Pop icon

Pop icon

Pop icon is a celebrity whose fame in pop culture constitutes a defining characteristic of a given society or era. Although there is no single definitive test for establishing "pop icon" status, such status is usually associated with elements such as longevity, ubiquity, and distinction. Moreover, "pop icon" status is distinguishable from other kinds of notoriety outside of popular culture, such as with historic figures. Note, however, that some historic figures are recognized as having reached "pop icon" status during their era, and such status may continue into the present. World famous and recognised pop icons include Michael Jackson, Madonna and Britney Spears and others.cite book
first = Joyce
last = Chaplin
title = The First Scientific American: Benjamin Franklin and the Pursuit of Genius
publisher = Basic Books
year = 2006
id = ISBN 0465009557
, Mozart: cite book
first = Bruno
last = Nettl
title = Heartland Excursions: Ethnomusicological Reflections on Schools of Music
publisher = University of Illinois Press
year = 1995
id = ISBN 0252064682


Usually, the pop icon status of a celebrity is contingent upon longevity of notoriety.cite book
first = Mary V.
last = Dearborn
title = Mailer: A Biography
publisher = Houghton Mifflin Books
year = 1999
id = ISBN 0618154604
] cite book
first = Ronald Gottesman
last = Richard Maxwell Brown
title = Violence in America: An Encyclopedia
publisher = Simon and Schuster
year = 1999
id = ISBN 0684804875
] This is in contrast to cult icons, whose notoriety or recognition may be limited to a specific subculture. Some pop icons have left a lasting and indelible mark in the area of their career, and then gone on to attain a lasting place of recognition in society at large.cite book
first = Ben
last = Ratcliff
title = Jazz: Jazz: A Critic's Guide to the 100 Most Important Recordings
publisher = Times Books
year = 2002
id = ISBN 0805070680


A common element of pop icon status is the ubiquity of imagery and allusions to the iconic figure. [(Kaku, p. 11)] It is common for the figure to be recognized and even celebrated in areas outside the original source of celebrity status. [(see e.g., Kaku, Chaplin, et al.)] An example of this is Albert Einstein, a physicist whose image and legacy have been represented in comic strips, t-shirts, greeting cards and many other contexts.cite book
first = Michio
last = Kaku
title = Einstein's Cosmos: How Albert Einstein's Vision Transformed Our Understanding of Space and Time
publisher = W. W. Norton & Company
year = _year_
id = ISBN 039305165X


Often pop icon status implies distinguished association with a societal ideal or archetype. It is not uncommon for iconic figures to have a nickname or sobriquet that is used to emphasize this association. Sometimes the very name of such individuals is even used as a synonym for common words or ideas. Einstein, for example, is routinely associated with genius and ingenuity. Marilyn Monroe is associated with sex appeal.

A number of pop icons are distinguished for having died at a young age. These include James Dean, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Jim Morrison, Bruce Lee, Kurt Cobain and Marilyn Monroe, among others. Other deceased celebrities cemented their status as pop icons by virtue of their role in captivating the ethos of their era, as is the case with Elvis Presley and John F. Kennedy. Many still-living celebrities also attain the status of pop icon; solo recording artists such as Cher, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Britney Spears and Madonna, as well as musical groups such as Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, U2 and The Beatles are examples.

Other pop icons can come from sports. These include Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, David Beckham, and Wayne Gretzky.

Some pop icons, such as Mickey Mouse, Mario, Lara Croft, Winnie the Pooh, Bugs Bunny, Shrek, Pikachu, Superman, Spider-Man, Batman and Homer Simpson, are fictional characters. Even inanimate objects have been recognized as pop icons.cite book
first = Mark
last = Vail
title = The Hammond Organ: Beauty in the B
publisher = Backbeat Books
year = 2002
id = ISBN 0879307056
(See also: [http://jcgi.pathfinder.com/fortune/technology/articles/0,15114,369348,00.html Palm PDA] )] Iconic status of Mario: cite book
first = David
last = Sheff
title = Game Over: How Nintendo Zapped an American Industry, Captured Your Dollars, and Enslaved Your Children
publisher = Random House
year = 1991
id = ISBN-13: 978-0679404699
] cite web | first= | last= | url=http://www.cr.nps.gov/nR/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/36liberty/36liberty.htm | title= The Liberty Bell: From Obscurity to Icon | publisher= Independence National Historical Park | date=October 16, 2006 ]

Some figures attain transitory or context-specific "pop icon" status for particular events that captivate public attention, such as in the case of the O.J. Simpson trial.cite book
first = Max
last = Boot
title = Out of Order: Arrogance, Corruption and Incompetence on the Bench
publisher = Basic Books
year = 1998
id = ISBN 0465053750


Throughout the history of popular culture, many popular music stars have been held as pop idols. The pop idol, however, is a broader definition than this, and acceleration of media has made Pop idols out of celebrities of many types. The 1980s was a big break out for pop music. During that time, the "King of Pop" had already been crowned to Michael Jackson, and the title "Queen of Pop" was given to pop/dance icon, Madonna. Pop superstar Britney Spears has also been known as "Princess of Pop" since 1999.

=Notable pop icons=

* Michael Jackson [Archives: [http://archives.tcm.ie/breakingnews/2003/11/12/story121067.asp] ]
* Madonna [Archives: [http://archives.tcm.ie/breakingnews/2003/11/12/story121067.asp ]
* Britney Spears
* Aerosmith [ [http://www.bluecorncomics.com/popicons.htm The 200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons] ]
* The BeatlesBeatles named 'icons of century' BBC News [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/4344910.stm] ]
* Jon Bon Jovi [High Beam: [http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-17249094.html] ]
* David Bowie [Archives: [http://archives.tcm.ie/breakingnews/2003/11/12/story121067.asp] ]
* Kurt Cobain [Archives: [http://archives.tcm.ie/breakingnews/2003/11/12/story121067.asp] ]
* Bob Dylan [Archives: [http://archives.tcm.ie/breakingnews/2003/11/12/story121067.asp] ]
* Judy Garland [Archives: [http://archives.tcm.ie/breakingnews/2003/11/12/story121067.asp] ]
* Che Guevara [Archives: [http://archives.tcm.ie/breakingnews/2003/11/12/story121067.asp] ]
* Deborah Harry [Archives: [http://archives.tcm.ie/breakingnews/2003/11/12/story121067.asp] ]
* Jimi Hendrix [Archives: [http://archives.tcm.ie/breakingnews/2003/11/12/story121067.asp] ]
* Audrey Hepburn [Archives: [http://archives.tcm.ie/breakingnews/2003/11/12/story121067.asp] ]
*Whitney Houstoncite book | last = Cullen | first = Jim | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = Popular Culture in American History | publisher = "Blackwell Publishing" | date = 2001 | location = | pages = 280 | url = http://books.google.com/books?id=ls0OxEXIkU8C | isbn = 0631219587]
*Janet Jackson
*Guns n' Roses
* Pelé [Archives: [http://archives.tcm.ie/breakingnews/2003/11/12/story121067.asp] ]
* Elton John [Archives: [http://archives.tcm.ie/breakingnews/2003/11/12/story121067.asp] ]
* George Michael [Archives: [http://archives.tcm.ie/breakingnews/2003/11/12/story121067.asp] ]
* Led Zeppelin [Archives: [http://archives.tcm.ie/breakingnews/2003/11/12/story121067.asp] ]
* Bruce Lee [Bruce Lee by Linda Tagliaferro ISBN 0822596881]
* John Lennon [Archives: [http://archives.tcm.ie/breakingnews/2003/11/12/story121067.asp] ]
* Bob Marley [Archives: [http://archives.tcm.ie/breakingnews/2003/11/12/story121067.asp] ]
* Freddie Mercury [Archives:
* Michael Jordan [http://archives.tcm.ie/breakingnews/2003/11/12/story121067.asp]
* Elvis Presley
* The Rolling Stones [Archives: [http://archives.tcm.ie/breakingnews/2003/11/12/story121067.asp] ]
* Frank Sinatra [Archives: [http://archives.tcm.ie/breakingnews/2003/11/12/story121067.asp] ]

* James Dean [Archives: [http://www.stango.com/ShowThumbs.asp?CatID=2] ]

ee also

* Cult icon
* Gay icon
* Popular culture
* Sex symbol
* Teen idol
*Honorific titles in popular music


Further reading

*Cullen, Jim. "Popular Culture in American History". "Blackwell Publishing", 2001. ISBN 0631219587

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