All that singing in the shower has been leading up to this: You step up to the karaoke machine at the neighbor’s kid’s Bar Mitzvah, and you blow them away. There’s a talent scout there ready to sign you. The limo is waiting. (This is how dreams come true, obviously.) But what kind of a pop star will you be?

Beyoncé

If you aspire to be pop’s leading lady, good luck dethroning Beyoncé. No one would dare dispute that Queen Bey and hubby, Jay Z (he dropped the hyphen), rule the Land of Pop…and hip hop, and R&B, and rap.

When she’s not chilling with Barack and Michelle, the arguably Sexiest Mom Alive is out winning Grammys (17 and counting), flaunting countless looks for the staggering 17 videos from her visual album, and decimating sales records.

Naturally, the December 2013 release of Beyoncé nearly crashed iTunes. Put a ring on that.

Lorde

To put it simply: Lorde has balls. The 17-year-old Kiwi dared to blatantly (and intelligently) diss the vapid celebrity lifestyle in her song “Royals,” off her debut album, Pure Heroine, and was rightfully rewarded with a number-one hit and four Grammy nominations

Offstage, Lorde, known to friends as Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connor, reaps influence from Sylvia Plath and T.S. Eliot.

The natural-born rule-breaker also eschews the unofficial pop-star uniform of bras and bodysuits in favor of an onstage persona reminiscent of a witchy Bronte heroine. 

P!nk

Plan on working up a sweat while you sing? P!nk’s Athlete training began during her eight years as a child gymnast.

The “Just Give Me a Reason” singer said her Olympic dreams ended when she was kicked off the team for “non-teamlike attitude.”

Married to motocross-rider Carey Hart, P!nk, aka Alecia Beth Moore, was named Billboard’s 2013 Woman of the Year for the album The Truth About Love.

No doubt her trademark onstage acrobatics have something to do with the title; she’s known for flying through the air with the prowess of a Cirque du Soleil star while singing like a champ. 

Justin Bieber

Like Justin Bieber, you may feel called to pop by a Higher Power. Bieber, who was raised in a Charismatic church in Ontario, is very proud of his spirituality, and his faith was the subject of the book, Belieber.

The teen heartthrob-turned-troublemaker may have opened his Believe tour descending from the heavens wearing wings, but his behavior recently has been more on par with that of tatted-up mini-Lucifer.

Besides accusations of peeing in a mop bucket and spitting on his neighbor, he apparently abandoned his pet monkey in Germany, has been accused of assault, and took a hands-on approach with hookers in Brazil.

Hey, only God can judge.

 

Bruno Mars

If you plan on exploring an abundance of different musical styles, follow the footsteps of Hawaii-native Bruno Mars.

Bringing literal meaning to the phrase Unorthodox Jukebox, Mars, born Peter Gene Hernandez, has visited the lands of doo-wop, reggae, soul, R&B, punk, classic rock, jazz, blues, and Graceland (he impersonated Elvis as a child).

This year’s Superbowl halftime performer sports tattoos that reflect a roamer’s way of life, including a gypsy on his left forearm and an anchor on his right.

No doubt his voyages are more than merely metaphoric: his 2014 Moonshine Jungle Tour includes stops in Australia, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, China, Japan, Mexico, and Curacao.

Lady Gaga

No sugar-sweet bubble gum ditties for you. Like Lady Gaga, you have something to say (even if you’re just complaining about telephones or wishing you were getting it on with a chick instead of a dude). Gaga’s 2013 album, ARTPOP, was inspired by Botticelli, classical mythology, Warhol, and, duh, sex.

Dubbed “Britney Spears with a brain,” Gaga (aka Stefani Germanotta) describes her teenage self as “very studious.” She briefly attended the Tisch School at NYU before she became a Lower East Side club kid and stardom’s siren song eventually lured her away.

“I’m very, very grateful for my education. I think it’s one of the things that makes me different as a pop singer in the way that I approach the work and the visuals,” she says.

Unfortunately, an education doesn’t necessarily provide acting talent. Gaga was nominated for a Razzie for her turn in Machete Kills

Katy Perry

With creativity comes color, and Katy Perry‘s cheerful, candy-coated world is jam-packed with a Prism‘s worth of rainbow hues.

The native California gurl has channeled a number of muses, including a ferocious boxer babe, Peppermint Patty, Frosty the Snowman’s girlfriend, and, of course, a whipped cream-spraying warrior.

Ironically, she has said, “I want to keep the attention on my music. I have confidence in my songs, that’s where I need most of the focus.”

From Candyland to the friendly jungle a la “Roar,” Perry is the creator of her own sunny, sexy landscape. Look out for more crazy, sexy, cute hijinks as her PRISMATIC tour strikes on May 7. 

Rihanna

If you don’t see Rihanna as a bona fide fashion icon, simply look to envy-inducing her Instagram feed, which constantly showcases the happily hedonistic star’s Chanel goods, teeny bikinis, body jewelry, and gifts from Rodarte, Versace, and Fendi. 

From unlaced Tims to ever-changing hairstyles, the Barbados native starts trends just by stepping out the door. When RiRi was photographed in December wearing a pair of plain gray sweats from Tesco, fans mobbed the store’s website and they sold out immediately.

Most recently, she’s posed topless with armfuls of bangles for Vogue Brazil. No surprise the “What Now” singer is the face of Balmain’s Spring campaign; has her own clothing line, Rihanna For River Island; and her ongoing collaboration with MAC sells out faster than you can say “RiRi Woo.”

Adam Levine

Will you be kind to the little people? Adam Levine is carrying the mantle of People’s Sexiest Man Alive, but the Maroon 5 frontman still finds time to invite his team from NBC’s The Voice to come to his house so he can teach them some “Moves Like Jagger.”

“A better coach for me I could not find,” cooed his tutee Tessanne Chin when she won the Season 5 finale.

L.A. native Levine’s nurturing skills may have been honed while he worked as a waiter at Johnny Rockets and a writer’s assistant on the show Judging Amy.

Time will only tell what kind of husband he’ll be; the longtime modelizer got engaged to Victoria’s Secret Angel Behati Prinsloo last year.

Taylor Swift

When your cup runneth over, you could pass up the gold-leashed tiger and be like Taylor Swift, winner of DoSomething.org’s Most Charitable Celebrity of 2013 for her donations to various groups including the Nashville Symphony.

While the lanky Pennsylvania native takes a lot of flak for her singing about her high-profile romances with Taylor Lautner, Jake Gyllenhaal, John Mayer, Conor Kennedy, and Harry Styles, the serial dater does make time to support many causes, including disaster relief, childhood health, and children’s literacy.

Swift, 24, can afford to be generous: according to Forbes she earned $55 million in 2013.

Justin Timberlake

Only a true Visionary could chart a rehab-free journey from the Mickey Mouse Club to The Social Network, earn six Grammys along the way, and make the best SNL sketches ever.

Justin Timberlake’s Visionary skills include navigating relationships with some of the hottest women in the world (Britney Spears, Cameron Diaz, and wife Jessica Biel), starting a clothing line, a tequila brand, owning an eco-friendly golf course and being part-owner of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Oh, and The 20/20 Experience was the top-selling album of 2013. President Timberlake?

Miley Cyrus

Do you like to push boundaries? Though every pop sensation is a Performer by nature, Miley Cyrus has shown that she will stop at nothing to get our attention.

We have the outgoing girl we once knew as Hannah Montana to thank for making “twerking” a household word, forever changing our notion of teddy bears, kittens, and wrecking balls, and sparking a national conversation about how much is too much.

“We Can’t Stop” is no exaggeration: performing is in Miley’s blood, thanks to dad Billy Ray Cyrus and godmother Dolly Parton. She will continue on as she kicks off her Bangerz tour on February 14.