American pop

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For the film by Ralph Bakshi, see American Pop.

American pop is a vague[citation needed] and nebulous term[citation needed], applied generally to whatever form of music is most popular among mainstream American teenage audiences. Adolescents are an especially important audience, both because of their relatively large amount of discretionary spending, and their fervent devotion to pop stars. Though the modern era of teen pop music is not usually said to have begun until the 1960s, there were important antecedents.

Rudy Vallee

Perhaps the first genre of teen pop was the swing craze, which was an important dance style among teens across the nation in the early part of the 20th century. Later, a number of vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald and the Ink Spots became very popular, especially among the young. Though these performers are not generally considered teen pop singers, their success indicated that music that appealed to teens could be highly profitable. A number of Italian-American crooners soon found a major youth audience, including Dean Martin, Rudy Vallee, Tony Bennett, Perry Como, Frankie Laine and, most famously, the "first pop vocalist to engender hysteria among his fans" Frank Sinatra.[1]

The era of the modern teen pop star, however, began in the 1960s. Bubblegum pop groups like The Monkees were chosen entirely for their appearance and ability to sell records, with no regard to musical ability. Pop groups like these remained popular into the 1970s, producing family acts like the Partridge Family and The Osmonds. By the late 1990s, there were numerous varieties of Teen pop including singers like Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Mandy Moore, Jessica Simpson and Clean-cut boy bands like Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC.


  • ^ Garofalo, Reebee (1997). Rockin' Out: Popular Music in the USA. Allyn & Bacon. ISBN 0-205-13703-2.