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Teen pop
Stylistic origins Swing music (1940s), Bubblegum pop (1960s), Dance-pop (1980s)
Cultural origins 1940s, United States[1]
Typical instruments drum machine, synthesizer, vocals, guitar (sometimes keyboards)
Derivative forms Upbeat pop, American pop, Europop
Fusion genres
Teenybopper beat
Other topics
Boy band · Girl band · Pop icon

Teen pop is a subgenre of pop music that is created, marketed and oriented toward young teenagers and preadolescents.[1][2] Teen pop covers genres and styles such as pop, dance, R&B, hip hop and rock.[2]



Teen-oriented popular music had become common by the end of the Swing Era, in the late 1940s, with Frank Sinatra being an early teen idol. However, it was the early 1960s that became known as the "Golden Age" for pop teen idols, who included Paul Anka, Fabian and Frankie Avalon.[1] The first major wave of teen pop occurred in the mid to late 1980s, with artists such as Debbie Gibson, Tiffany and New Kids on the Block.[1][2] In the early 1990s, teen pop dominated the charts until grunge and gangsta rap crossed over into the mainstream in North America by late 1991. 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.[2]

In 1996, the girl band Spice Girls released their single "Wannabe", which made them major pop stars in the UK, as well as in the US the following year. In their wake, other teen pop groups came to prominence, including Hanson, the Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC and All Saints.[1][2] In 1999, the success of teenaged pop-singers Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera,Jessica Simpson, and Mandy Moore marked the development of what Allmusic refers to as the "pop Lolita" trend, comparing them to Madonna. [1][2] Alternate "looks" for female teen pop stars include Hoku, Avril Lavigne, and girl group No Secrets.

According to Gayle Wald, the demise of this late 1990s teen pop was due to:

  • promotional oversaturation of teen pop music in 2000 and 2001,
  • the public's changing attitude toward it, deeming teen pop as unauthentic and corporate-produced,
  • the transition of the pre-teen and teenage fanbase of these teen pop artists during 1997–1999 to young adulthood (and the accompanying changes in musical interests), and
  • a growing young adult male base classifying the music, especially boy band music, as effeminate.[3]

1990s teen pop artists entered hiatuses and semi-retirements (*NSYNC, Destiny's Child) or changed their musical style (Backstreet Boys).[1] In 2005, teenaged singers such as Jesse McCartney, Rihanna and Chris Brown achieved success, indicating new relevance of teen-oriented pop music.[1] Since the mid-2000s, many teen stars have developed careers through their involvement with Disney - the cast of the Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical (such as Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale and Corbin Bleu) have had success since starring in the film, and Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato and the Jonas Brothers have developed large fanbases since working with Disney on the Hannah Montana, Camp Rock and Sonny With a Chance franchises respectively. The Jonas Brothers hold a record for biggest opening week for Disney release in the United States and worldwide with over half a million copies. 2009 saw the introduction of Selena Gomez (of Wizards of Waverly Place) as a Disney act, and the introduction of Canadian singer Justin Bieber, a protégé of Usher. At the time of debut album's release, Bieber set records as the only four songs in to the top forty of the Billboard Hot 100, the first artist to send all songs from an album in the Billboard Hot 100[4].

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Lamb, Bill. "Teen Pop". Retrieved January 28, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d e f All Music Staff. "Teen Pop". Allmusic. Retrieved October 26, 2007.
  3. ^ Wald, Gayle. "'I Want It That Way': Teenybopper Music and the Girling of Boy Bands". Retrieved January 27, 2008.
  4. ^ "Official News: Good Morning America and My World Pt 2". Island DefJam. 2009-11-13. 

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