Teen pop  

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Teen pop is a genre of music which is generally marketed towards preteens and teenagers. It is called teen pop because most of the artists within this genre start their careers in their teens. Producers Max Martin, Kara DioGuardi and Jay Orpin are pioneer songwriters of this genre of music. The music is often marketed to a youth audience, and often performed by teens in a dance-pop, pop rock, or contemporary urban music format.




The first major wave of teen pop groups rose in the late 1980s with similar music stars such as Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, Bros, Rick Astley, and New Kids on the Block. These pop stars caught on with the audience due to their radio-friendly pop oriented music and wholesome good looks.


In the early 1990s, teen pop dominated the charts until grunge music crossed over into the mainstream in North America. 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.<ref name="Allmusic">All Music Staff. "Teen Pop". All Music Guide. Retrieved October 26, 2007.</ref>

For a brief period after Take That disbanded, there wasn't any teen pop in either North America or the UK, but this changed when in middle of 1996, the girl group the Spice Girls released their single "Wannabe" which made them major pop stars in the UK. The Spice Girls also became big stars in North America, the following year in 1997. In their wake, other major teen pop groups also came to prominence, namely 'N Sync and The Backstreet Boys.The Danish/Norwegian Band Aqua did some teen-pop. A new type of teen pop group also arose with a more traditional pop rock format, rather than dance-pop, that made a large impression on the youth audience, most notably with Hanson.


Teen pop remained popular into the 2000s. Hit songs from Britney Spears created another type of teen pop idol, of a single female lolita pop icon. Similar artists such as Christina Aguilera and Jessica Simpson would grow with their audience letting their music and persona evolve similar to entertainer Madonna.<ref name="Allmusic"/>

In 2002, the bubblegum pop style of late '90s teen pop was quickly becoming unpopular. Album sales of 'N Sync's Celebrity and Britney Spears' Britney, for example, were signficantly a few million shorter than their preceding albums and singles such as 'N Sync's Girlfriend and Britney Spears' Overprotected and Boys were remixed to reflect the changing music taste toward urban music. The popularity of pop rock, from artists like Vanessa Carlton, Michelle Branch, Avril Lavigne, and Nickelback and of hip-hop music from artists like 50 Cent, Ashanti, Ja Rule, Eminem, Nelly, Alicia Keys, and Ludacris had now achieved music success that overshadowed the teen pop icons of only a couple years ago.

The demise of this late '90s teen pop was due to: 1) promotion oversaturation of teen pop music from 2000 and 2001, 2) the public's changing attitude toward it deeming teen pop as unauthentic and corporate-produced, 3) the pre-teen and teenage fanbase of these teen pop artists during 1997-1999 were becoming young adults and their musical interests were changing, and 4) a growing young adult male base classifying the music, especially boy band music, as effeminate. (These were reasons were similar to the demise of late '80s teen pop as public interest gravitated toward grunge and gangsta rap in the early '90s.) In addition, the breakup/hiatus of popular teen pop acts like the Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync, Destiny's Child, 98 Degrees, and lesser well known acts like Dream, O-Town, 3LW, and Eden's Crush all within early to mid-2002 made the demise all the more abrupt.

Canadian pop musician Avril Lavigne released her Let Go album, which brought a new pop punk style of teen pop to the mainstream. Popular Avril Lavigne songs such as "Complicated" and "Mobile" had a more pop rock sound like Hanson, but also borrowed from a bratty pop punk attitude from groups like blink 182 and Good Charlotte. Similar artists of this sound followed, including The Veronicas. As of 2007, this style of teen pop is still going strong with Lavigne's album The Best Damn Thing continuing to sell well on the charts.

Meanwhile artists like Ne-Yo, Rihanna, Mario, Ciara, B2K, and Chris Brown have catered to teen audiences of the urban music scene of the early and mid-2000s using the sounds of hip pop, crunk & B, and dancehall.

In 2008, artists such as Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, and Aly & AJ are popular and help continue the rise of popularity of dance music. These new teen pop music idols may have the same popularity of late '90s teen artists, but their commercial success is no where near the legendary commercial success of those late '90s teen artists. The Recording Industry Association of America and music corporations suggested the reason behind this is the due to creation of illegal music file sharing since 2001, but some studies have indicated that to not be true.

Currently the only remaining successful teen pop artists of the late '90s are Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Pink yet their current music does not attract the enormous teenage fanbase as they once had in their first few years as they have chosen more "mature sounding" music and abandoning their bubblegum pop music that had made them popular. The music popularity of other female teen pop artists such as Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore, and Vitamin C have gradually waned leading them to pursue other movie and television offers due to their current music success being minuscule to their initial music success. As mentioned above, most of the boy bands of the late '90s, have either broken up or allegedly taken a hiatus from each other; only the Backstreet Boys have professionally rejoined together back in 2004, although they have changed their sound to that of an alternative rock sound. Justin Timberlake of 'N Sync has been the only male who has had musical success as great as his boy band days. The Backstreet Boys continue to record and perform together, but their commercial success has been a fraction of their earlier record-breaking successes.

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