to several previous positive comments he's made about Styles, praising him both as a performer and a musican, saying once in 2015 that Styles has "got it going on."
The whole thing has reminded many people of a similar flap between younger and elder legends a decade ago, in which Madonna called her heir apparent Lady Gaga's 2011 hit "Born This Way" "reductive" for its striking resemblance to her "Express Yourself."
Much like that controversy, fans and non-fans of Styles alike are angry at what they see as Jagger's jealous and ungracious swipe at a younger impresario.
Mick Jagger being a full on hater to Harry Styles is so telling. You really can’t respect other peoples work and understand people have different styles? He sounds so pompous and narcissistic in that interview.
— Becca 🤍 (@2000wattsRAWRT) May 21, 2022
why is mick jagger being weird about harry styles? why is he starting a duck measuring contest at this point in his life?
— putrid, baby 🐌 (@aboxofteeth) May 21, 2022
Mick Jagger hating on Harry Styles is just sour grapes.
— Becs (@Becs) May 22, 2022
Its behind a paywall but wow, Mick Jagger can't be gracious. Harry Styles' perfromance at the VMAs is one of the best performances I have ever seen. Its weird for Jagger to diss one the greatest performers alive today. https://t.co/7W31mQBuN5
— Tom (@HabimusTom) May 22, 2022
I’m not a Harry Styles fan but I’ve got some mixed feelings about Mick Jagger dumping on the younger generation of musicians…petty…
— Neeks (@FunkyBrickHouse) May 22, 2022
we get it, you're old. it's okay to be old. it's not a bad thing at all, actually. but there's also no reason to be salty about harry – he's just doing his own thing and having fun while doing it.
he doesn't want to be the mick jagger of his generation. he's its harry styles. 💐 https://t.co/0Ki0kfxTy8
— june (@harrysfrnd) May 22, 2022
never cared for the harry styles/mick jagger talk. mick jagger is a creep, he's a terrible singer, and harry is so much better than tales of the crypt.
— rey (@itwasdaydreamin) May 21, 2022
“mick jagger feels threatened by harry styles” he is literally mick jagger, what is there to be threatened by
— jess ♊︎ (@wholeIottaizzy) May 23, 2022
Though not everyone was team Styles--some were on Jagger's side on this one.
So is the thing Styles fans want Jagger to say like "yes, he sounds and moves just like me, he may in fact be one of my illegitimate children, he is such an uncanny replication of me," which would fully negate anything distinct about HS
— Matthew Perpetua (@perpetua) May 22, 2022
harry styles actively pisses me off like if you’re going to style yourself as this generation’s bowie or jagger or whatever at least put a MODICUM of effort into making the music interesting
— j 🌈 (@iceland1997) May 23, 2022
The difference between Mick Jagger and Harry Styles is that Mick Jagger's transgressions went against the establishment.
— Michael (@mrj880) May 22, 2022
Here's hoping Jagger and Styles can mend fences and maintain mutual admiration like Madonna and Gaga have been able to do. There's plenty of room for multiple legends!