I think there's definitely value in artists learning the standards of their musical genre. Country artists do so, and in addition ton increasing their repertoire it helps them to build a unique sound by learning the greats. Musicians learning popular songs is similar to chefs knowing how to cook an egg - people might not order it, but it's a necessary foundation.
Yes, artists should have all of their lyrics memorized, including those to popular songs. Having lyrics memorized creates a commonality between artists and their fans. Whether the popular song is their own or that of another artist, artists should have the lyrics memorized so that they can bond with their fans through singing.
A rapper recently told reporters that he doesn't know the words to a well-known song by rap legend Notorious B.I.G. This is an embarrassment to the culture of music. Any musician should know the lyrics to popular songs so that they are prepared if they need to perform old standards.
This is one of the stupidest opinions someone can have. It's really annoying to see that 3 people already think that they should.
Like said before from the previous commenter, they have their own music to make and memorize. And Popular music is different in all genres. Bet that none of you can even memorize popular songs..
No, artists should not memorize the lyrics to popular songs. Why would artists need to do something like this? They have their own songs to create and memorize, as well as to perform. In addition, not all of us can agree on a set of the most popular songs. That's all subjective.