Pop – The Foundation of World Music


Pop music is not only worldwide popular music genre but also has set solid foundation in the music industry. One will certainly know some favorite pop songs in their life time. But have you ever wonder when and how pop is developed into such a famous music genre today?

What is Pop?

Pop is the acronym for “popular”, meaning the widespread and for everyone. And since its birth, the pop music always manages to keep its definition even though the music’s musical preference is changing every second. Although it was not until the middle of the twentieth century that Pop was officially mentioned and it was marked down for several decades earlier.

Pop is a genre of contemporary music and very popular in the modern life. This term does not accurately tell the genre of music or sound alone, but rather its meaning depends on the different period of time in history and in different places around the world.

In the music world, Pop is often distinguished from other genres due to a number of artistic styles such as beats or rhythms. Pop songs usually have simple, easy-to-listen and catching melodies, some sections of the song tend to be repeated over. Pop lyrics also mostly focus on love, emotion and youth topic. Compared to other music, Pop is not only easy to listen but also easy to sing, so this genre is always the perfect choice for any singer to start their singing career. As evidence, there are many legendary artists around the world are Pop singers.

Pop in 1980s

It can be said that the first real Pop tracks were the songs composed by the professional musicians and performed in the concert halls for a large audience. This led us back to Victorian times when people listened music from the best turntable and a performer needed a charismatic and recognizable song. However, things have changed with the introduction of recording technology in the early twentieth century. Thanks to that innovation, music then is more widely available. At that time, the record 78 rpm was sold quite cheap.

In the 1980s, the most notable pop star was Michael Jackson with Epic’s second album, Thriller, which still holds the record for being the best-selling album of all time. He was the most successful artist of the decade with 9 hits in the US and sold over 133 million records with only two albums, Thriller and his next album, Bad. At the beginning of the 90s, he began to be known by the public as the “King of Pop”. Michael Jackson died in June 25th, 2009.

Michael Jackson

The most prominent female face of the 80s was Madonna. She has a different style of mixing Pop with other genres such as Techno, Hip-hop…Early career albums like Madonna, Like a Virgin, True Blue, Like a Prayer all reached the top position in spite of the high turnover in the music industry. As the most successful artist of the 80s, Madonna is considered the “Queen of Pop”. The MTV channel also awarded her for the “Artist of the Decade”.

Male singer Prince also had many influences during this period and received much praise from the critics. Other top performers are Kylie Minogue, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, U2,…; each artist had their own style in Pop which made Pop has become one of the most diversified music genres. In the last decade of the 1980s, the Pop popularity of duo coming from Sweden Roxette.

Pop music in the 80s was dominated by electronic sounds and dance music. Today, this decade is considered to have more legendary songs that regardless of time, listeners born in 20th century can get addicted. Not only the music, 80s Pop artists also led the fashion and were perceived as model and pioneers in life style. Teenagers, young adults got crazy about the Pop and Pop style was considered high-fashion at that time.

Pop in 1990s

In the 1990s, many R&B influence singers gained a lot of success, culminating in being the female singer of Mariah Carey. She was the most successful singer of this decade. Starting her career from the age of 30 until now, she is currently holding a record in female singles for number one singles chart in the US (18 times).

Mariah Carey

Besides Mariah Carey, other R&B influenced Pop artists also won the heart of listeners around the world including Destiny’s Child, Whitney Houston, Bon Jovi…

In the late 1990s, it was impossible to not mention the strong rise of boy band and girl group. Color Me Badd, News Kids on the Blocks, Westlife, Backstreet Boys (recorded as the most sold male band of all time), 98 Degrees,…

Pop in 2000s

Britney Spear

In addition to legendary artists such as Madonna, Mariah Carey, Kylie Minogue who are still continuing to reap the success, many new young vocalists also conquered the music market thanks to their amazing songs and music. “Pop Princess” Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears, Lady Gaga and “Prince of Pop” Justin Timberlake. Other famous Pop singers can also be known as Shakira, Jessica Simpson, Rihanna, Kelly Jackson, Avril Lavinge…


The early 2000s also marks the arrival of new successful bands such as The Black Eyed Peas, The Pussycat Dolls, Fall Out Boy…

Recently, with the innovation of the technology in the audio and music industry, Pop music is taking another level with many mixing and unique elements with a lot young talented artists such as Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Adele, Bruno Mars and bands such as Maroon 5,…

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