Contributed by Ses:
There are many types of musical genres in our world & these are classified into major groups mainly Pop, Rhythm & Blues, Rock, Adult Contemporary, Hip Hop, Crunk, Alternative, Jazz, Disco & Classical. From these groups of music only three have shared the mainstream limelight through the decades. Pop, Rock & R & B are arguably the most widespread musical genres in the world. Pop & Rock flourishes in Europe & Asia while R & B dominates the American Market today. Rock & R & B have a masculine quality in it so it’s no surprise that men usually excel in these two genres. Pop on the other hand is lighter & more colorful that’s why Pop is the feminine domain. All legendary Pop artists are female (e.g. Madonna, Britney, Whitney, Janet etc.) or at least have feminine qualities (e.g. Michael Jackson & Prince).
Pop was usually associated with color, dance, electronica, & catchy tunes in the early days (80’s) but since music genres evolve over time (in order to stay relevant) Pop has now been infused with other music forms like Rock, R & B, Disco, & even Classical Music. Madonna (Queen of Pop), Michael Jackson (King of Pop), Janet & Whitney had pioneered the Pop Age of the 80’s & so they tried to infuse Pop music with New Wave sounds which was then the “It” thing in music. Come the 90’s, The Spice Girls, Madonna, Janet & later Britney Spears have dominated Pop again but this time they infused their music with Euro pop & Electronica in order to stay up-beat in the music scene.
Pop has always been a venue for female expression & empowerment. Madonna, Cindy Lauper, Janet Jackson, the Spice Girls, & later Britney and Christina evoked this message which can be summed-up in one catchy phrase-“Girl Power”. This woman empowerment theme has always been seen in their work and thus made other people associate them as being “Feminists”. These “Women Empowerment” songs were usually feisty but at the same time produced to be Radio Friendly. Madonna had songs like Material Girl, You’ll See, & Sorry (upcoming), Janet had songs like Nasty & Son Of A Gun, Cindy had her song Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Britney had songs like Stronger & My Prerogative (a remake) and Christina had songs like Fighter & Can’t Hold Us Down.
Now in the 21st Century, other female artists have also used Pop music as a venue to promote women empowerment. Pop may seem girlie & bubbly at times but this doesn’t mean it couldn’t be nasty or provocative when infused with the proper elements. Other artists like Jennifer Lopez, Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson & Alicia Keys have produced songs that speak “Girl Power”. Jennifer had the songs Love Don’t Cost A Thing & Ain’t It Funny, Avril made a song Don’t Tell Me, Kelly Clarkson had the songs Since You Been Gone & Behind These Hazel Eyes & Alicia Keys had her song Karma.
As I mentioned Pop is never in a steady state. Pop evolves & with each evolution comes a different sound updated to the youth’s taste (& for this case-hearing). No wonder artists like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, The Pussycat Dolls, and of course the Queen of Pop Madonna has updated their Pop music for the younger generations of Pop Fanatics. Britney has infused Oriental Sounds to her hit Toxic, Christina Aguilera has added a Hip-Hop flavor for her single Can’t Hold Us Down & Madonna-The Queen of Re-invention has revived Disco music for her whole album-Confessions On A Dance Floor. It is evident that people loved this sudden shift & thus this resulted in her album going to No.1 in over 39 countries (which is a world record unmatched by any other artist ever!).
Not so long ago Boy Bands made Pop music & most of the world were enchanted by their cuteness & catchy dance steps but it didn’t take much time for the world to realize that Pop also made them more feminine (compared to Rock Bands). Thus Boy Bands are now virtually extinct & the Backstreet Boys (the only Boy Band with guts to globally release an album!) are no where the level of popularity they had before. In comparison Girl Bands have continued to flourish. In the 90’s the now debunk Spice Girls were arguably the Biggest Pop Band-they have now faded but Girl Bands like the Pussycat Dolls, Girls Aloud (U.K.) & Sugababes (U.K.) continue to enjoy success. The Pussycat dolls can be called the new Spice Girls for they have also enjoyed success throughout the world (Top 5 hits in U.S., U.K. & Europe).
Pop has & will always have a predominant female audience because it is the genre where women (notably the divas) rule. Pop will also never have the male audience that Rock or R & B commands because it is deemed too feminine (e.g. the now virtually extinct Boy Bands were usually deemed Sissy) so I could say that most if not all of Pop fans are females or gays. Even the supposed “King Of Pop” Michael Jackson has been accused of being a Drag Queen instead. Although Pop is sometimes deemed Gay, as long as it remains relevant (& fun)-Pop will be here to stay!