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Top of the pops

music Updated: Feb 19, 2011 00:29 IST
Robin Bansal
Robin Bansal
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

As Lady Gaga takes over as the undisputed queen of pop this year, here’s reminding you of other pop music icons through the decades

2011: Lady Gaga
All of 24, the Poker Face hitmaker is known as much for her rebellious singles as she is, for her eccentric dress experiments. Controversy’s favourite child, she has to her credit chartbusters like Just Dance, Telephone, Bad Romance and the latest gay anthem, Born This Way.

2000s: Britney, Eminem
Credited with influencing the revival of teen pop, the bold and brash Britney has broken sales records with hits like Toxic, Baby One More Time and Oops! I Did It Again. Rubbing shoulders with her is The Real Slim Shady rapper, Eminem.

1990s: Michael Jackson
King of pop, pop legend, moonwalker, Smooth Criminal and the list of titles is endless. He defined the genre with his breathtaking style that defied gravity and swept fans off their feet. Immortal numbers include Bad, Beat It, Earth Song and Black or White.

1980s: Madonna
Diva. The one word that defines the world’s top-selling female artist, ever. Imagery, lyrics, style, fashion — she left an indelible mark in the 80s, and pop artists still call her the goddess of glam. Tracks you can’t forget: Like A Virgin, Vogue, Frozen, Music and Like A Prayer.

1970s: Elton John
Oscar and Golden Globe winner...and gay icon! Sir Elton John, also one of the greatest artists of all time, gave in to the fancy shades, the piano and the oh-so-eclectic lyrics. Hits include Candle in the Wind, Tiny Dancer and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

1960s: The Beatles
Perceived as the embodiment of progressive ideals and catalysts to some of the most significant cultural revolutions of the time, the fab four — (clockwise from top left) John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison — changed the history of music.

1950s: Elvis Presley
Though he holds the crown of the King of Rock n Roll, his first words, “I sing all kinds”, during his humble beginnings, and his leg movements qualify him to land a legendary spot. Unforgettables include the likes of Jailhouse Rock, Amazing Grace and Love Me Tender.

1940s: Frank Sinatra
Back then, jazz was the most popular form of music, and Sinatra, undoubtedly its one and only king. The earliest hero of popular music, Francis Albert “Frank” Sinatra’s all-time hits include Strangers in the Night, Come Fly With Me and After You’ve Gone.

The inception of pop
The word ‘pop’ is short for ‘popular’

Origin of the genre: ‘Pop music’ was first recorded as being used in 1926 as piece of music having popular appeal. However, it took off on the culture circuit only in the 50s in the US and the UK, as an extension of Rock n Roll. The sub-genres evolved only later

The 30s saw street and hobby music at its peak, with the trend picking up as a mainstream profession and larger-than-life mode of entertainment only over the 40s.

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