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How music is changing the way dementia patients think

<p dir="ltr">New research has proven that music truly is the universal language, with experts discovering how the power of music is helping those suffering with dementia. </p> <p dir="ltr">Music therapists have shown that music brings dementia patients back to the present, with some even finding their voice thanks to the nostalgic memories of the past. </p> <p dir="ltr">According to Registered Music Therapist and Managing Director of music therapy company Music Beat, Dr Vicky Abad, the power of music is not to be overlooked when it comes to degenerative diseases.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Music is a window into people’s pasts,” she said. “It builds on strengths and abilities against a disease that can strip a person of their dignity, abilities and quality of life.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The team at <a href="https://www.tricare.com.au/">TriCare Aged Care and Retirement</a>, who see the devastating impact of dementia each and every day,  also experience first-hand the impact music has on residents, with many noticing “unrecognisable” changes in personality when a nostalgic tune is played.</p> <p dir="ltr">Louis Rose, an 80-year-old dementia patient and TriCare resident, was diagnosed with dementia six years ago, and requires assistance with many aspects of day to day life. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, listening to music is one thing he can enjoy on his own.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I grew up in Mauritius and while we didn’t have a lot, we certainly had music. Listening to music has always been an escape for me and a way to relax,” Mr Rose said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“When your brain starts to slow down and you find yourself forgetting things, it can be quite frustrating and confusing. Listening to music has been a way to distract myself from what’s going on in my head, it has helped me so much.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Tamsin Sutherland is a regular live music performer at TriCare facilities across Queensland, and has been able to witness incredible moments with the residents as they come alive as soon as she starts to play. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Watching residents who are often non-verbal sing along to the words is incredible,” she said “It really is like they are coming back to life and reconnecting with who they once were. To be part of that is quite emotional for me.”</p> <p dir="ltr">According to Dr Abad, music can help prevent the restless behaviour that often leads to pacing and wandering, especially in the evenings, which are often difficult times for those battling the disease. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Sundowning usually occurs in the late afternoon as dusk approaches, a time that is also associated with what used to be a busy time period in people’s lives,” she noted. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Personalised music is a simple and effective tool to help residents feel validated in their emotions during this time and provides them an opportunity to experience a calmer state of mind”.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Mind

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Young musician dies weeks after writing final song

<p>Cat Janice has died aged 31 with her family by her side.</p> <p>The young musician, who had a large following on TikTok, had been battling cancer since January 2022 when doctors diagnosed her with sarcoma, a rare malignant tumour. </p> <p>She was declared cancer-free on July 22 that same year, following extensive surgery, chemo and radiation therapy. </p> <p>The mum-of-one was sadly re-diagnosed with cancer in June last year and despite fighting hard in the second round of her treatments, Janice told fans in January that her cancer "won" and that she "fought hard but sarcomas are too tough".</p> <p>Janice's family have announced her passing in a statement shared to her Instagram. </p> <p>"From her childhood home and surrounded by her loving family, Catherine peacefully entered the light and love of her heavenly creator," they said. </p> <p>"We are eternally thankful for the outpouring of love that Catherine and our family have received over the past few months."</p> <p>Before she died, Janice publicly announced that all her music would be signed over to her 7-year-old son, Loren, to support him in the future. </p> <p>Just weeks before her death, she released her final song <em>Dance You Outta My Head </em> in the hope it would spread "joy and fun". </p> <p>"My last joy would be if you pre saved my song 'Dance You Outta My Head' and streamed it because all proceeds go straight to my 7-year-old boy I'm leaving behind," she said, before the song was released. </p> <p>The song went viral, and took he number one spot in several countries and the number five spot on the Apple Itunes globally.</p> <p>Her family have said that the love she received for her final song, was unbelievable parting gift she could have ever received.</p> <p>"Cat saw her music go places she never expected and rests in the peace of knowing that she will continue to provide for her son through her music. This would not have been possible without all of you."</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Caring

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Pink's sweet surprise for young fan's birthday

<p>Pink has continued to spread the love during her Australian tour. </p> <p>The <em>So What </em>singer surprised a young fan backstage at her Melbourne show Thursday night, with the sweet moment captured on camera. </p> <p>11-year-old Molly received an unforgettable gift as Pink personally sang <em>Happy Birthday</em> to her and gave her a birthday cake. </p> <p>Chris Hemsworth’s wife, Elsa Pataky filmed and shared the sweet moment on Instagram with the caption: “Girls night to go see Pink in concert. You are amazing. Thanks for making Molly feel so special on her birthday." </p> <p>Pataky attended the Melbourne show with her 11-year-old daughter, India Rose, and a group of their friends, including Molly.</p> <p>Fans flooded the comments with praise for the megastar, who has repeatedly made an effort to spend quality time with her fans despite her busy schedule. </p> <p>“OMG. Can Pink be more wonderful? How can you not love her?,” one wrote </p> <p>“How special,” another wrote, while a third added, “Pink is the best.”</p> <p>"Pink!!!!! I can’t explain how much I love that woman," a fourth wrote. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C3pmf8pPhG8/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C3pmf8pPhG8/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Elsa Pataky (@elsapataky)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Pink has prioritised her fans time and time again. During her show in Brisbane on the 17th of February, she carved time out from her Aussie tour to meet six-year-old Brisbane girl Lillian Harris, who was born with a terminal heart condition. </p> <p>She spent one-on-one time with one of her biggest fans and presented her with a bunch of gifts. </p> <p>“Hi babe! You look so good in that shirt,” she said to Lillian in a video uploaded to <a href="https://www.facebook.com/reel/1833085993806124" target="_blank" rel="noopener">social media</a>.</p> <p>“I’m really happy that you’re here, and I’m happy to meet you.”</p> <p>She even dedicated Lilian's favourite song <em>What About Us</em>, to the six-year-old during her performance at at Suncorp Stadium. </p> <p>Fans also praised Pink then for being "such a fabulous woman.”</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

Family & Pets

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Should Taylor Swift be taught alongside Shakespeare? A professor of literature says yes

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/liam-e-semler-1507004">Liam E Semler</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Does Taylor Swift’s music belong in the English classroom? No, obviously. We should teach the classics, like <a href="https://www.folger.edu/explore/shakespeares-works/shakespeares-sonnets/">Shakespeare’s Sonnets</a>. After all, they have stood the test of time. It’s 2024 and he was born in 1564, and she’s only 34. What’s more, she is a pop singer, not a poet. Sliding her into the classroom would be yet another example of a dumbed-down curriculum. It’s ridiculous. It makes everyone look bad.</p> <p>I’ve heard all that. And plenty more like it. But none of it is right. Well, the dates might be, but not the assumptions – about Shakespeare, about English, about teaching, and about Swift.</p> <p>Swift is, by the way, a poet. She sees herself this way and her songs bear her out. In Sweet Nothing, on the <a href="https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/taylor-swift-midnights/">Midnights</a> album, she sings:</p> <blockquote> <p>On the way home<br />I wrote a poem<br />You say “What a mind”<br />This happens all the time.</p> </blockquote> <p>I’m sure it does. Swift is relentlessly productive as a songwriter. With Midnights, she picked up <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2024/02/04/entertainment/taylor-swift-album-of-the-year-grammys/index.html">her fourth Grammy for Album of the Year</a>. And here we are, on the brink of another studio album, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tortured_Poets_Department">The Tortured Poets Department</a>, somehow written and produced amid the gargantuan success of Midnights and the Eras World Tour.</p> <h2>An ally of literature</h2> <p>Regardless of what The Tortured Poets Department ends up being about, Swift is already a firm ally of literature and reading. She is <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/taylor-swift-donates-6000-books-to-library/">a donor of thousands of books</a> to public libraries in the United States, an advocate to schoolchildren of the importance of reading and songwriting, and a lover of the process of crafting lyrics.</p> <p>In a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnbCSboujF4">2016 Vogue interview</a>, Swift declared with glee that, if she were a teacher, she would teach English. The literary references in her songs are endlessly noted. “I love Shakespeare as much as the next girl,” she wrote in a <a href="https://www.elle.com/uk/life-and-culture/a26546099/taylor-swift-pop-music/">2019 article for Elle</a>.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mdgKhdcQrNw?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>Her interview Read Every Day gives a good sense of this. Swift speaks about her writing process in ways that make it accessible. She explains how songs come to her anywhere and everywhere, like an idea randomly appearing “on a cloud” that becomes the first piece in a “puzzle” that will be assembled into a song. She furtively whisper-sings song ideas into her phone when out with friends.</p> <p>In her <a href="https://www.thelineofbestfit.com/news/read-taylor-swifts-full-nsai-songwriter-artist-of-the-decade-award-speech">acceptance speech for the Nashville Songwriter-Artist of the Decade Award</a> in 2022, Swift explained how she writes in three broad styles, imagining she is holding either a “quill”, a “fountain pen”, or a “glitter gel pen”. Songcraft is a joyous challenge for her.</p> <p>If, as teachers of literature, we are too proud to credit Swift’s plainly expressed love of English (regardless of whether we like her songs or not), we are likely missing something. To bluntly rule her out of the English classroom feels more absurd than allowing her in.</p> <p>Clio Doyle, a lecturer in early modern literature, has <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-taylor-swift-belongs-on-english-literature-degree-courses-219660">summarised</a> Swift’s suitability for English in a recent article which concludes:</p> <blockquote> <p>The important thing isn’t whether or not Swift might be the new Shakespeare. It’s that the discipline of English literature is flexible, capacious and open-minded. A class on reading Swift’s work as literature is just another English class, because every English class requires grappling with the idea of reading anything as literature. Even Shakespeare.</p> </blockquote> <p>Doyle reminds us Swift’s work has been taught at universities for a while now and, inevitably, the singer’s name keeps cropping up in relation to Shakespeare. This isn’t just a case of fandom gone wild or Shakespeare professors, like <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/culture/music/why-taylor-swift-is-a-literary-giant-by-a-shakespeare-professor-20230518-p5d9cn.html">Jonathan Bate</a>, gone rogue.</p> <p>The global interest in the world-first academic <a href="https://swiftposium2024.com/">Swiftposium</a> is a good measure of how things are trending. Moreover, it is wrong to think Swift’s songs are included in units of study purely to be adored. Her wide appeal is part of her appeal to educators, but that doesn’t mean her art is uncritically included.</p> <p>The reverse is true. Claire Hansen <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/pop-star-philosopher-poet-taylor-swift-is-shaking-up-how-we-think-20240207-p5f342.html">taught Swift in one of her literature units at the Australian National University</a> last year precisely because this influential singer-songwriter prompts students to explore the boundaries of the canon.</p> <p>I will be teaching Midnights and Shakespeare’s Sonnets together in a literature unit at the University of Sydney this semester. Why? Not because I think Swift is as good as Shakespeare, or because I think she is not as good as Shakespeare. These statements are fine as personal opinions, but unhelpful as blanket declarations without context. The nature of English as a discipline is far more complex, interesting and valuable than a labelling and ranking exercise.</p> <h2>Teaching Midnights and Shakespeare’s Sonnets</h2> <p>I teach Shakespeare’s sonnets as exquisite poems, reflective of their time and culture. I also teach three modern artworks that shed contemporary light on the sonnets.</p> <p>The first is Jen Bervin’s 2004 book <a href="https://www.jenbervin.com/projects/nets">Nets</a>. Bervin prints a selection of the sonnets, one per page, in grey text. In each of these grey sonnets, some of Shakespeare’s words and phrases are printed in black and thus stand out boldly.</p> <p>The result is a <a href="https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/palimpsest">palimpsest</a>. The Shakespearean sonnet appears lying, like fertile soil, beneath the briefer poem that emerges from it. Bervin describes this technique as a stripping down of the sonnets to “nets” in order “to make the space of the poems open, porous, possible – a divergent elsewhere”. The creative relationship between the Shakespearean base and Bervin’s proverb-like poems proves that, as Bervin says, “when we write poems, the history of poetry is with us”.</p> <p>The second text is Luke Kennard’s prizewinning 2021 collection <a href="https://www.pennedinthemargins.co.uk/index.php/2021/04/notes-on-the-sonnets/">Notes on the Sonnets</a>. Kennard recasts the sonnets as a series of entertaining prose poems. Each poem responds to a specific Shakespearean sonnet, recasting it as the freewheeling thought bubble of a fictional attendee at an unappealing house party. In an interview with C.D. Rose, Kennard <a href="https://thequietus.com/articles/30078-luke-kennard-interview-the-answer-to-everything-notes-on-the-sonnets">explains</a> how his house party design puts the reader</p> <blockquote> <p>in between a public and private space, you’re at home and you’re out, you’re free, you’re enclosed. And that’s similar in the sonnets.</p> </blockquote> <p>The third text is Swift’s Midnights. Unlike Bervin’s and Kennard’s collections, in which individual pieces relate to specific sonnets, there is no explicit adaptation. Instead, Midnights raises broader themes.</p> <h2>Deep connection</h2> <p>In her Elle article, Swift describes songwriting as akin to photography. She strives to capture moments of lived experience:</p> <blockquote> <p>The fun challenge of writing a pop song is squeezing those evocative details into the catchiest melody you can possibly think of. I thrive on the challenge of sprinkling personal mementos and shreds of reality into a genre of music that is universally known for being, well, universal.</p> </blockquote> <p>Her point is that the pop songs that “cut through the most are actually the most detailed” in their snippets of reality and biography. She says “people are reaching out for connection and comfort” and “music lovers want some biographical glimpse into the world of our narrator, a hole in the emotional walls people put up around themselves to survive”.</p> <p>Midnights exemplifies this. It is a concept album built on the idea that midnight is a time for pursuit of and confrontation with the self – or better, the selves. Swift says the songs form “the full picture of the intensities of that mystifying, mad hour”.</p> <p>The album, she says, is “a journey through terrors and sweet dreams” for those “who have tossed and turned and decided to keep the lanterns lit and go searching – hoping that just maybe, when the clock strikes twelve […] we’ll meet ourselves”.<br />Swift claims that Midnights lets listeners in through her protective walls to enable deep connection:</p> <blockquote> <p>I really don’t think I’ve delved this far into my insecurities in this detail before. I struggle with the idea that my life has become unmanageably sized and […] I just struggle with the idea of not feeling like a person.</p> </blockquote> <p>Midnights is not a sonnet collection, but it has fascinating parallels. There is no firm narrative through-line. Nor is there a through-line in early modern sonnet collections such as Shakespeare’s. Instead, both gather songs and poems that let us see aspects of the singing or speaking persona’s thoughts, emotions and experiences. Shakespeare’s speaker is also troubled through the night in sonnets 27, 43 and 61.</p> <p>The sonnets come in thematic clusters, pairs and mini-sequences. It can be interesting to ask students if they can see something similar in the order of songs on the Midnights album – or the “3am” edition with its seven extra tracks, or the “Til Dawn” edition with another three songs.</p> <p>Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells, in their edition of <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/all-the-sonnets-of-shakespeare/AE1912C43BE4F50391B25B83C0C03B1F">All the Sonnets of Shakespeare</a>, say Shakespeare’s collection is “the most idiosyncratic gathering of sonnets in the period” because he “uses the sonnet form to work out his intimate thoughts and feelings”.</p> <p>This connects very well with the agenda of Midnights. Both collections are piecemeal psychic landscapes. The singing or speaking voice sometimes feels autobiographical – compare, for example, sonnets 23, 129, 135-6 and 145 to Swift’s songs Anti-hero, You’re On Your Own, Kid, Sweet Nothing, and Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve. At other times the voices feel less autobiographical. Often there is no way to distinguish one from the other.</p> <p>Swift’s songs and Shakespeare’s Sonnets are meditations on deeply personal aspects of their narrators’ experiences. They present us with encounters, memories, relationships, values and claims. Swift’s persona is that of a self-reflective singer, just as Shakespeare’s is that of a self-reflective sonneteer. Both focus on love in all its shades. Both present themselves as vulnerable to industry rivals and pressures. Both dwell on issues of power.</p> <h2>Close reading</h2> <p>Shakespeare’s sonnets are rewarding texts for close reading because of their poetic intricacy. Students can look at end rhymes and internal rhymes, the way the argument progresses through <a href="https://www.poetryfoundation.org/learn/glossary-terms/quatrain">quatrains</a>, the positioning of the “turn”, which is often in line 9 or 13, and the way the final couplet wraps things up (or doesn’t).</p> <p>The songs on Midnights are also rewarding because Swift has a great vocabulary, a love of metaphor, terrific turns of phrase, and a strong sense of symmetry and balance in wording. More complex songs like Maroon and Question…? are great for detailed analysis.</p> <p>Karma and Mastermind are simpler, yet contain plenty of metaphoric language to be unpacked for meaning and aesthetic effectiveness. Shakespeare’s controlled use of metaphor in Sonnet 73 makes for a telling contrast.</p> <p>The Great War, Glitch and Snow on the Beach are good for exploring how well a single extended metaphor can function to carry the meaning of a song. Sonnets 8, 18, 143 and 147 can be explored in similar terms.</p> <p>Just as students can analyse the “turn” or concluding couplet in a Shakespearean sonnet to see how it reshapes the poem, they can do the same with songs on Midnights. Swift is known for writing effective bridges that contribute fresh, important content towards the end of a song: Sweet Nothing, Mastermind and Dear Reader are excellent examples.</p> <p>Such unexpected pairings are valuable because they require close attention and careful articulation of what is similar and what is not. Shakespeare’s Sonnet 129, for example (the famous one on lust), and Swift’s Bigger than the Whole Sky (a powerful expression of loss) make for a gripping comparison of how intense feeling can be expressed poetically.</p> <p>Or consider Sonnet 29 (“When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes”) and Sweet Nothing: both celebrate intimacy as a defence against the pressures of the public world. How about High Infidelity and Sonnet 138 (where love and self-deception coexist), considered in terms of truth in relationships?</p> <p>There is nothing to lose and plenty to gain in teaching Swift’s Midnights and Shakespeare’s Sonnets together. There’s no dumbing-down involved. And there’s no need for reductive assertions about who is “better”.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/223312/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/liam-e-semler-1507004"><em>Liam E Semler</em></a><em>, Professor of Early Modern Literature, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/should-taylor-swift-be-taught-alongside-shakespeare-a-professor-of-literature-says-yes-223312">original article</a>.</em></p>

Music

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Kiss’s debut album at 50: how the rock legends went from ‘clowns’ to becoming immortalised

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/charlotte-markowitsch-1507417">Charlotte Markowitsch</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p>It has been 50 years since Rock &amp; Roll <a href="https://www.rockhall.com/inductees/kiss">Hall of Famers</a> Kiss launched their thunderock-doused debut album into the pop culture stratosphere. The eponymous album, released on February 18 1974, became a platform-stacked foot in the music industry’s door.</p> <p>What followed established Kiss as one of the most memorable hard-rock bands of the 1970s and ’80s, with a <a href="https://doi.org/10.1386/ejac.37.1.19_1">globally recognised legacy</a>.</p> <p><iframe style="border-radius: 12px;" src="https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/0NjpmoajQlllfKH9FaNliD?utm_source=generator" width="100%" height="352" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" loading="lazy"></iframe></p> <p> </p> <h2>The early days</h2> <p>In 1972, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons shelved their first ever rock outfit following a short stint in a band called <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicked_Lester">Wicked Lester</a>. The pair then <a href="https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/kiss-self-titled-debut-album/">hatched a plan</a> to form a far more aggressive and successful rock band. Drummer Peter Criss and guitarist Ace Frehley were recruited, and the new-generation Fab Four renamed themselves Kiss.</p> <p>By late <a href="https://www.kissonline.com/history">November of 1973</a>, the band had developed their bombastic live performance style, perfected their makeup and signed a deal with <a href="https://ultimateclassicrock.com/kiss-first-record-contract/">Casablanca Records</a>. Yet they dealt with some rocky beginnings.</p> <p>Armed with reworked songs from Wicked Lester, Kiss entered New York’s Bell Sound Studios to record their debut. A mere three weeks later the album was complete – but the band quickly realised the studio recordings didn’t capture the essence of their high-energy live shows.</p> <p>As vocalist Paul Stanley <a href="https://loudwire.com/kiss-self-titled-album-anniversary/">told Loudwire</a>: "What was put down on tape was such a timid fraction of what we were in concert. I didn’t understand it because bands who were our contemporaries had much better-sounding albums."</p> <p>They took another blow while shooting the album cover with <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/31/obituaries/31brodsky.html">Joel Brodsky</a> when, after a mishap with Criss’s makeup, the band were allegedly handed balloons by the photographer since he thought they were clowns.</p> <p>Then, soon before the album was released, Warner Brothers pulled its financial backing and <a href="https://www.loudersound.com/features/the-casablanca-records-story">distribution deal from Casablanca Records</a> after witnessing Kiss play a New Year’s eve show. Although it’s said the band’s makeup was the last straw for the label, the show in question also featured Simmons <a href="https://www.loudersound.com/features/kiss-early-years-history">setting his hair alight</a> shortly after throwing a fireball at a fan’s face.</p> <p>Despite the blunders, the release of the first album set Kiss on a path to becoming immortalised. As Stanley says in his book <a href="https://www.paulstanley.com/face-the-music/">Face The Music</a>: "For all the minuses I felt about the sound or the cover, we now had a finished album which was the prerequisite for all the other things we wanted to do. We were in the game now."</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/D0lit2sT6lY?wmode=transparent&amp;start=28" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <h2>The Kiss sound</h2> <p>I first heard Kiss as a teenager. I’d just thrift-scored a pair of ’80s-era roller-skates with the band’s logo scrawled on the heels in glitter glue. The salesperson, responsible for the glitter glue, enthusiastically recounted seeing Kiss play VFL Park (now <a href="https://footy.fandom.com/wiki/Waverley_Park">Waverley Park</a> stadium) in 1980 and made me promise I’d listen to them.</p> <p>Overwhelmed by the band’s expansive discography, and the possibility that their name stood for <a href="https://www.loudersound.com/news/kiss-squash-long-standing-rumour-that-their-band-name-is-a-satanic-acronym-were-smart-but-were-not-that-smart">Knights In Satan’s Service</a>, I thought it best to begin from the start.</p> <p>With their reputation of on-stage pyrotechnics and gore, I’d expected something more akin to Black Sabbath’s Paranoid than the jangly riffs of Let Me Know or Love Theme From Kiss. A 1978 review by <a href="https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-album-reviews/kiss-194584/">Gordon Fletcher</a> for the Rolling Stone also noted this rift. Despite calling the album exceptional, Fletcher described its sound as a cross between Deep Purple and the Doobie Brothers.</p> <p>Stanley and Simmons have <a href="https://www.guitarworld.com/features/kiss-paul-stanley-gene-simmons-classic-tracks">spoken freely</a> about borrowing heavily from a number of mid-century legends, so it’s no surprise that sonically the album was nothing new. The Rolling Stones’ influence can be heard in the songs Deuce and Strutter, while Led Zeppelin and Neil Young are present in Black Diamond.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PEa4MrrG1xw?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>The album initially hadn’t risen higher than #87 on <a href="https://ultimateclassicrock.com/kiss-kiss-debut-album/">Billboard’s album charts</a>. A studio cover of <a href="https://ultimateclassicrock.com/kiss-nothin-to-lose/?trackback=twitter_mobile">Bobby Rydell’s Kissin’ Time</a> was released next as the lead single, but the track only bumped them up to #83. This <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.A2262575">commercial unviability</a> loomed over Kiss until the release of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alive!_(Kiss_album)">Alive!</a> in 1975.</p> <h2>Success and beyond</h2> <p>As the band’s first live album, Alive! bridged the gap between the audacious intensity of Kiss’s performances and the timidness of their studio recordings. Their early tracks were repurposed to let listeners remotely experience the infamous Kiss live spectacle.</p> <p>As <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFMD7Usflbg&amp;ab_channel=KissVEVO">Rock and Roll All Nite</a> claimed #12 on the <a href="https://loudwire.com/kiss-alive-album-anniversary/">Billboard charts</a>, the platform-stacked foot burst through the door to mainstream success.</p> <p>Fifty years after Kiss first stepped into Bell Sound Studios, the band played their final sold-out show at Madison Square Garden on December 2 2023. The performance served as a crowning jewel on their End of the Road world tour, a four-year effort with more than 250 live shows.</p> <p>Promised to be their <a href="https://www.triplem.com.au/story/kiss-add-more-dates-to-their-end-of-the-road-australian-tour-172305">biggest and best shows ever</a>, the farewell became a colossal celebration of the band’s legacy. Theatrical pyrotechnics, fake blood and Stanley’s classic opening line – “you wanted the best, you got the best” – were featured at each performance.</p> <p>While both Kiss’s anthemic numbers and earlier catalogue were performed in these final shows, the music came second to the celebration of the Kiss live spectacle.</p> <p>From their carefully designed makeup, to bombastic theatrics and hoards of merchandise, it was Kiss’s <a href="https://doi.org/10.1386/ejac.37.1.19_1">brand building</a> that <a href="https://www.wiley.com/en-au/Brands+That+Rock%3A+What+Business+Leaders+Can+Learn+from+the+World+of+Rock+and+Roll-p-9780471455172">set them apart</a> and embedded them in the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.poetic.2009.09.006">heritage bracket</a> of popular culture.</p> <p>Despite the end of their live shows, Kiss endeavours to stay embedded in public memory. Referring to some of the band’s 2,500 licensed products, Simmons recently spoke on <a href="http://www.tommagazine.com.au/2022/08/19/kiss/">what’s next for Kiss</a>: "Kiss the entity will continue; what’s happening now is a metamorphosis. The caterpillar is dying, but the butterfly will be born."</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Yl5PGoy5X6g?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>With a <a href="https://www.billboard.com/music/rock/kiss-biopic-early-years-netflix-2024-1235291572/">Netflix biopic</a> and holographic <a href="https://www.stereogum.com/2246254/kiss-hologram-era-begins-in-2027/news/">avatars on the way</a>, Stanley and Simmons – the band’s two remaining members – <a href="https://www.nme.com/news/music/gene-simmons-says-kiss-farewell-tour-is-end-of-the-road-for-the-band-not-the-brand-3541117">have declared Kiss immortal</a>.</p> <p>Stanley even suggests the Kiss look has become so iconic it’s now bigger than any band member. This means the torch could be passed on to new-generation Kiss members.</p> <p>Kiss has (quite literally) breathed fire into live rock performance. Now, they’re breathing fire into our expectations of what rock royalty retirement looks like. I have to ask, who – or what – will wear the makeup next? <!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/222284/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/charlotte-markowitsch-1507417">C<em>harlotte Markowitsch</em></a><em>, PhD candidate in popular music studies, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/kisss-debut-album-at-50-how-the-rock-legends-went-from-clowns-to-becoming-immortalised-222284">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Rod Stewart's bizarre Ed Sheeran call out

<p>Rod Stewart has called out Ed Sheeran in a bizarre rant, saying he doesn't think the pop singer's music will stand the test of time. </p> <p>In a recent interview, the 79-year-old rocker was discussing what musicians would continue to be popular with the younger generations, although the interview quickly went awry when he couldn't remember the name of who he was thinking about. </p> <p>“You mean like ‘Maggie May’? Songs that will be played in 50 years?” Stewart said in response to the question. “I like whatshisname. Oh f**king great, Rod. Well done,” said the rocker, unable to remember the name of the star he was thinking of. </p> <p>“He’s British, really talented and his songs will be around,” he continued. </p> <p>When the interviewer suggested that Sheeran was the person whose name he forgot, Stewart was quick to hit back by proclaiming himself to not being a fan of the singer-songwriter. </p> <p>“No, not Ed, I don’t know any of his songs, old ginger bollocks. Jesus,” moaned Stewart.</p> <p>Ultimately, Stewart was thinking of another British singer: George Ezra. </p> <p>“Yes! I think he writes really tremendous songs,” he said of Ezra. “He’ll be around for quite a while.”</p> <p>Stewart's comments come after he admitted he wanted to move in a different direction with his music from now on. </p> <p>During an interview on<em> BBC Breakfast</em>, Stewart responded to a statement that host Charlie Stayt made, saying that “rock stars are performing into incredible ages now.”</p> <p>Stewart reacted and said, “I am actually stopping.”</p> <p>“I’m not retiring but I want to move on,” Stewart noted. “I had great success with The Great American Songbook … and I’ve just done a swing album with Jools Holland, which is going to come out next year, so I want to go in that direction.”</p> <p>“I just want to leave all the rock ‘n’ roll stuff behind, for a while, maybe.”</p> <p>“Everything has to come to an end sooner or later,” Stewart declared.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Music

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Kylie Minogue wins her first Grammy in 20 years

<p dir="ltr">Kylie Minogue has won her first Grammy in 20 years, taking home the award for Best Pop Dance Recording. </p> <p dir="ltr">The songstress picked up the award for her hit track <em>Padam Padam</em>, beating fellow Aussie Troye Sivan for his song <em>Rush</em>. </p> <p dir="ltr">The award was handed out during the Premiere Ceremony of the 66th annual Grammys, where she was nominated for six awards for her new album <em>Tension</em>. </p> <p dir="ltr">The 55-year-old shared a sweet clip of her reaction to the win, showing her screaming and running around in a dressing gown while her team shared their congratulations. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C28KH94vZoR/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C28KH94vZoR/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Kylie Minogue (@kylieminogue)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">She captioned the video, “Padam? Padam! ❤️❤️ Thank you SOOO much recording academy 🥹🥰😘”</p> <p dir="ltr">Padam Padam reached the top 20 in several countries, including Australia, the UK and America.</p> <p dir="ltr">This is the sixth time Kylie has been nominated for the prestigious award throughout her career, only winning it once before in 2004 for her song <em>Come Into My World</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">Before her win, Minogue dazzled on the red carpet at industry heavyweight Clive Davis’s pre-Grammys gala on Sunday.</p> <p dir="ltr">Sporting a black mini dress, Kylie posed with country music legend Shania Twain while other stars walked the carpet. </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em><span id="docs-internal-guid-44812604-7fff-e385-0206-a2af0888283c"></span></p>

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Jimmy Barnes' granddaughter's touching tribute at Red Hot Summer

<p>With Jimmy Barnes currently recovering from <a href="https://www.oversixty.co.nz/health/caring/the-dose-of-magic-helping-jimmy-barnes-recover-after-surgery" target="_blank" rel="noopener">open heart surgery</a>, there was no way he could perform at the Red Hot Summer Tour, but his family and friends have come together to put on a show in honour of the star. </p> <p>The<em> Barnes All-Stars</em>, formed by none other than Jimmy's own daughter Mahalia, includes stars like Jon Stevens, Chris Cheney, and his legendary <em>Cold Chisel</em> bandmate, Ian Moss.</p> <p>The band have been headlining for the first three shows of the tour, and performed classic songs by <em>Cold Chisel</em> and Jimmy Barnes, which were compiled by the rock star himself.</p> <p>While the band put on a stellar show, Jimmy's granddaughter, Ruby Rogers' performance of the the Chisel classic <em>Flame Trees, </em>stole the hearts of fans. </p> <p>"In case you didn’t get to see this fantastic performance, this is granddaughter Ruby filling in for me on the weekend," Jimmy tweeted, gushing over her performance. </p> <p>"I love her so much.  Thanks everyone. Full video on my FB page," he added. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">In case you didn’t get to see this fantastic performance, this is granddaughter Ruby filling in for me on the weekend. I love her so much. Thanks everyone.</p> <p>Full video on my FB page <a href="https://t.co/DgOApqBwnZ">pic.twitter.com/DgOApqBwnZ</a></p> <p>— Jimmy Barnes (@JimmyBarnes) <a href="https://twitter.com/JimmyBarnes/status/1746809216399265998?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 15, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p> </p> <p>The clip shows Ruby singing an acoustic version of the song, and the crowd of over 8000 people can be heard singing along with her. </p> <p>Fans have taken to the comments to praise Ruby's talent. </p> <p>"Doing you proud Jimmy. What a beautiful voice Ruby has. Such a talented family you and Jane have," one wrote. </p> <p>"Absolutely stunning beautiful Ruby. You are so privileged Jimmy to have such a beautiful granddaughter," another added. </p> <p>"Wow how proud you guys must be. That was a wonderful tribute to you. Such a beautiful, talented girl ❤️" commented a third. </p> <p><em>Images: Facebook/ Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

Family & Pets

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Top 80s songs to get you moving

<p class="Default">While the fashion from the 1980s might only come out of the closet for dress up parties these days, the music is still considered some of the best of our time. Especially for music to get you moving.</p> <p class="Default">From dance and pop hits to a little rap and rock, it’s got to be one of the most diverse, eclectic and extravagant decades in recent cultural history.</p> <p class="Default">Here, we have been busy rifling through the tracks to whittle down a decade of music into 40 of the best tracks to move to. From dancing to exercise, if you want to get up off that couch, these are the songs to hit play on.</p> <p>1. “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper (1983)<br />2. “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar (1980)<br />3. “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor (1982)<br />4. “Love Shack” by The B-52's (1989)<br />5. “Beat It” by Michael Jackson (1982)<br />6. “Manic Monday” by The Bangles (1986)<br />7. “Let's Dance” by David Bowie (1983)<br />8. “Livin' on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi (1986)<br />9. “I Love Rock N' Roll” by Joan Jett &amp; The Blackhearts (1982)<br />10. “Thriller” by Michael Jackson (1982)<br />11. “Faith” by George Michael (1987)<br />12. “Jump” by Van Halen (1984)<br />13. “Don't Stop Believin’" by Journey (1982)<br />14. “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina &amp; The Waves (1983)<br />15. “Kiss” by Prince (1986)<br />16. “Holiday” by Madonna (1983)<br />17. “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang (1980)<br />18. “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson (1982)<br />19. “Love is a Battlefield” by Pat Benatar (1983)<br />20. “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by Eurythmics (1983)<br />21. “White Wedding” by Billy Idol (1982)<br />22. “Take on Me” by a-ha (1985)<br />23. “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles (1981)<br />24. “Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club (1983)<br />25. “The Tide is High” by Blondie (1980)<br />26. “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham (1984)<br />27. “Let's Hear It for the Boy” by Deniece Williams (1984)<br />28. “A Little Respect” by Erasure (1988)<br />29. “Sweet Child O' Mine” by Guns N' Roses (1987)<br />30. “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins (1984)<br />31. “Wild Thing” by Tone-Loc (1989)<br />32. “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell (1981)<br />33. “Borderline” by Madonna (1983)<br />34. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston (1987)<br />35. “Just Can't Get Enough” by Depeche Mode (1981)<br />36. “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley (1987)<br />37. “Always Something There to Remind Me” by Naked Eyes (1983)<br />38. “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” by New Kids on the Block (1988)<br />39. “It Takes Two” by Rob Base (1988)<br />40. “Down Under” by Men at Work (1981)</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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Britney Spears’ memoir is a reminder of the stigma and potential damage of child stardom

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jane-oconnor-1483447">Jane O’Connor</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/birmingham-city-university-920">Birmingham City University</a></em></p> <p>Britney Spears’ new memoir, The Woman in Me, illustrates once again the potential lifelong damage that can be caused by being a child star. Like many before her, including <a href="https://www.britannica.com/biography/Judy-Garland">Judy Garland</a> and <a href="https://www.britannica.com/biography/Michael-Jackson">Michael Jackson</a>, Spears was ushered into the dangerous terrain of childhood fame by the adults who were supposed to be protecting her, and was utterly unprepared to deal with the fallout.</p> <p>Spears’ <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-53494405">father’s conservatorship</a>, controlling every aspect of her personal and professional life, was finally rescinded in 2021. She is now able to share the details of her extraordinary years in the limelight and beyond.</p> <p>From a sociological perspective, childhood is considered socially constructed. This means that there are specific ways of raising children which are socially and culturally defined. We discard these conventions surrounding the early years of life at our peril.</p> <p>The boundaries and rules around what is and is not acceptable during childhood, and the normal activities and institutions that shape the experience of being a child have developed over the centuries for a reason – to try and keep children safe from the harsh realities of the adult world.</p> <p>Being sexualised and valued for your appearance, being paid to work, having to deal with criticism and unwanted attention from strangers – these are all difficult aspects of growing up. Children and teens need careful support and guidance if they are to navigate safely into their adult lives and identities.</p> <p>The experience of childhood fame throws aside this social safety net for children in every possible way, and the consequences can be disastrous.</p> <h2>The price of child fame</h2> <p>From the earliest child stars of Hollywood’s golden age, through the television sitcoms and shows of the mid-20th century, the rise of the pop and film industries in the following decades and the burst in popularity of reality TV and talent shows of the early 21st century, <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17482798.2011.584378">children have always featured</a>. Many have paid a heavy price for their often short period of fame.</p> <p>Sad stories of <a href="https://www.or-nc.com/why-do-child-stars-become-addicted-to-drugs/">drug and alcohol addiction</a>, <a href="https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2022/11/02/uncle-fester-star-jackie-coogans-tragic-life-child-fortune-to-horror-crash">family disputes</a>, <a href="https://www.ranker.com/list/child-actors-who-became-criminals/nathan-gibso">criminal activity</a> and <a href="https://www.dailystar.co.uk/showbiz/us-showbiz/former-nickelodeon-star-drake-bells-29769568">toxic relationships</a> are frequently reported by the media. These reinforce the stereotypical “child star gone bad” and “too much too young” narratives that the wider public has come to expect.</p> <p>For example, stories abound of <a href="https://metro.co.uk/2020/02/11/macaulay-culkin-reveals-never-divorced-parents-emancipated-12222457/">Macaulay Culkin “divorcing” his controlling parents</a> and his difficulties transitioning into adult life, <a href="https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/entertainment/film-tv/why-it-was-not-a-wonderful-life-for-macaulay-culkin-after-he-found-fame-in-the-hit-christmas-film-home-alone/37620091.html">feeling trapped</a> in the image of boyhood innocence of his most famous character, Kevin in the Home Alone movies.</p> <p><a href="https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=kSJ8XjTw10kC&amp;printsec=frontcover&amp;redir_esc=y#v=onepage&amp;q&amp;f=false">In her autobiography</a> actor Drew Barrymore has written about her casual acceptance at Hollywood parties and consumption of alcohol at a very young age, following her role in <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083866/">E.T.</a> (1982) aged five.</p> <p>There is also the tragic life and death of <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2010/may/29/gary-coleman-obituary">Gary Coleman</a>, cute kid star of the American sitcom <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077003/">Diff'rent Strokes</a> (1978-1986).</p> <p>Coleman, who died at 42 following a history of <a href="https://nypost.com/2010/05/29/troubled-80s-child-star-gary-colemans-life-is-cut-short-at-42/#:%7E:text=In%202005%2C%20Coleman%20moved%20to,and%20%22wanted%20to%20die.%22">substance abuse</a> and <a href="https://www.salon.com/2010/05/28/gary_coleman_dies/">depression</a>, reported being <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2010/may/29/gary-coleman-obituary">deeply humiliated</a> by people asking: “Didn’t you used to be …?” when he was working as a security guard at a supermarket as an adult.</p> <h2>Other possibilities</h2> <p>It’s important to note, however, that a difficult trajectory is not the experience of all child stars and former child stars. The actors from the Harry Potter films, for example, seem <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/film/2021/oct/22/the-not-so-cursed-child-did-harry-potter-mark-the-end-of-troubled-young-actors">largely to have transitioned well</a> into adult lives and careers – some in the spotlight, others not.</p> <p>And the new generation of famous children and teens such as <a href="https://www.gq.com/story/stranger-things-millie-bobby-brown">Millie Bobby Brown</a>, star of the Netflix show <a href="https://theconversation.com/stranger-things-is-the-upside-down-to-disneys-cute-and-cuddly-universe-83417">Stranger Things</a> (2016-present), seem more prepared for fame than their predecessors, in control of their images and identities via their own social media platforms and <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-44045291">potentially protected to some extent</a> from extreme sexualisation by the MeToo movement.</p> <p>Even so, Brown <a href="https://www.popbuzz.com/tv-film/news/millie-bobby-brown-birthday-instagram-post/">commented on her 16th birthday</a> that: “There are moments I get frustrated from the inaccuracy, inappropriate comments, sexualization, and unnecessary insults.”</p> <p>For Spears though, these were more than moments. She details in her memoir how the constant public scrutiny of her body and physical appearance, being valued for her sexuality and treated as a commodity have characterised her entire life.</p> <p>It is no wonder <a href="https://people.com/britney-spears-reveals-why-shaved-off-hair-in-2007-exclusive-8362494">she shaved her head</a> in 2007, a move interpreted by the media as her having “gone mad”, but in fact a powerful indication of her anger at being perceived as nothing more than a dancing sex-doll. As she writes in her memoir: "I knew a lot of guys thought long hair was hot. Shaving my head was a way of saying to the world: fuck you. You want me to be pretty for you? Fuck you. You want me to be good for you? Fuck you. You want me to be your dream girl? Fuck you."</p> <p>The sociologist Erving Goffman wrote about the stigma of having a “<a href="https://www.howcommunicationworks.com/blog/2020/12/16/what-is-stigma-explaining-goffmans-idea-of-spoiled-identity">spoiled identity</a>” whereby people carry with them the public shame of transgression or physical difference.</p> <p>Being a former child star can be stigmatising for many reasons, including being constantly compared to an ideal younger version of yourself and not having had a “normal” childhood or conventional family relationships.</p> <p>In this memoir, Britney attempts to face down that stigma and reclaim her identity and person-hood as an adult. In doing so, she demonstrates that it can be possible to leave the dangerous terrain of early fame behind – but the journey is a tough one.</p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jane-oconnor-1483447">Jane O’Connor</a>, Reader in Childhood Studies, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/birmingham-city-university-920">Birmingham City University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / Instagram, </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/britney-spears-memoir-is-a-reminder-of-the-stigma-and-potential-damage-of-child-stardom-216545">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Why a familiar face made Adele break down on stage

<p dir="ltr">Adele has broken down during an emotional show in Las Vegas, after she locked eyes with a special audience member. </p> <p dir="ltr">The British songstress was performing at her residency show with a special Halloween show when she spotted a familiar face in the crowd.</p> <p dir="ltr">While dressed as Morticia from the Addams Family for the spooky-themed concert, Adele began to perform her hit song <em>When We Were Young</em> from her award-winning album <em>25</em>. </p> <p dir="ltr">She suddenly burst into tears and ran into the audience, as she spotted the doctor who delivered her son Angelo ten years ago. </p> <p dir="ltr">Adele could be seen mouthing “Shut up!” in between lines of the heartbreaking ballad, as she couldn't believe what she was seeing.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cy_HGsFrr7Q/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cy_HGsFrr7Q/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by 𝒜𝒹𝑒𝓁𝑒 𝐿𝒶𝓊𝓇𝒾𝑒 𝐵𝓁𝓊𝑒 𝒜𝒹𝓀𝒾𝓃𝓈 (@thirtyfreeadele)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">“Oh my god, Colin! Oh my god! This is my doctor that gave birth to my baby!”</p> <p dir="ltr">“I haven't seen you for years!” she exclaimed, as she paused the song and ran up into the audience.</p> <p dir="ltr">As Adele caught up with her long-lost friend, the tune continued playing in the background. </p> <p dir="ltr">The singer apologised to her fans as she was caught up in the emotional moment.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Sorry!” she said to the crowd. “Will you sing it for me? That man delivered my baby!”</p> <p dir="ltr">Fans on Twitter rushed to praise the touching moment and Adele's sweet gesture to the doctor. </p> <p dir="ltr">One said, “This is so heartwarming,” while another added, “That's just the coolest thing ever!”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Instagram</em></p>

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How did Taylor Swift get so popular? She never goes out of style

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kate-pattison-1407185">Kate Pattison</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p>Last week, USA Today/Gannett <a href="https://us231.dayforcehcm.com/CandidatePortal/en-US/gannett/Posting/View/63544">posted a job ad</a> for a Taylor Swift reporter, seeking an experienced journalist and content creator to “capture the music and cultural impact of Taylor Swift”.</p> <p>It’s not the first time Swift has been the focus of professional and academic work. In 2022, New York University’s Clive Davis Institute <a href="https://variety.com/2022/music/news/taylor-swift-course-nyu-clive-davis-institute-1235170200/">announced a course focused on Swift</a>, taught by Rolling Stone’s Brittany Spanos. They also gave Swift <a href="https://www.nyu.edu/about/news-publications/news/2022/march/Commencement_HDs_2020_2021_2022.html">an honorary doctorate in fine arts</a>, as “one of the most prolific and celebrated artists of her generation”.</p> <p>Other universities around the world followed with their own dedicated courses, including “<a href="https://www.nme.com/en_au/news/music/taylor-swift-is-the-subject-of-a-new-university-course-3483713">The Psychology of Taylor Swift</a>”, “<a href="https://www.billboard.com/music/music-news/taylor-swift-songbook-class-offered-university-of-texas-1235130293/">The Taylor Swift Songbook</a>” and “<a href="https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/style/taylor-swift-lyrics-course-belgian-university/index.html">Literature: Taylor’s Version</a>”.</p> <p>While musicians and celebrities have been the subject of our fascinations for decades, it’s not often they receive such individualised attention. Swift’s impressive career can be studied from multiple perspectives, including marketing, fandom, business and songwriting, to name a few.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KudedLV0tP0?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <h2>So why Taylor Swift?</h2> <p>From a music perspective, Swift has broken a lot of records. Last month, she became the <a href="https://variety.com/2023/music/news/taylor-swift-spotify-record-monthly-listeners-1235707101/">first female artist in Spotify history</a> to reach 100 million monthly listeners.</p> <p>Swift has achieved 12 number one albums on Billboard, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/17/arts/music/taylor-swift-speak-now-billboard-chart-record.html">the most by a woman artist</a>, overtaking Barbra Streisand earlier this year.</p> <p>She’s the first and only woman solo artist to win the <a href="https://www.grammy.com/artists/taylor-swift/15450">Album Of The Year Grammy</a> three times, for Fearless (2009), 1989 (2015) and Folklore (2020) – each in a different musical genre. It’s a credit to Swift’s masterful songwriting, and demonstrates her ability to adapt her craft for different audiences.</p> <p>There is an expectation for female artists to constantly re-invent themselves, something <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/10/interesting-reinvention-taylor-swift-celebrities">Swift reflected on</a> in her Netflix documentary Miss Americana:</p> <blockquote> <p>The female artists I know of have to remake themselves like 20 times more than the male artists, or you’re out of a job.</p> </blockquote> <p>Over the course of her career, Swift has evolved from an award-winning country music singer to one of the biggest pop stars in the world. Each of her ten original studio albums <a href="https://www.thelist.com/463869/every-taylor-swift-era-explained/">has a distinct theme and aesthetic</a>, which have been celebrated on Swift’s juggernaut Eras Tour.</p> <p>The tour, which has just wrapped up its first US leg, is set to be the highest-grossing of all time, boosting local travel and tourism revenue along the way. A <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/taylor-swift-eras-tour-boosted-economy-tourism-federal-reserve-how-much-money-made/">recent report estimates</a> the tour could help add a monumental US$5 billion (A$7.8 billion) to the worldwide economy.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/b1kbLwvqugk?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <h2>‘All I do is try, try, try’</h2> <p>But to measure Swift’s impact by her music alone would be limiting.</p> <p>Swift has been instrumental in changing the business game for musicians. She’s taken on record labels and streaming services, advocating for better deals for artists.</p> <p>In 2015, <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-33220189">Apple Music changed its payment policies</a> after Swift wrote an <a href="https://www.stereogum.com/1810310/read-taylor-swifts-open-letter-to-apple-music/news/">open letter</a> campaigning for better compensation.</p> <p>Most notably, she took a stand <a href="https://taylorswift.tumblr.com/post/185958366550/for-years-i-asked-pleaded-for-a-chance-to-own-my">against her former record label</a>, Big Machine Records, after it wouldn’t give her an opportunity to buy back her original master recordings. Her back catalogue was eventually sold to music executive Scooter Braun, kicking off a <a href="https://pitchfork.com/news/taylor-swifts-music-ownership-controversy-with-scooter-braun-what-it-means-and-why-it-matters/">very public feud</a>.</p> <p>While she’s not the first artist to go after her masters, she’s generated an enormous amount of attention to an issue that’s often overlooked. Of course, Swift is in a position of privilege – she can take risks many other artists can’t afford to. But with this power she’s driving conversations around contracts and the value of music, paving the way for emerging artists.</p> <p>In an effort to regain control of her earlier work, <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/taylor-swift-on-lover-and-haters/">Swift announced</a> she would be re-recording her first six albums. Each re-recorded album has included additional <a href="https://www.insider.com/taylor-swift-fearless-rerecord-release-date-unreleased-songs-2021-2">vault tracks</a>, previously unreleased songs left off the original recordings.</p> <p>These releases have each been accompanied by a robust promotional campaign, including new merchandise and multiple, limited-edition versions of each record for fans to collect.</p> <p>The release of Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) marked the halfway point of this process, which has paid off big time. Fearless (Taylor’s Version), Red (Taylor’s Version) and Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) <a href="https://www.billboard.com/lists/taylor-swift-taylors-version-stats-chart-numbers/the-equivalent-album-units-gap/">have all performed better</a> than the originals.</p> <p>This is largely due to the unwavering support from her fans, known as “Swifties”. They’ve embraced the new recordings, shaming anyone who plays the original “stolen” versions.</p> <h2>The power of Swifties</h2> <p>Swift’s loyal fandom are known for their high levels of participation and creativity. Fans have spent an extensive amount of time hand-making outfits for concerts, and discussing elaborate theories online.</p> <p>Swift has a reputation for leaving clues, known as <a href="https://junkee.com/taylor-swift-easter-eggs/219709">Easter eggs</a>, in her lyrics, music videos, social media posts and interviews. There are fan accounts dedicated to analysing these Easter eggs, studying specific number patterns and phrases to uncover hints for what Swift might do next.</p> <p>Swift and Taylor Nation, a branch of her management team, encourage these behaviours by rewarding fans for their participation.</p> <p>For the upcoming release of 1989 (Taylor’s Version), Swift has unveiled a series of puzzles on Google, which fans must solve together in order to reveal the names of the upcoming vault tracks.</p> <p>Swifties collectively <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/style/2023/09/20/taylor-swift-vault-puzzle-1989-tracks/">solved the 33 million</a> (yes, that’s <em>million</em>) puzzles in less than 24 hours. The games played a dual role - not only did <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CxbFSR1RAOv/?img_index=1">Swift announce the vault track titles</a>, but she’s <a href="https://vt.tiktok.com/ZSN1uHN9R/">reclaimed her Google searches</a> in the process.</p> <p>Swift’s fandom crosses generations. She’s a quintessential millennial, and many fans have grown up with Swift over the past two decades. Some have even started to bring their children along to the concerts, <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@folkloreswift_/video/7255857466213158149?is_from_webapp=1&amp;sender_device=pc&amp;web_id=6972316934294291973">posting videos</a> of them set to the bridge to Long Live.</p> <p>She’s also found a younger audience on TikTok, a platform <a href="https://sproutsocial.com/insights/tiktok-stats/">predominantly used by Gen Z</a>. Affectionately dubbed “<a href="https://newsroom.tiktok.com/en-us/year-on-tiktok-music-report-2021">SwiftTok</a>” by fans (and now <a href="https://vt.tiktok.com/ZSLokp2rQ/">Swift herself</a>), users post videos to engage with other Swifties and participate in the community.</p> <p>Swift’s songs are often used in popular trends. The release of Midnights last year had many dancing to <a href="https://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/celebs/a43488940/taylor-swift-surprised-fan-viral-tiktok-dance-bejeweled-eras-tour/">Bejeweled</a> and <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@tatycake/video/7216131364469427499?is_from_webapp=1&amp;sender_device=pc&amp;web_id=6972316934294291973">Karma</a>, but Swift’s older catalogue has also gotten a good run. A remix of Love Story <a href="https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/taylor-swift-tiktok-love-story-remix-disco-lines-1035691/">went viral in 2020</a>, which helped a new generation discover her older music. Most recently, her song August has been used for running on the beach and <a href="https://vt.tiktok.com/ZSLok2jRb/">spinning around</a> with your pets.</p> <p><iframe id="tc-infographic-925" class="tc-infographic" style="border: none;" src="https://cdn.theconversation.com/infographics/925/cad71d8026910236be1d5880a20a247cdee29c82/site/index.html" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>She’s also closely aligned with young adult shows like The Summer I Turned Pretty, which has <a href="https://www.vulture.com/2023/08/taylor-swift-summer-i-turned-pretty.html">featured 13 of her songs</a> throughout the show’s first two seasons. Swift’s music is so central to the story that <a href="https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2023-08-19/summer-i-turned-pretty-music-jenny-han-taylor-swift">author Jenny Han nearly dedicated</a> the second book to her.</p> <p>Swift continues to dominate the cultural conversation through her music, business decisions and legions of devoted fans.</p> <p>Right now, Swift’s popularity is at an all time high, and it could be easy to dismiss this hype as a passing trend. But if these first 17 years are anything to go by, Swift’s proven she’s in it for the long haul, and worthy of our time.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/213871/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kate-pattison-1407185">K<em>ate Pattison</em></a><em>, PhD Candidate, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-did-taylor-swift-get-so-popular-she-never-goes-out-of-style-213871">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Ed Sheeran fans left devastated moments before show

<p>Ed Sheeran has been forced to abruptly cancel his show in Las Vegas, just hours before it was set to begin. </p> <p>The British singer-songwriter, who is coming to the end of his Mathematics World Tour, broke the news to devastated fans on Sunday, saying he was "so sorry" for the last minute cancellation. </p> <p>Sheeran wrote on Instagram, “I can’t believe I’m typing this but there’s been some challenges encountered during the load in of our Vegas show."</p> <p>He continued, “It’s impossible to go forward with the show. I’m so sorry. I know everyone has travelled in for this and I wish I could change it."</p> <p>“The gig will be postponed to Saturday October 28th and all purchased tickets will be valid for that date. I’m so, so sorry x.”</p> <p>Fans were quick to express their disappointment, with many saying they had travelled to attend the show and weren't able to come back for the postponed gig. </p> <p>One fan wrote, “I can’t believe we travelled all the way to Vegas 10 hours to see Ed Sheeran for him to cancel less than an hour before the show."</p> <p>“My poor husband a disabled vet along with so many people standing waiting on 103 degree heat to be turned away!!! I can’t come back in October, and no refund!!”</p> <p>Many demanded an explanation as to how the gig could be cancelled at such short notice, to which Ed took to Instagram again in the hours after the cancellation to shed some light on the issue. </p> <p>According to his statement on Instagram, the show was cancelled over safety concerns when two tall towers, used to hold up the stage and lighting equipment, had become unstable. </p> <p>Despite best efforts to restabilise the structures, the issue then travelled to the safety of the floor, which was set to hold 65,000 concertgoers, and the whole show had to be cancelled. </p> <p>Adding to the explanation, Sheeran wrote,  "I really am gutted, this was very much out of my control but I do take full responsibility for everyone that was put out from the cancellation. Of course refunds are available at point of purchase, and there is a rescheduled show October the 28th if people still want to come, I promise it will be special." </p> <p>"We really thought the show was going to happen up until the very last moment but it just couldn’t for safety reasons. Sorry again to everyone affected, and hopefully see you in October x".</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Dire Straits guitarist dies at age 68

<p>Dire Straits guitarist Jack Sonni has died at the age of 68. </p> <p>Sonni, who was affectionately known as the band's "other guitarist" had been suffering from unspecified health issues that forced him to cancel performing. </p> <p>The band announced the news of his passing on X, formerly known as Twitter, posting a black and white photo of Sonni and writing, “#JackSonni Rest In Peace #DireStraits“.</p> <p>The official Facebook account for Dire Straits Legacy, a band that Sonni participated in alongside other former members of Dire Straits, also shared the news.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/JackSonni?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#JackSonni</a> 🎸 Rest In Peace 🙏<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DireStraits?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DireStraits</a> <a href="https://t.co/W3vx65bY5h">pic.twitter.com/W3vx65bY5h</a></p> <p>— Dire Straits 🎸 (@DireStraits77) <a href="https://twitter.com/DireStraits77/status/1697209575668170867?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 31, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>“Our beloved Jack has left a void in our heart and soul,” the statement read. “We will miss you so much. You are forever with us.”</p> <p>His cause of death is still unknown, however the news of his passing comes just days after the announced that Sonni wouldn't be performing in upcoming concerts “because of health problems.”</p> <p>“Dear fans, unfortunately, Jack Sonni will not be able to participate in our next gigs because of health problems,” the post read.</p> <p>“Jack get better soon, we are waiting for you! With love, the DSL family.”</p> <p>Tributes poured in for the musician from around the world as news of his death spread on Thursday.</p> <p>One person wrote, "So sad to hear, loved his antics on stage, such a big smile," while others who knew him personally recalled their favourite moments and said they were "proud" to know him.</p> <p>Sonni joined the band in 1984 and joked about his role as a guitarist behind Mark Knopfler during the London band’s Brothers in Arms era, famously calling himself “the other guitar player,” a nickname that stuck because the Knopflers also played the instrument.</p> <p>Sonni played with the band during its two-song performance for the massive famine-relief concert Live Aid in July 1985, with Dire Straits slotting in between U2 and Queen at London’s Wembley Stadium.</p> <p>At the time of his death, Sonni was believed to be a writing for a new project. </p> <p>In his final Facebook post on June 2nd, he wrote, “Well chilluns, the last social media post for the foreseeable future as I dive into getting my novel in shape for my agent’s publisher hunt. Play nice and be kind to one another! And hug them while you can.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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ABBA star launches solo career

<p>ABBA fans around the world are rejoicing after news broke that one quarter of the Swedish pop group is set to relaunch their solo project. </p> <p>On her newly-created Instagram page, Agnetha Fältskog announced that her new single, titled <em>Where Do We Go From Here?</em>, will air on August 31st at 8.30am (UK time), on BBC Radio 2.</p> <p>Fans were delighted by the news, as many flocked to the comments to express their excitement.</p> <p>“If it’s anything as amazing as <em>Don't Shut Me Down</em> I’ll be VERY happy!!” commented one fan, referring to one of ABBA’s 2021 comeback singles.</p> <p>Another person wrote, "We’re SO ready for wherever she takes us!", while another simply said, "The queen is back."</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CwiVmbroCdK/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CwiVmbroCdK/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Agnetha Fältskog (@agnetha_official)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Reports from <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/23644664/abba-agnetha-faltskog-solo-career-record-deal-bmg/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>The Sun</em></a> revealed that the ABBA member has just signed a deal with Kylie Minogue’s record label BMG, meaning that more new music could be on the way.</p> <p>“Agnetha loved being back in the studio with ABBA and it inspired her to relaunch her solo career,” an insider claimed, as they went on to say she has been in regular contact for months with the team at BMG in London and they have helped develop her new sound.</p> <p>“After a long time working on new music, there is finally a body of work which she loves and which is ready for release.”</p> <p>Fältskog’s first solo release, a self-titled, Swedish-language debut, came out in 1968 before the formation of ABBA in 1972.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Censorship or sensible: is it bad to listen to Fat Bottomed Girls with your kids?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/liz-giuffre-105499">Liz Giuffre</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a></em></p> <p>International music press has reported this week that Queen’s song Fat Bottomed Girls <a href="https://www.billboard.com/music/music-news/queen-fat-bottomed-girls-greatest-hits-1235396348/">has not been included</a> in a greatest hits compilation aimed at children.</p> <p>While there was no formal justification given, presumably lyrics “fat bottomed” and “big fat fatty” were the problem, and even the very singable hook, “Oh, won’t you take me home tonight”.</p> <p>Predictably, The Daily Mail and similar outlets used it as an excuse to bemoan cancel culture, political correctness and the like, with the headline “<a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-12424449/We-woke-Classic-Queen-song-Fat-Bottomed-Girls-mysteriously-dropped-groups-new-Greatest-Hits-collection.html">We Will Woke You</a>” quickly out of the gate.</p> <p>Joke headlines aside, should children be exposed to music with questionable themes or lyrics?</p> <p>The answer is not a hard yes or no. My colleague Shelley Brunt and I studied a range of factors and practices relating to <a href="https://www.routledge.com/Popular-Music-and-Parenting/Brunt-Giuffre/p/book/9780367367138">Popular Music and Parenting</a>, and we found that more important than individual songs or concerts is the support children are given when they’re listening or participating.</p> <p>A parent or caregiver should always be part of a conversation and some sort of relationship when engaging with music. This can involve practical things like making sure developing ears aren’t exposed to too harsh a volume or that they know how to find a trusted adult at a concert. But this also extends to the basics of media and cultural literacy, like what images and stories are being presented in popular music, and how we want to consider those in our own lives.</p> <p>In the same way you’d hope someone would talk to a child to remind them that superheroes can’t actually fly (and subsequently if you’re dressed as a superhero for book week don’t go leaping off tall buildings!), popular music of all types needs to be contextualised.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VMnjF1O4eH0?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <h2>Should we censor, or change, the way popular music is presented for kids?</h2> <p>There is certainly a long tradition of amending popular songs to make them child or family friendly. On television, this has happened as long as the medium has been around, with some lyrics and dance moves toned down to appease concerned parents and tastemakers about the potential evils of pop.</p> <p>Famously, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oim51kUg748">Elvis Presley serenaded a literal Hound Dog</a> rather than the metaphorical villain of his 1950s hit.</p> <p>In Australia, the local TV version of <a href="https://nostalgiacentral.com/music/music-on-film-and-tv/bandstand-australia/">Bandstand</a> from the 1970s featured local artists singing clean versions of international pop songs while <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guembJBOOyI">wearing modest hems and neck lines</a>.</p> <p>This continued with actual children also re-performing pop music, from the Mickey Mouse Club versions of songs from the US to our own wonderful star factory that was <a href="https://theconversation.com/all-my-loving-young-talent-time-still-glows-50-years-since-first-airing-on-australian-tv-159533">Young Talent Time</a>. The tradition continues today with family-friendly, popular music-based programming like The Voice and The Masked Singer.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oim51kUg748?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>In America, there is a huge industry for children’s versions of pop music via the Kidz Bop franchise. Its formula of child performers covering current hits has been wildly successful for over 20 years. Some perhaps obvious substitutions are made – the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkctByJbtNY">cover of Lizzo’s About Damn Time</a> is now “About That Time”, with the opening lyric changed to “Kidz Bop O’Clock” rather than “Bad Bitch O’Clock”.</p> <p>In some other Kidz Bop songs, though, <a href="https://pudding.cool/2020/04/kidz-bop/">references to violence and drugs have been left in</a>.</p> <p>Other longer-standing children’s franchises have also made amendments to pop lyrics, but arguably with a bit more creativity and fun. The Muppets’ cover of Bohemian Rhapsody, replacing the original murder with a rant from Animal, is divine.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tgbNymZ7vqY?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <h2>Should music ever just be for kids?</h2> <p>Context is key when deciding what is for children or for adults. And hopefully we’re always listening (in some way) together.</p> <p>Caregivers should be able to make an informed decision about whether a particular song is appropriate for their child, however they consider that in terms of context. By the same token, the resurgence of <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/music/2022/apr/05/how-the-wiggles-took-over-the-world-and-got-the-cool-kids-on-side-too">millennial love</a> for The Wiggles has shown us no one should be considered “too old” for Hot Potato or Fruit Salad.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/quHus3DwN4Q?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>When considering potential harm for younger listeners, factors like <a href="https://kidsafeqld.com.au/risks-noise-exposure-baby/">volume and tone</a> can be more dangerous than whether or not there’s a questionable lyric. Let’s remember, too, lots of “nursery rhymes” aimed at children are also quite violent if you listen to their words closely.</p> <p>French writer Jacques José Attali <a href="https://www.google.com.au/books/edition/Noise/OHe7AAAAIAAJ?hl=en">famously argued</a> the relationship between music, noise and harm is politics and power – even your most beloved song can become just noise if played too loudly or somewhere where you shouldn’t be hearing it.</p> <p>As an academic, parent and fat-bottomed girl myself, my advice is to keep having conversations with the children in your life about what you and they are listening to. Just like reminding your little superhero to only pretend to fly rather than to actually jump – when we sing along to Queen, we remember that using a word like “fat” and even “girl” isn’t how everyone likes to be treated these days.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/212093/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/liz-giuffre-105499">Liz Giuffre</a>, Senior Lecturer in Communication, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/censorship-or-sensible-is-it-bad-to-listen-to-fat-bottomed-girls-with-your-kids-212093">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Paul McCartney’s unusual relationship with Michael Parkinson

<p>Paul McCartney has paid tribute to Michael Parkinson, calling him a “great guy” and a “good friend” in a lengthy and heartfelt post on social media.</p> <p>The iconic interviewer passed away peacefully at home on August 16th after a battle with a brief illness according to a statement from his family.</p> <p>After his death, a flood of tributes poured in from celebrities around the world, including The Beatles frontman Paul McCartney.</p> <p>Parkinson was a personal friend of McCartney’s, as the pair even appeared on a famous album cover together.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p>I first met Michael Parkinson in Liverpool when he and his team came to see us at the Cavern Club. He was a very likeable guy and we eventually did our first TV performances with Granada in Manchester, where Michael worked.</p> <p>Through the years I got to know him more and more, and… <a href="https://t.co/o0fMiXsWwN">pic.twitter.com/o0fMiXsWwN</a></p> <p>— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) <a href="https://twitter.com/PaulMcCartney/status/1692969489980063890?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 19, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>The two feature on the album cover of Wings‘ coveted "<em>Band On The Run</em>" record as escaped convicts, with Parkinson agreeing to appear on the cover if McCartney would return the favour by being a guest on his chat show.</p> <p>Taking to Twitter on Saturday, McCartney remembered his friend, writing, “I first met Michael Parkinson in Liverpool when he and his team came to see us at the Cavern Club. He was a very likeable guy and we eventually did our first TV performances with Granada in Manchester, where Michael worked.”</p> <p>“Through the years I got to know him more and more, and appeared on his chat show quite a few times. He was a pleasure to talk to and we always had fun. He appeared on the front cover of ‘<em>Band on the Run</em>’ as one of the escaping convicts in the title song. He was very knowledgeable about many subjects and a keen sports-lover.”</p> <p>He added, “I will miss him personally, as a good friend. I send all my love to his family and friends. Cheers Michael, you’re a great guy okay!”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Paul McCartney / Twitter (X)</em></p>

Music

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Throwing things on stage is bad concert etiquette – but it’s also not a new trend

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/timothy-mckenry-287534">Timothy McKenry</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-catholic-university-747">Australian Catholic University</a></em></p> <p>The recent spate of <a href="https://www.today.com/popculture/music/fans-throwing-objects-concerts-trend-2023-rcna93631">incidents</a> where objects have been thrown at musicians by people who paid to see them perform has generated comment, consternation and condemnation on media both mainstream and social.</p> <p>One <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/cardi-b-police-report-microphone-las-vegas-rcna97344">recent case</a> involved liquid being thrown on stage during a performance by American rapper Cardi B. The singer retaliated by throwing her microphone into the crowd. Media accounts suggest the incident has resulted in a police complaint filed by someone in the audience.</p> <p>With mobile phones, soft toys, flower arrangements and even <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/music/2023/06/27/pink-concert-fan-throws-ashes-on-stage/70359893007/">cremains</a> raining down on the world’s most famous musicians, commentators and celebrities alike predict injury and interruption are inevitable.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Cardi B is now under investigation for battery after throwing her microphone at a fan <a href="https://t.co/yf3WXklkpo">pic.twitter.com/yf3WXklkpo</a></p> <p>— Complex Music (@ComplexMusic) <a href="https://twitter.com/ComplexMusic/status/1686095347511128064?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 31, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <h2>Why has concert etiquette been forgotten?</h2> <p>“Have you noticed how people are, like, forgetting fucking show etiquette at the moment?” <a href="https://themusic.com.au/news/adele-will-f-cking-kill-you-if-you-throw-anything-at-her-while-she-s-on-stage/LQCTISAjIiU/05-07-23">pointed out singer Adele</a> recently.</p> <p><a href="https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2023/07/11/concert-fan-bad-behavior">Some scholars</a> see this trend as a consequence of the suspension of live performances during COVID-19. The idea being that audiences – particularly those made up of large crowds – are out of practice when it comes to concert etiquette.</p> <p><a href="https://www.rmit.edu.au/news/media-releases-and-expert-comments/2023/July/fans-throwing-things-at-artists">Others suggest</a> the behaviour represents an attempt by fans to interact with the performers they love and achieve status within fan communities through viral social media content.</p> <p>It’s also possible we’ve overstated this phenomenon and that ravenous media, hungry for stories and scandal, are interpreting unrelated events as a trend. Motivation, for example, differs markedly.</p> <p>The devoted fan who <a href="https://www.today.com/popculture/music/harry-styles-hit-face-concert-vienna-rcna93333">threw a rose at Harry Styles</a> is clearly not in the same category as the <a href="https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/bebe-rexha-stitches-hit-cell-phone-1234774163/">man who hit Bebe Rehxa</a> in the face with his mobile phone “because it would be funny”.</p> <h2>Throwing things historically</h2> <p>Additionally, none of these incidents are without historical precedent.</p> <p>Whether a bouquet of flowers <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/292498073_The_operatic_event_Opera_houses_and_opera_audiences">tossed to an opera singer</a> to communicate delight at their performance or a story of <a href="http://journals.ed.ac.uk/forum/article/view/642">rotten fruit hurled at performers</a> to convey disdain at a disastrous opening night, history shows throwing things at live performances is nothing new.</p> <p>Just as the social status of musicians has changed over time (in the late 18th century top-rank musicians gradually transitioned from <a href="https://www.perlego.com/book/801073/music-art-and-performance-from-liszt-to-riot-grrrl-the-musicalization-of-art-pdf">servants to celebrities</a>), so too has concert etiquette. Concert etiquette is a <a href="https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/978-3-319-99166-5_1?pdf=chapter%20toc">manifestation of the social contracts</a> that exist between musicians and their audiences. These are in a constant state of flux and differ wildly over time, place, style and genre.</p> <p>For example, were I to attend the opera this weekend and spend the evening chatting to those around me, tapping my feet and shouting across the auditorium and at the performers, I’d be committing a major breach of etiquette. Indeed, I would quickly be escorted out. Were I to display these same behaviours in a mid-18th-century Parisian opera house, I would <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/3128412">fit right in</a>.</p> <h2>Flowers and souvenirs and mania</h2> <p>In the same way, throwing items like flowers, love notes and handkerchiefs at musicians, in some settings at least, has transitioned from aberrant to ordinary.</p> <p>Some 180 years before fans were casting flowers at Harry Styles, the composer and pianist <a href="https://www.britannica.com/biography/Franz-Liszt">Franz Liszt</a> was the object of fanatical adoration. His 1841-42 tour of Germany saw crowds of mostly women shower him with flowers and other tokens, scramble for souvenirs, and throw themselves at his feet.</p> <p>Soon dubbed “<a href="https://books.google.com.au/books/about/Liszt_in_Germany_1840_1845.html?id=5eaYF1v2S5cC&amp;redir_esc=y">Lisztomania</a>”, this collective reaction to a musician by an audience was a relatively new phenomenon and one that was pathologised and criticised. In the words of the contemporary writer Heinrich Heine, Lisztomania was part of the “<a href="https://web.p.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=0&amp;sid=219aa480-1756-49ce-a493-8b1ad12a72af%40redis">spiritual sickness of our time</a>”.</p> <p>Over time, these “manic” audience behaviours are, at least in some contexts, normalised and even celebrated. <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/254957654_We%27re_Going_to_See_the_Beatles_An_Oral_History_of_Beatlemania_as_Told_by_the_Fans_Who_Were_There_review">Beatlemania</a>, for example, is generally understood as a watershed moment of cultural exuberance.</p> <h2>Changing concert etiquette</h2> <p>Musicians can be agents of change in relation to concert etiquette. Tom Jones, <a href="https://www.proquest.com/docview/2527891177?accountid=8194&amp;forcedol=true&amp;pq-origsite=primo">speaking in 2003</a>, recalls the first time a fan threw underwear at him. While performing and perspiring at the Copacabana in New York, audience members handed him napkins. One woman threw underwear. Jones explains that a newspaper report, combined with his “leaning in” to the audience behaviour, created a phenomenon. "I would pick them up and play around with them, you know, because you learn that whatever happens on stage, you try to turn it to your advantage and not get thrown by it."</p> <p>Jones’ engagement with this new mode of behaviour generated such a degree of positive reinforcement that it has become a clichéd fan behaviour employed in relation to numerous musicians. Jones came to view underwear throwing with a degree of ambivalence. He soon refrained from leaning in in the hope of moderating an act that became a parody of itself.</p> <p>Throwing things at concerts goes both ways. Consider Adele firing a T-shirt gun into the crowd or Charlie Watts <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bszhqrybXnQ">throwing his drumsticks</a> to the audience after a performance. These acts are part of the performance and universally viewed as non-controversial.</p> <p>Somewhat more controversial are mosh pits where performers sometimes even throw themselves into the audience. <a href="https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/2018/sep/heavy-metal-music-inclusive-and-governed-rules-etiquette">Recent research</a> reveals a strict etiquette tied to this practice, founded on community and safety.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bszhqrybXnQ?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>Finally, no concert etiquette ever permits throwing something hazardous or throwing something with the intent to harm. If these incidents do trend towards violence in service of notoriety on social media, live music will suffer.</p> <p>Measures such as added security, physical barriers, airport style screening and even audience vetting will quickly become commonplace. Remember, celebrities like Liszt and Tom Jones aren’t the only agents of change. We can be too.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/210717/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/timothy-mckenry-287534">Timothy McKenry</a>, Professor of Music, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-catholic-university-747">Australian Catholic University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/throwing-things-on-stage-is-bad-concert-etiquette-but-its-also-not-a-new-trend-210717">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Sinead O'Connor was once seen as a sacrilegious rebel, but her music and life were deeply infused with spiritual seeking

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/brenna-moore-1457909">Brenna Moore</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/fordham-university-1299">Fordham University</a></em></p> <p>When news broke July 26, 2023, that the gifted Irish singer <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-66318626">Sinead O’Connor had died</a>, stories of her most famous performance circulated amid the grief and shock.</p> <p>Thirty-one years ago, after a haunting rendition of Bob Marley’s song “War,” O’Connor ripped up a photograph of Pope John Paul II on live television. “Fight the real enemy,” she said – a reference to <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-catholic-church-sex-abuse-crisis-4-essential-reads-169442">clerical sex abuse</a>. For months afterward, she was banned, <a href="https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/sinead-o-connor-booed-pope-bob-dylan-concert-1176338/">booed and mocked</a>, dismissed as a crazy rebel beyond the pale.</p> <p>Commemorations following her death, however, cast the protest in a very different light. Her “Saturday Night Live” performance is now seen as “invigorating,” <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/26/arts/music/sinead-oconnor-snl-pope.html">the New York Times’ pop critic wrote</a>, and “a call to arms for the dispossessed.”</p> <p>Attitudes toward Catholicism, sex and power are far different today than in 1992, whether in New York or O’Connor’s native Dublin. In many people’s eyes, the moral credibility of the Catholic Church around the world <a href="https://news.gallup.com/poll/245858/catholics-faith-clergy-shaken.aspx">has crumbled</a>, and trust in faith institutions of any sort is <a href="https://news.gallup.com/poll/1597/confidence-institutions.aspx">at an all-time low</a>. Sexual abuse, once discussed only in whispers, is now beginning to be talked about openly.</p> <p>I join the chorus of voices today who say O’Connor was decades ahead of her time. But leaving it just at that, we miss something profound about the complexity and depth of her religious imagination. Sinead O’Connor was arguably one of the most spiritually sensitive artists of our time.</p> <p>I am <a href="https://www.fordham.edu/academics/departments/theology/faculty/brenna-moore/">a scholar of Catholicism in the modern era</a> and have long been interested in those figures – the poets, artists, seekers – who wander <a href="https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/K/bo90478851.html">the margins of their religious tradition</a>. These men and women are dissatisfied with the mainstream centers of religious power but nonetheless compelled by something indelibly religious that feeds the wellsprings of their artistic imagination.</p> <p>Throughout her life, O’Connor defied religious labels, exploring multiple faiths. The exquisite freedom in her music cannot be disentangled from <a href="https://www.americamagazine.org/arts-culture/2021/09/16/sinead-oconnor-rememberings-memoir-moore-241369">that something transcendent</a> that she was always after.</p> <h2>‘Rescuing God from religion’</h2> <p>Religion is often thought about as discreet traditions: institutions that someone is either inside or outside. But on the ground, it is rarely that simple.</p> <p>The Catholic Church had a strong hold on Irish society as O’Connor was growing up – a “theocracy,” she called it <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/sep/10/sinead-oconnor-pope-visit">in interviews</a> and <a href="https://www.penguin.co.uk/authors/126006/sinead-oconnor">her memoir, “Rememberings</a>” – and for many years she <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-oconnor/singer-sinead-oconnor-demands-pope-steps-down-idUSTRE5BA39Y20091211">called for more accountability</a> for the clerical abuse crisis. But she was also open in her love of other aspects of the faith, albeit often in unorthodox ways. She had a tattoo of Jesus on her chest and continued to critique the church while appearing on television with a priest’s collar.</p> <p>Ten years after her SNL performance, O'Connor took courses at a seminary in Dublin with a Catholic Dominican priest, Rev. Wilfred Harrington. Together, they read the prophets of the Hebrew Bible and the Psalms: sacred scriptures in which God’s voice comes through in darker, moodier, more human forms.</p> <p>Inspired by her teacher, she made the gorgeous album “<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xncY5WP12BQ">Theology</a>,” dedicated to him. The album is a mix of some of her own songs inspired by the Hebrew Bible – like “<a href="https://www.youtube.com/wat,h?v=Kf24-rgyOeI">If You Had a Vineyard</a>,” inspired by the Book of Isaiah; and “<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh7s5BKphw8">Watcher of Men</a>,” which draws from the biblical story of Job – and other tracks that essentially are sung versions of her favorite Psalms.</p> <p>In <a href="https://wfuv.org/content/sinead-oconnor-words-and-music-2007">a 2007 interview</a> with Fordham University’s WFUV radio station, O'Connor said that she was hoping the album could show God to people when religion itself had blocked their access to God. It was a kind of “rescuing God from religion,” to “lift God out of religion.” Rather than preaching or writing, “music is the little way that I do that,” she said, adding, “I say that as someone who has a lot of love for religion.”</p> <h2>Reading the prophets</h2> <p>In doing so, she stood in the long line of the prophetic tradition itself.</p> <p>The great Jewish thinker <a href="https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/abraham-joshua-heschel-a-prophets-prophet/">Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s</a> book “<a href="https://www.harpercollins.com/products/the-prophets-abraham-j-heschel?variant=40970012721186">The Prophets</a>” begins with this sentence: “This book is about some of the most disturbing people who have ever lived.” Over and over, the Bible shows the prophets – the prophets who inspired “Theology” – mounting bracing assaults on hypocrisies and insincerities in their own religious communities, and not politely or calmly.</p> <p>To many horrified Catholics, O’Connor’s SNL appearance and her many other criticisms of the church were blasphemous – or, at best, just throwing stones from outside the church for attention. Other fans, however, saw it as prophetic condemnation. It was not just a critique of child abuse but of church officials’ professed compassion for children – sanctimonious pieties <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/nov/26/catholic-church-ireland-child-abuse">as they covered up the abuse</a>.</p> <p>In calling this out and so much more, O’Connor was often seen as disturbing: not just the photo-of-the-pope incident, but her androgyny, her shaved head, her openness around her own struggles with mental illness. But for many admirers, as <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VLy1A4En4U">the documentary “Nothing Compares</a>” makes clear, all this showed that she was free, and like the prophets of old, unashamed and unafraid to provoke.</p> <h2>Rasta to Islam</h2> <p>At the same time, O’Connor’s religious imagination was so much more than a complex relationship with Catholicism. Religion around O’Connor was eclectic and intense.</p> <p>She was deeply influenced by <a href="https://theconversation.com/reggaes-sacred-roots-and-call-to-protest-injustice-99069">Rastafarian traditions</a> of Jamaica, <a href="https://wfuv.org/content/sinead-oconnor-words-and-music-2007">which she described</a> as “an anti-religious but massively pro-God spiritual movement.” She considered Sam Cooke’s early album with the Soul Stirrers the best gospel album ever made. She counted among her spiritual heroes Muhammad Ali – and <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-45987127">converted to Islam in 2018</a>, changing her name to Shuhada’ Sadaqat.</p> <p>Yet O’Connor’s vision was not fragmented, as if she were constantly chasing after bits and pieces. The miracle of Sinead O’Connor is that it all coheres, somehow, in the words of an artist who refuses to lie, to hide or not say what she thinks.</p> <p>When asked about spirituality, O’Connor once said that she preferred to sing about it, not talk about it – as she does in so many songs, from <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkP-0rnr_Gw">her luminous singing of the antiphon</a>, a Marian hymn sung at Easter services, to her Rasta-inspired album, “<a href="https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/5945-throw-down-your-arms/">Throw Down Your Arms</a>.”</p> <p>In “<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haYbyQIEgQk">Something Beautiful</a>,” a track from the “Theology” album, O’Connor speaks both to God and the listener: “I wanna make/ Something beautiful/ For you and from you/ To show you/ I adore you.”</p> <p>Indeed she did. To be moved by her art is to sense a transcendence, a peek into radiance.<img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/210540/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/brenna-moore-1457909">Brenna Moore</a>, Professor of Theology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/fordham-university-1299">Fordham University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/sinead-oconnor-was-once-seen-as-a-sacrilegious-rebel-but-her-music-and-life-were-deeply-infused-with-spiritual-seeking-210540">original article</a>.</em></p>

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