Who are the most influential performers of the 21st century? Madonna, Elvis, the Beatles, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Oprah and a host of other performers defined pop culture in the 20th century. They revolutionized the entertainment industry! They all did something different. The Beatles and Elvis helped define rock & roll, Madonna and Michael Jackson revolutionized pop music and Oprah gave a voice to women across the nation. What 21st century performers will be placed in this elite club?
The answer to this question is a difficult one. We live in a society where 15 minutes of fame is more common than longevity. There will be a small number of modern stars who will stand the test of time. When someone looks back at the first couple of decades of the 21st century, they will look at pop phenomenons like Beyonce, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake, and Britney Spears. Who knows, they may even look back at Miley Cyrus. These performers grab have grabbed the media with a deathly chokehold. Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson, Usher and a few other performers will also be remembered for their contributions. They have denominated the pop charts, graced the big screen, and caused quite a bit of controversy. Beyonce and Britney have broken all kinds of music records, and have had their names in the tabloids quite a bit.
It will be interesting to see who is remembered. Few artist s have made a creative impact this century. The entertainment industry is dominated by commercialism. Actors are no longer just actors. Singers are no longer just singers. Every entertainer these days are brands. They are crafted to make the most money possible. The most remembered performers of this century will most likely be some of the entertainers who made it big in the late 20th century. Mariah and Madonna still have hit records. U2 Still sells out arenas.
Unfortunately, young performers will most likely not be remembered. Sometimes it just seems like there isn’t any new ground being broken. Musicians are simply remaking the songs that made other people famous. They may have different lyrics, but the arrangements, techniques and styles are basically the same.
Talent also needs to be part of the equation. The entertainment industry no longer develops raw talent. They take anyone with a pretty face and make them appear talented. Beyonce and Kanye West stand out because they have substance underneath the glitz, glamour and image. Entertainers need to also stand for something. Angelina Jolie will be remembered because she wasn’t just another gorgeous face!