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opinion

New pop singers are unambitious nowadays

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Bradley

Take a look at this category of rising pop singers:

Dua Lipa, Halsey, Rita Ora, Bebe Rexha, Camilla Cabello, Anne-Marie, Alessia Cara, Zara Larsson, Charli XCX. I would even add Jessie J, Carly Rae Jepsen, Ellie Goulding to the list.

Now consider this category of pop singers:

Adele, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Rihanna, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, Kesha.

I'm sure I don't need to explain why these artists are categorised in the way they are.

The first category of singers completely lack starpower, while they find some chart success every now and then, none of them could shake you to the core when they make an appearance on a red carpet or perform on stage. I don't remember the exact quote but Gaga said something along the lines of how people don't go crazy over pop superstars anymore, in the way she went crazy for Michael Jackson or something, and that she intended to bring it back. You could really tell that she studied the art of fame and had a way of portraying herself as an enigmatic and mysterious persona that is distinct from everybody else.

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"I want to do something that's important. I want to do something that's life-changing. I want people come to my show and feel like I've changed their lives."

Every artist in the second category has revolutionised pop music in some way. Gaga brought avant-garde fashion to the scene and revived dance music. People started making electronic music after her meteoric stardom in 2009/2010. Her fashion was a spectacle to look at, she made statements just by wearing clothes and making an appearance at the red carpet, she had the biggest designers to make custom clothes for her, she had hit after hit, ruling domestic and international charts with song after song, album after album. Everything she is about to do is an anticipation, everything she does is a topic of conversation.

And it's not just Gaga, artists like Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Beyonce, Rihanna have created a distinct artistry for themselves. They are all pop stars, but they had a theme, an image. They are all idolised by different groups of people. Every single one of them played very well in their game. Beyonce was constantly acclaimed for her vocals and dancing and was probably the biggest R&B singer in the world, Katy Perry's eye-catching fashion and colourful visuals are one-of-a-kind, she managed to get 5 #1 singles from a single album, Britney Spears was already a pop icon but she continued to make dance music cool with albums like In The Zone, Circus and Femme Fatale, producing hit after hit, with highly theatrical performances and tours, Rihanna is the artist with most #1 singles on Hot 100 and had solidified herself as a pop and R&B icon with highly entertaining shows with music from Rated R, Loud, Talk That Talk and Unapologetic. Taylor ruled the country world and went on the find even bigger success with pop music.

Pop stars were so ambitious that they gave their very best in everything they did, they were so meticulous in everything they did. Their fashion were a statement. And no one looked like each other, each had a way of telling their story, whereas every single female artist nowadays looks the same as anyone else. They don't have a strong identity. And it's not just fashion, music-wise every pop star had a sound for themselves. They made catchy music with great videos and solidified themselves as Video Vanguard Award-worthy recipients. Every single one of them below deserves a Vanguard Award and had all won Video of the Year at some point. And they didn't stop there, they continued to prove their longevity by striving to be different from what they did before with later albums like Prism, Born This Way, Unapologetic, BEYONCE, Femme Fatale, 21, Red/1989, with each album producing multiple top 10 hits.

These artists are also recognised by the Grammy awards. Every single one of them below is a Grammy nominee/winner, whereas the same can't be said about the former category of pop stars. None of their songs are worthy of Grammy nominations, because they want to be trendy and radio-friendly, they are afraid to take risks and be different. Not only are they mediocre singers, their theatricality is considerably weaker than their predecessors'. Every artist below is an international touring force with huge successful tours like The Prismatic World Tour, Born This Way Ball/artRAVE, The Formation World Tour/The Mrs. Carter Tour, Loud Tour/Diamonds World Tour, 1989 World Tour/Red Tour, Femme Fatale Tour/Piece of Me whereas the artists nowadays perform under like two light bulbs and a floor with a mattress and call it a stage.

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Even if Katy Perry had a small stage early in her career, she managed to use every single aspect of the show wisely and turn it into a visually stunning decoration. She wore multiple inventive outfits that made it seem like you're watching a movie and transported into a land with candy and cotton floss. She knew her vision and she knew how to give you an experience that you don't get in your daily life, that's the point of going to a show, it's escapism.

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Huge outfits, spectacular stage designs, intense choreography, high theatricality, Gaga continued to prove that she was excellent in every field not just in songwriting and making videos but also in performing and delivering live vocals. Her early tours grossed more than $220 million (TMB) and $180 million (BTWB), something you don't see in young artists nowadays. Despite being a new artist at that time, people went crazy over her and knew that their money would be worth it if they attended a Gaga show. Sadly I don't feel the same about any of the artists nowadays.

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Britney's ability to command the stage was so strong that people wouldn't mind paying her to see her lip-sync. She was always a great performer that always promised top-notch visuals and great choreography.

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Often I question why I have such a lack of respect for newer artists but it's like they're not even trying to impress. The VMAs, AMAs and EMAs lineup nowadays predominantly consist of C-list and B-list singers, I just find it sad how they represent what is 'current' nowadays. Music stans always say something like 'why is it we always complain that female artists are not recognised anymore but when a rising female singer is doing well on the charts, you guys trash them.' I mean I don't approve of hurling insults at people but if we are being honest, they are nowhere near the status of these icons we know. I just would like to express my appreciation for the artists with whom I grew up and actually made an effort in entertaining. I hope they continue to make great music and deliver great performances.

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Aquarius

I like some of the songs from the new artists, hell, even some of their albums, but I 100% agree with every point you made here, these new artists just aren't as top-tier as what we got from 2005-2010, & it's kinda sad that we may not have that again

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Magneto

I do get your point, but I also think it's an unfair comparison since the current situation in the music industry doesn't really allow popstars to rise to this level even if they wanted to

Free my mind

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Andreu

I agree with you in the general idea, but I would say Halsey is more ambiguous than some of the people of the previous generation. Maybe she doesn't have the budget and maybe the execution of the ideas is not the best one  (not saying it's not good, but the concepts end up not being as used in a good way as they could)

soundcloud.com/andreusongs

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Killa

ah but can't we accept that the big spetacle pop star just isn't very 2018???

Haven't you still understood that part

I just watched earlier this... It's as lack luster as it can be.

But most of all, most people just aren't here anymore for this overused routines, etc. It's just been done too many times

And sorry but Ariana doesn't have that drive, she's cute not commanding. But yes, she's in between

I just think we are living an era which is very casual and people are not drawn to artifice, elaborated stuff. It's all fast and easy to consume and goes well with your playlist

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Gagas1Person

I think the problem is in the lack of charisma. If you're not a charismatic person or at least try to be charismatic, you will end up lookin' like a stepped up version of a year-ending school play. It is impossible to appeal to such a big amount of people like Gaga, Bey, Rihanna and other did if you lack of charisma.

I didn't choose Gaga, Gaga chose me

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Wet Fire

I think it comes down to whether you have a clear sense of who you are or who you want to be and more importantly whether you can channel it through the media properly. Singers like Jessie J and Tori Kelly are appreciated a lot for their vocals but they don't belong to the Ariana-Cardi B sphere.

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swakby

I'm sorry but putting Charli XCX as an unambitious artist is atrocious. She's literally the future of pop music. 

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derpmonster
1 hour ago, Magneto said:

I do get your point, but I also think it's an unfair comparison since the current situation in the music industry doesn't really allow popstars to rise to this level even if they wanted to

You know, I get it but music wise it was similar in 2007. Gaga worked hard to promote hard and perform her song at every single club in the country and in parking lots to get radio to play it. She was dedicated and fought like hell for it. 

Fashion and visuals wise, I agree. People are desensitized to "weird" because almost everyone did a lot of that post-Gaga. Gaga was shocking because late 90s and early 2000s pop culture had been oddly "wholesome". 

Join my FB Gaga sh*tposting group: I'll Never Release LG6 https://www.facebook.com/groups/185450449037808/

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jinko
19 minutes ago, swakby said:

I'm sorry but putting Charli XCX as an unambitious artist is atrocious. She's literally the future of pop music. 

I feel like we've been saying this for at least 4 years now. The future will soon be past for her if she doesn't act quick enough :triggered:

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Pantera

Billie Eilish, I don’t know much about her. I don’t know how she performs. However, I’ve heard some of her songs. And she sounds great. She is getting a lot of love. She seems like a rising star and I wouldn’t be surprised if she gets even bigger. There’s something about her.. I can’t explain. She looks and sounds like a future star. And Ariana is just getting bigger and bigger.

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Phaye Monster

Agreed. 

All the new pop girls’ songs blend into one, for me. I don’t feel enthusiastic about any of them- it just feels like bland pop music. Britney, Gaga, Katy and all the sorts were always exciting, any new single by them was like an event and everyone would love them. We don’t have that anymore. 

Unpopular opinion but Ariana Grande is a new pop girl, not one of the originals

I'm an ARTPOP bitch, baby

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Bradley
1 minute ago, Phaye Monster said:

Agreed. 

All the new pop girls’ songs blend into one, for me. I don’t feel enthusiastic about any of them- it just feels like bland pop music. Britney, Gaga, Katy and all the sorts were always exciting, any new single by them was like an event and everyone would love them. We don’t have that anymore. 

Unpopular opinion but Ariana Grande is a new pop girl, not one of the originals

Ariana is definitely newer than the rest, the reason why I included her in the second category is because she's a great singer and her videos are fairly interesting to watch. Not sure about her early tours but Dangerous Woman Tour was fairly successful and Sweetener World Tour is shaping up to extend her pop star status. She also has multiple top 10 hits and is recognised by the Grammys.

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