It’s quite common for us to dispute about who was the first worldwide star in a specific period. For example, the first top artist in the third millennium, or, in the next period, who will be the shining star of the 20s. But if I should say who was the last pop queen of the second millennium, the girl who, with her songs and videos, introduced us to the 2000s, well, there is no doubt. Britney Spears broke down full speed into the world of pop in late 1998 with her first song and video. Her success was so huge that her debut album, released at the end of 1999, topped the charts in many many countries, and her fantastic career definitely skyrocketed. Britney Spears was only 16, and she played the role of the attractive teenage girl, always balancing between being innocent and being attractive, a continuous teasing game of moves and gazes. She was not the first, of course; Lio and Elli Medeiros in France during the early 80, Madonna and her “Like a Virgin” look in the States, Sabrina Salerno with her “Boys” in Italy, Patsy Kensit of Eighth Wonder and Kylie Minogue were teenage icons of beauty and joy of life in the UK during the late 80’s. Many of them are still active, and few of them have been able to remain faithful to their character, and also to evolve during the years. Britney Spears did all of this. I can’t think of any Britney’s hit during all the years, that would not perfectly fit also in the early Britney character ad attitude. It’s a sort of, how to say, everlasting Britneyism!
Kim Petras has 26 years behind her back, that is, she was born in 1992. So when she was about 6 years old, she would listen for the first time to ''…Baby one more time'' by Britney Spears, and then her world would change forever. This is just a guess, whether it was Christina Aguilera and ''Genie in a bottle'', ''Wannabe'' of the Spice Girls, or simply paying attention to the latest public scandal of Paris Hilton. The point is that our protagonist developed a romantic and passionate relationship with the pop culture of the 2000’s. From her distant native Cologne (Germany), the young lady watched the American teen scene and began to collect pop idols like Gwen Stefani or Mariah Carey, while facing a difficult reality. Since she was very young, she felt like a girl, and thanks to the support of her parents she was one of the youngest people to undergo gender reassignment surgery. Petras anchored to this golden age of gum pink color, and decorated her folders with cuts of her favorite stars, to which she added powerful figures of the 80s like Madonna and Cindy Lauper; as well as maximum representatives of LGTBI music such as Boy George or Freddie Mercury. This overflowing river of influences made this young woman a nerd of the aesthetic and bubblegum pop sound, something that in itself seems the coolest. But far from having lived through that time, where Kim had undoubtedly stood out and turned into a mass idol, she had the great idea of combining all this with modern life dominated by social networks. Turned into a cybernetic LGTBI queen, Kim Petras began to gain popularity on the internet thanks to her music, her graceful aesthetics and way of being. Determined to become a fav among the gay public, Kim combines all the characteristics that this audience adores: starting with her pop sound from the diva of 2000 era, going through the attitude of a coquettish and spoiled blonde, to which she is joined by an urban-sweet-boyish (and slightly anime) style in pastel colors and board skirts. In short, salvation (or reincarnation, depending on how you look at it, has always remained alive in the memory and admiration of many) of this subgenre of pop. Kim personifies the meme 'I'm gonna give the gays everything they want' (you know what I mean, right?). Being more than intelligent, Kim introduces herself to the world by releasing single after single since 2017 dedicating herself to a genre that is loved by many, but nothing exploited. With ''I Don’t want it at all'', she presented herself with force to the world: a young aspiring co-star The Simple Life, eager to hunt the coveted sugar daddy, sang a kind of ode to ''whimsy'', luxury consumerism and signatures and brands. With an ending that culminated with the appearance of Paris Hilton, Kim rose in a short time as a Scream Queen more, and was followed by thousands of fans who admired her nerve and flirt. It was with ''Heart to break'' when the German showed that not only had celebrity wood, but also as a singer and songwriter, offering one of the best songs of 2018, and the best of her career so far. From these, a string of singles were laced every so often. With these songs, Kim showed pop mastery, a sweet voice at the same time flexible and themes that mixed anxiety, problems, joy and desire (is not the world teen a drama? Well that), establishing herself as a quality artist. After a brilliant and cartoony EP, Turn Off the Light, Vol. 1, dedicated to the American Halloween, Kim presents her first album: Clarity.
Listen to Cher’s answer to the question "where do you go when the world does not appreciate your art?" in Not.Com.mercial
There is a popular saying that life is in phases and men are in sizes. Cher must have definitely seen all the phases that were in existence before she released the album. The pop diva has always had a love for trying new things no matter how bad they sounded. "Not.com.mercial" was one of the musical experiments by the artist. Although it was written, recorded and rejected by her record label in 1994, the songstress still kept the album for six years and in the year 2000 she finally released the album on the Internet only. The album portrayed a very different and probably unheard version of Cher, little wonder it meant a lot to her as she was bent on releasing it even after its rejection six years earlier, although she ended up releasing it only on the Internet. She didn’t want it to seem as though she was forcing anyone to listen to her track. The album was filled with really personal stories of the musician’s life plus she probably felt insulted by the fact that the label rejected the album when she recorded it initially. She claimed that she had no expectations but in truth she expected the album to fail hence, the name and she also hoped that the album succeeded. On her twenty-second album "Believe", the artist used auto tunes on her tracks and to be honest the adjustment was a bit much. It completely changed the voice of the pop diva. Although the label wanted to take out the auto tunes, she insisted that it was released without any alteration. The label eventually agreed with her and after its release, the sound the label criticized was celebrated worldwide. My point is it was the success that followed after her rebellion that persuaded her to rebel a second time. Sadly, her second rebelled album did not have as much success as her first. According to stats, the album was not a success but I really admire the guts of the star and the fact that this album meant so much to her was the reason I searched it out in the first place.
J. Cole returns after a 2-year break since his 2014 Forest Hill Drive album with another and his second Solo, feature-less album. This time, he kept the track list to just 10 songs and touched topics ranging from racial discrimination, mass incarceration, love, fatherhood, depression, and Gang Violence that is common in the African American Community. A Dreamville source, according to genius confirmed that the storyline in the entire album was a true story and that James (not his real name), the name of the character in the album was a real person and that he changed in the name for the sake of privacy. J. Cole’s storytelling was also evident in this album and it was at its best in this album, as he told a story all the way from the situations surrounding the community and circumstances James was raised in, to selling crack, all the way to him falling in love to him becoming a father, then passing away. It turns out that the entire 4 Your Eyez Only was a memoir for his young daughter to remember him by. The drama before the release of the album was something else; J. Cole had earlier hinted at retirements on two occasions. The first being on DJ Khalid’s Major Key, released in July of 2016, he featured on a track titled “Jermaine’s Interlude”, he hinted at retirement with the lines “Niggas murkin' each other in murky water, Ias try and swim. How the fuck do I look when I brag to you 'bout some diamond? Said all that I could say now I play with thoughts of retirement”. The second time was at an October concert in 2016 where he announced that that particular performance would be his last for a while. That was discombobulating for a lot of fans as regards the status of his career, only for him release a pre-order on iTunes on December 9th, 2016. Like the 2014 Forest Hill Drive, the album didn’t enjoy any marketing; listening party, social media hype, interviews and the whole nine yards. The album had its first single, “Déjà vu”, released Thirty-one days after the release the album; yet, the album sold three hundred and sixty three thousand (363,000) copies on the first week, making it his fourth consecutive number-one album in the United States. As usual, J. Cole didn’t get a Grammy nomination, but got nominations from Billboard and BET. By January 2017, the album was certified Gold, and was certified Platinum by April. 4 Your Eyez Only remains the most controversial album of J. Cole so far and he didn’t bother to address any of the controversy and let people contemplate until it died out.
Maren Morris is redesigning the future of Country music by releasing an album that follows her own rules and no one else’s. Maren’s sophomore album GIRL was a highly anticipated release in Country Music. After Maren’s previous debut album HERO which sky rocketed her career, fans were eager to see where the star would take her career next. HERO earned Maren a Grammy, CMA, and many other notable career milestones. Since HERO, Maren ventured out of Country Music with her career blazing collaboration with ZEDD “The Middle”. Following recognition for that Billboard Hit she toured and collaborated with former One Direction member Niall Horan. All eyes were on Maren to see what direction she would take this album. Maren did not disappoint. Known for always being true to herself she delivered an album that was full of her own mix of Country and Pop. Every song brings along new meaning to the listener and is one everyone can easily relate to. Taking her recent life experiences such as being a newly wed, rising in stardom etc. Maren brings us along for all of it in this new album. This album has the potential to not only earn Maren more recognition in the Country Music scene but also in the Pop scene. Whatever Maren’s next move is in the music industry she has definitely proved herself with GIRL once again showing the world she is a force to be reckoned with.