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Lady Gaga, Adele, Rihanna: Only girls allowed

 

Lady Gaga and Adele are the world’s reigning pop stars. Gaga bestrides the planet like an Amazonian colossus, conical bra firing on all cylinders. Her new album, Born This Way, is outselling the rest of the UK top 10 put together, and is on its way to a first-week million in the US.  adele
Achieving this, Gaga has displaced our own Adele, bumped off top spot on both sides of the Atlantic, although Adele has little cause for complaint. Defiantly unglamorous, unfashionably authentic, her album 21 has been the word-of-mouth sensation of 2011, number one in the UK for 16 out of 18 weeks it has been on release. And she has the number one single in the US, Rolling In The Deep.

On the surface, these two young stars could hardly be more different. Gaga is provocative and outrageous, mistress of her own hype, using every showbusiness tool to stir up controversy, as proudly artificial as Adele is soulfully authentic. Adele looks as if her preparations for going on stage amount to slipping into a nice dress and slapping on a bit of lipstick. She doesn’t use autotune, doesn’t do choreography, doesn’t court controversy, doesn’t show off her flesh in salacious magazine shoots.

Yet they do have something very crucial in common. They are both female.

In 2009, there was an emerging consensus in the music business that the future of pop was female. Now it seems there is no denying it. According to Soundscan, an information and sales tracking system in the US, six of the top 10 selling albums this year have been by female artists (Adele, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Britney Spears and Katy Perry) and seven of the top 10 singles. Similarly, last year, six of the top 10 albums were female fronted (Taylor Swift, Susan Boyle, Lady Gaga, Sade, Ke$ha and Lady Antebellum). Go back to the turn of the century, and only two of the top 10 selling artists in 2000 were female (Britney Spears and Destiny’s Child). Go back even further, and it’s impossible to find a year when women outnumbered men in the charts. So how has pop gone from a boy’s club to ladies first?

The Telegraph


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