Scott Stapp, lead singer of Creed (above), stops at House of Blues tonight on his current acoustic tour. More than likely you have already clicked off this blog, or at least already gone on auto-pilot to call him a fuck-ass in the comments section. We'll wait a sec for you to come back.
OK, the funniest thing to us has always been the split between a group's popularity and the man-on-the-street opinion, or the stray weirdo critic who writes a treatise on how underrated they are, like we have been wont to do.
Cumulatively Stapp's Creed has sold over 35 million albums, while most everyone you speak with on a pop culture level sees the band and their contemporaries like Nickelback (who have clocked almost 30 million in sales themselves), as a two-headed Hitler/Satan character in modern rock music.
But the undisputed fact remains that Creed is extremely popular, as our the rest of these reviled artists, who each have a huge devoted, rabid following of folks who live and die on every word and album that comes forth from their beloved star.
Some of these may even be on your own personal hit list, good or bad, because at least a few of you reading this have been and are currently responsible for one or more of these artists selling multimillion numbers of albums. We will own up to at least four of them, and you can probably guess which ones.
We compiled these numbers from worldwide Billboard sales figures. Remember calculators? Yeah, we even used one of those for this blog, like in the '80s. We did make a few ground rules as to who is the most universally hated, or who has the word "fuck," "off," "eat" and "shit" attached to their names in random Google searches.
If this was Rocks Off's own personal list, it would only be two bands long and include all Sublime-derived white-boy reggae bands as a blanket category, and Rascal Fartts.
20. ICP (6 Million): Fuckin' underground followings, how do they work?
19. Justin Bieber (13 Million): You either thinks he's a little lesbian, the Antichrist, a shameful secret, or God's Gift To The World.
18. Kanye West (15 Million): After the MTV Taylor Swift incident and his Twitter rantings, the non-rap community at large got a bad taste in their mouths off Kanye. He's still an interesting artist to watch.
17. John Mayer (23 Million): It's either those facial tics when he plays guitar, or the fact that he has dated or laid most every pretty, single woman in Hollywood that rises the ire of non-Mayer fans. Or that floppy hair.
16. Nickelback (25 Million): We just can't stand lead singer Chad Kroeger's blonde locks, or how he sings the word "panties."
15. Limp Bizkit (34 Million): What makes Fred Durst wurst than most? The red hat, the rapping, and the fact that he cannot be kept down. Sometimes perseverance is the biggest turn-off to some.
14. Creed (35 Million): "Wit' ahrmah wye' ooohpin...."
13. Lady Gaga (55 Million): She bites too much off Madonna's hustle and allegedly has a penis. But at least her ass is pretty cool...
12. Britney Spears (100 Million): She bites too much off Madonna's hustle and allegedly likes too much penis. But at least her ass was pretty cool in 2003.
11. The Eagles (120 Million): "I hate the fuckin' Eagles, man." Most people probably didn't realize they hated the Eagles so much until The Big Lebowski came out in 1998.
10-8.Kenny G/Yanni/Michael Bolton (148 Million): Rocks Off himself can say that we have seen all three artists in the past two years, and we will neither confirm or deny that we had a good time. Let's face it, it was the fact that these guys all sported perfect Steel Magnolias-ready perms at one time and made music for your mom's candle-lit bubble-baths that made you hate them.
7. U2 (150 Million): This is a case where people don't really hate the band itself, but they sure as hell hate Bono, and the rest of the band suffers. Are bipartisan humanitarian efforts and trying to cure AIDS that bad? When U2 comes to town, oddly enough, people start calling favors and blackmailing friends to get tickets.
6-4. Major American Boy Bands 1984-Present (New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync, 256 Million): Because Justin Timberlake had to start somewhere, and the New Kids' job was to titillate pre-teen girls (and some boys) in the late '80s because Axl Rose and Slash looked like they smelled like a backed-up truck-stop bathroom. As for the Backstreeters, we needed Nick Carter to keep Bieber's seat warm until he could leave Canada and take over the world.
3. Celine Dion (200 Million): You obviously aren't a middle-aged mother of three adult children, loser. Or the Titanic soundtrack scarred you for life.
2. Michael Jackson (750 Million): Oh, that whole alleged child-molesting thing, huh? Right. Well, Thriller was cool, and he had awesome friends, so there's that.
1. Madonna (300 Million): You don't hate Madonna, you just hate that she has better arm definition than you or Chuck Liddell ever will. But her "American Pie" cover sucked nuts.