Quick – think of the most famous people in the world and chances are high you immediately thought of pop music artists like Elvis Presley or Michael Jackson. In modern culture, pop music artists and television shows like Popstars are more famous than politicians, scientists or Olympic gold medal winning athletes. Why?
The Magic of Music
Pop music is an art form that communicates to people of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities. Even without lyrics, music can speak to the hearts of listeners about life experiences that we all share but find it very hard to put into words. Pop songs tell listeners that they are not alone.
The best pop music artists are able to blend originality and uniformity in just the right amount in order to enchant audiences. They are able to take complex experiences like losing a loved one and not only put words to it, but do it in such a way that has never been done before. The best pop songs such as the Beatles’ “Yesterday” elicit emotions of identity with the subject mater – losing at love. If a person cannot explain how they feel to a friend, they can say, “Listen to “Yesterday” and you’ll know exactly how I feel.”
Our ancestors used to worship deities such as Krishna that used music to create miracles. Today, we “worship” pop music artists. We are fascinated by their music, their performances, their romances and their foibles. Pop music artists like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson are remembered and loved by fans that keep recounting their heroes’ legends to younger generations.
Although critics might condemn pop songs as a “lesser” form of art fit only for children, they grudgingly admit that the best pop music stars wield a tremendous influence on popular culture as a whole. In the 1960s, pop music bands like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Doors influenced fashion, movies, television, advertising and politics. Children that grew up listening to these pop music artists took the song messages to heart and grew up with values of equality, peace and long hair for guys.
The most successful pop music artist was Elvis Presley (1935 – 1977). Although other pop musicians would make more money and get better critical reviews, most of those bands cited Presley as a major influence. He not only had good looks and a powerful voice, but used provocative dancing and a distinctive hairstyle to gain recognition around the world.