Teen pop

Teen pop
Teen pop
Stylistic origins Swing music (1940s)
Bubblegum pop (1960s and early 1970s)
Dance-pop (1980s)
R&B, hip hop, Rock(1990s)
Pop, Country (Present)
Cultural origins 1940s, United States[1]
Typical instruments Drum machine, synthesizer, auto-tuned vocals, guitar (sometimes keyboards)
Mainstream popularity Extremely high worldwide from 1998-2001, Moderately popular among next generation of youth in 2006-present
Derivative forms Europop
Fusion genres
Adult contemporary
Other topics
Boy band · Girl group · Pop icon

Teen pop is a subgenre of pop music that is created, marketed and oriented towards teenagers.[1][2] Teen pop copies genres and styles such as pop, dance, R&B, hip hop, country and rock.[2] Typical characteristics of teen pop music include auto-tuned vocals, dumbed down lyrics and catchy melody lines.



20th century

Teen-oriented popular music had become common by the end of the Swing Era, in the late 1940s, with Frank Sinatra being an early teen idol. However, it was the early 1960s that became known as the "Golden Age" for pop teen idols, who included Paul Anka, Fabian, Ricky Nelson and Frankie Avalon.[1] During the 1970s, one of the most popular teen-oriented acts was The Osmonds,[1] where family members Donny and Marie both enjoyed individual success as well as success as a duo apart from the main family (Donny also recorded with his brothers as The Osmonds). Other successful singers and bands appealing to tweens and teens were Bobby Sherman, The DeFranco Family, The Partridge Family, Shaun Cassidy, David Cassidy and a pre-disco Bee Gees.

The first major wave of teen pop after the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s occurred in the mid to late 1980s, with artists such as Menudo, Debbie Gibson, Tiffany and New Kids on the Block.[1][2] In the early 1990s, teen pop dominated the charts until grunge and gangsta rap crossed over into the mainstream in North America by late 1991. Teen pop remained popular in the United Kingdom with the boy band Take That during this period, until the mid 1990s when Britpop became the next major wave in the UK, eclipsing the style similar to how grunge did in North America.[2]

In 1996 the girl group Spice Girls released their single "Wannabe", which made them major pop stars in the UK, as well as in the US the following year. In their wake, other teen pop groups and singers came to prominence, including Hanson, the Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, Robyn and All Saints.[1][2] In 1999, the success of teenaged pop-singers Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore and Samantha Mumba marked the development of what Allmusic refers to as the "pop Lolita" trend,[1][2] sparking the short careers of future pop singers such as Willa Ford, Brooke Allison, Svala, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Mikaila, and Kaci. In 2001 artists like Aaron Carter, Sweedish group A-Teens, girl group 3LW and boy band Dream Street were teen pop artists and hits. Alternate "looks" for female teen pop stars include Hoku, Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff and girl group No Secrets. Another popular girl group was Play. Britpop surged with Atomic Kitten and Billie Piper.

Popular girl groups included Dream, Play, No Secrets, Destiny's Child, and the Spice Girls.

The "Carter legacy" continued with the failed pop career of Leslie Carter, whose only single was a song titled "Like Wow".

According to Gayle Ward, the demise of this late 1990s teen pop was due to:

  • promotional oversaturation of teen pop music in 2000 and 2001;
  • the public's changing attitude toward it, deeming teen pop as unauthentic and corporate-produced;
  • the transition of the pre-teen and teenage fanbase of these teen pop artists during 1997–1999 to young adulthood (and the accompanying changes in musical interests);
  • a growing young adult male base classifying the music, especially boy band music, as effeminate, and
  • other musical genres such as post-grunge rock (like Nickelback, Puddle of Mudd, Three Days Grace, Creed and Seether) and hip hop (such as 50 Cent, Eminem, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Lil' Wayne and Lil' Jon) began increasing in popularity.[3]

1990s teen pop artists entered hiatuses and semi-retirements (*NSYNC, Destiny's Child) or changed their musical style (Backstreet Boys, Hanson).[1] Around 2005, teenaged singers such as Hilary Duff, Lindsay Lohan, JoJo, Jesse McCartney, Rihanna and Chris Brown achieved success, indicating new relevance of teen-oriented pop music.[1]

21st century

Since the mid-2000s, but some did many years before that, many teen stars have developed careers through their involvement with Disney. Although Disney has been involved with early pop stars before, which were shown on the Mickey Mouse Club in the 1950s and again in the late 1980s, a comeback of Disney pop took place at the turn of the millennium. The cast of the Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical (such as Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale and Corbin Bleu) have had success since starring in the film, and Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Mitchel Musso and the Jonas Brothers have developed large fanbases since working with Disney on the Hannah Montana, Camp Rock and Sonny With a Chance franchises respectively. The Cheetah Girls were an American multicultural group with Disney, being involved in international movies by the same name. They are credited for being the first ones to have a musical movie act on the Disney Channel setting the stage for all of the other musical acts. The Jonas Brothers hold a record for biggest opening week for Disney release in the United States and worldwide with over half a million copies. Brie Larson is also a teen pop / pop rock artist.

Alongside Disney, other teen pop stars emerged by 2007, among them American Idol winner Jordin Sparks and Nickelodeon star Miranda Cosgrove. Meanwhile, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift emerged as a major star on both the country and pop music scene, scoring major hits with songs such as "Teardrops on My Guitar," "Love Story" and "You Belong with Me."

The introduction of Canadian singer Justin Bieber, a protégé of Usher. At the time of debut album's release, Bieber set records as the only four songs in to the top forty of the Billboard Hot 100, the first artist to send all songs from an album in the Billboard Hot 100.[4] Teen pop is also popular on Nickelodeon with artists such as Big Time Rush[5], Keke Palmer, Miranda Cosgrove, and Victoria Justice. In 2010, the creation of Ark Music Factory helped contributed a new generation of teen pop artists via the internet, such as Rebecca Black and Jenna Rose, even though there is major criticism with these artists. Teen pop continues to be popular as of 2011 with artists such as Amy Diamond, Anna Margaret, China Anne McClain,Christina Grimmie, Coco Jones, Cody Simpson, Cymphonique Miller, Demi Lovato, Greyson Chance, Jacob Latimore, Jasmine, Justin Bieber, Mindless Behavior, Zendaya,One Direction receiving airplay on Top 40 stations and Radio Disney.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Lamb, Bill. "Teen Pop". About.com. Retrieved January 28, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d e f All Music Staff. "Teen Pop". Allmusic. Retrieved October 26, 2007.
  3. ^ Wald, Gayle. "'I Want It That Way': Teenybopper Music and the Girling of Boy Bands". Retrieved January 27, 2008.
  4. ^ "Official News: Good Morning America and My World Pt 2". Island DefJam. 2009-11-13. http://www.justinbiebermusic.com/news_d.aspx?nid=5651. 
  5. ^ http://www.nick.com/shows/big-time-rush/ Retrieved March 24

External links

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