Boy Bands and the Performance of Pop Masculinityprovides a history of the boy band from the Beatles to One Direction, placing the modern male pop group within the wider context of twentieth- and twenty-first-century popular music and culture. Offering the first extended look at pop masculinity as exhibited by boy bands, this volume links the evolving expressions of gender and sexuality in the boy band to wider economic and social changes that have resulted in new ways of representing what it is to be a man.
The popularity of boy bands is unquestionable, and their contributions to popular music are significant, yet they have attracted relatively little study. This book fills that gap with chapters exploring the challenges of defining the boy band phenomenon, its origins and history from the 1940s to the present, the role of management and marketing, the performance of gender and sexuality, and the nature of fandom and fan agency. Throughout, the author illuminates the ways in which identity politics influence the production and consumption of pop music and shows how the mainstream pop of boy bands can both reinforce and subvert gender and class hierarchies.
Gomez's star quality must have been evident from birth - she was named after the singer huge Latin star Selena Quintanilla-Pérez. It was her mother Amanda Dawn "Mandy" Teefey, a former theatre actress, who inspired her to act. She received her first break on Barney & Friends in 2002, before being discovered by Disney when they were conducting a global casting call. She made two pilots which floundered before she was cast in the series Wizards of Waverley in 2008. During the series, she also kick-started her musical career. Typically cautious, she has said she decided to form a band to support her rather than go solo. She said she had decided to name them ‘Selena Gomez and the Scene’ to mock disparagers who criticised her for wanting to launch herself into music.
Like most Disney stars, she has proved to be multi-talented. She's definitely more Christina and Justin than Britney, even though she has frequently cited Britney as a hero. But like her Disney Club alumni, she's also entered into a relationship with a fellow child star, who eerily has the same name as Britney's first love. Her and Justin were surprisingly low-key about their burgeoning romance until they were each other's official dates at the Vanity Fair party during the 2011 Oscars. Since then they have made several public appearances together for the benefits of their admirers, as well as been snapped together during their more private moments.
The star became the youngest ever person to become a UN ambassador in 2009, and has since travelled throughout the world, raising awareness of poverty and famine in countries that her fans may not have heard of before. However, despite Gomez's wholesomeness, the actress is also paving her way into more adult roles. She recently warned fans that they should avoid her upcoming projects because they will see a different side to her. She's appeared in publicity shots for the project wearing bikinis and has said that the film has made her do things that she never expected to do on screen, like smoke and drink.
But Selena has a close relationship to her fans who have turned her into one of the most talked about singers in recent years. The television star turned actress most recently crowdsourced her self-titled perfume, which will go on sale at Macy's. Fans were encouraged to send in their suggestions, with most of them saying that they wanted a poem which they could wear everyday, at either school or at the gym. She told MTV News that the scent represents her as much as it does her fans: "It's still very much me. I think it represents what I like. It's refreshing and young, but it's kind of older as well." Gomez might have her eyes firmly set on her career but she also wants to grow with her fans.
Born and raised in a working class area of Saint Michael parish in south-west Barbados, Rihanna was the eldest daughter of Monica Braithwaite and Ronald Fenty. Her father struggled with addictions to crack cocaine and alcohol, leading to her parents’ divorce when Rihanna was 14, after which she maintained contact with her father, but continued living with her mother and two younger brothers, Rorrey and Rajad. Like many teenage girls, she formed a singing group with friends and dreamt of becoming a pop star.
However, unlike many teenage girls, Rihanna also benefitted from good connections.When she discovered two US record executives were holidaying on her home island, an audition for her group was arranged by mutual friends. History has forgotten the other two members of Rihanna’s singing group, but in Miss Fenty,record execs Carl Sturken and Eric Rogers saw something marketable. Jay Z did too. He signed her to Def Jam during his brief tenure as president allowing for the release of two albums of reggae-tinged R&B that would make her name.
The caribbean influences in Rihanna’s early releases made her a refreshing novelty for R&B fans, but if that was all she had to offer, no doubt by now “Rihanna” would be just another footnote in pop history, alongside Ashanti, Amerie, or Christina Milian (remember them?). But Rihanna had something else. Perhaps inspired by her oft-cited idol Madonna, she has demonstrated an ability to shapeshift in a way that is always uncannily ahead of the trend.
The Rolling Stones, originally composed of members Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Ian Stewart (Stu) were formed in Great Britain in 1962 by members Jagger, Richards, and Jones. The Rolling Stones were influenced, as were many other British rock bands, by American music: Blues, jazz, R&B (rhythm and blues), and rock and roll. Aesthetically pitted against The Beatles "boy next door" image, the Stones were marketed as "the bad boys" of rock. As the anonymous and origin-less saying goes, "The Stones want to spend the night together while the Beatles just want to hold your hand." Encouraged and cultivated by their flamboyant band manager, Andrew Loog Oldham, the Rolling Stones' bad boy image became a defining characteristic of the band. In fact, one press campaign in particular led to the writing of a famous headline: "Would you let your daughter go with a Rolling Stone?"
Suckow's talent for retrospective analysis comes to life as she examines her own people—Iowans, descendants of early settlers—through the lives of the Ferguson family, living in the fictional small town of Belmond, Iowa. Using her gift of creating three-dimensional, living characters, Suckow focuses on personal differences within the family and each member's separate struggle to make sense of past and present, to confront a pervasive sense of loss as a way of life disappears.