For female pop stars it is vital that they stand within a very crowded market. One way they tend to do this is by undergoing a musical transformation. intentionally showing the world a different look and sound.
Without a doubt, the biggest musical renovation of 2013 has to be Miley Cyrus, who went from innocent Disney princess to a grown up, queen of controversy who has given the foam finger a bad name. With a new image and attitude Miley has easily become the most talked about person on the planet, since her provocative VMA performance with Robin Thicke a few months ago; where her twerking antics made headlines for weeks after the event.
Her recent transformation has left people wondering if Miley would be alienating her predominantly pre and early teenage audience, especially with her recent single ‘We Can’t Stop’ which talks about partying, drug use and dancing like you work in a strip club. Even with all of the controversy, Miley’s reinvention has done the trick, with number ones all over the globe including her album ‘Bangerz’ which has sat at the top of both the UK and US album charts. Many female pop stars, like Miley Cyrus, feel the need to re-invent themselves (as artists), to stay current. Alongside their music, they aim to prove that they’ve developed as a person, or just reflecting various traits of their personality.
But the most documented female pop star transformation, would have to be Madonna. Ever since she broke on to the music scene during the mid 80’s, she has continuously broken the boundaries with both her image and musical style. Madonna started off with dance inspired pop music with a string of hits including ‘Holiday’, ‘Like A Virgin’ and ‘Into The Groove’, which went with her effeminate image and ‘girl next door’ look.Towards the end of the 80s, Madonna had a more mature sound for her fourth album ‘Like A Prayer’ and re-branding herself as a more ‘serious’ artist. From the 90’s, Madonna adopted a more sexual and experimental persona which caused great amounts of controversy, much similar to Miley Cyrus today.
Some artists however, do not always feel the need to reinvent themselves and have often stuck to a formula which seems to work for them. Pink and Kelly Clarkson are two artists who have managed to stick to a similar sense of style and sound throughout most of their career. These two have been in the music industry for over 10 years, and have a very strong fan base. Pink and Kelly Clarkson have been able to stay relevant without straying to far from what they are known for.
It is clear that the idea of reinventing a pop star tends to be associated more with female acts, as image is an important factor for marketing a pop star. Female musicians (generally) find it more difficult to be taken seriously within the industry. So many labels feel that one way to get noticed, is for female stars to go through a dramatic transformation with both their look and sound. The art of the reinventing the female pop star often comes under scrutiny, and prompts the following question: Is this new style a real interpretation of who they are as an artist, or just something put forward to increase record sales.
Written by Harry Towse