In case you didn’t already know, the term pop music is a short form for the word “popular music” It was first used in the mid-1950s in some parts of the US and in Britain and points to music that caught people’s attention and interest. Contemporary pop music genres include pop-rock, pop dance, folk-pop, operatic pop, and others. As time goes on, the list of pop music variants will probably grow. In this post, we share 7 interesting facts about pop music you didn’t know.
1. The father of pop music
While many people regard Michael Jackson as the father of pop music, it was actually Thomas Edison who really created pop music. This self-trained scientist was experimenting with recording and reproducing sound in the 19th century and he produced the phonograph. Thanks to the invention of the phonograph, German inventor Emilie Berliner was able to invent the gramophone.
It was the gramophone that enabled mass recording and allowed pop music to be recorded and to be shared with the masses. Although many others improved on the gramophone, we would not have been able to lay the foundation of pop music without Thomas Edison’s phonograph.
2. Most popular pop selling artists
Pop music not only catches the attention of the masses but also drives the crowds crazy. While there are many best-selling pop music artists, The Beatles were the very first pop music phenomenon. The band was formed in the late 1950s and these Fab Four created extremely popular songs that are also evergreen. You can still find many people today who count songs from The Beatles as their favorites.
The Fab Four were able to make a net sale of over 600 million units worldwide when they were performing and recording together. About 183 million units of their albums sold were distributed in the US alone. Although The Beatles matured and tried different genres and sounds, they sang enough songs to make them the best-selling pop singers of all time.
3. Best pop album of all-time
There are many icons of pop music and one of the most recognizable faces of popular songs is Michael Jackson. He recorded huge successes in his musical career and his album, Thriller, recorded in 1982 and produced by Sony Music Entertainment’s Epic Records amassed a total sales of not less than 65 million worldwide. It is still the best-selling pop music album out there and is a record that is hard to break.
4. First band to debut four singles at no. 1
Before Michael Jackson came into his own, he was a part of the Jackson 5. The family pop band was among the first artists who helped pop music gain attention over time. The group released about 40 singles in total and recorded over 15 albums. Some of their legacies include the sale of over 100,000 tickets for concerts organized at the Madison Square Garden. In the history of pop, the Jacksons were the first to have four debut singles consecutively top the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
5. Popular with youths
Pop music is a lot more popular amongst teenagers compared to older adults. Although it wasn’t always the case in the past. Some decades back, pop music was also popular with adults but it has generally drifted towards a much younger generation today.
Pop songs are easy to sing along, with short verses and repeated choruses that are easy to remember. The rhythm and pitch also tend to appeal more to the younger crowd who find it fun to sing along to pop songs. Pop artists are also aware of this trend and have continually created music catered to the youths.
6. Guess who’s the wealthiest pop musician?
Talent and passion have helped many pop musicians wealthy today from Jay-Z to P. Diddy. But they aren’t the wealthiest even though they are well established in the pop music scene. The wealthiest is one of the Fab Four from The Beatles and it’s… Paul McCartney. McCartney is one of two Beatles surviving today and holds the title of the wealthiest musician in the world with a fortune of 1.2 billion.
McCartney has worked on a total of about 25 studio compilations, over 75 music videos, and has 37 albums to his name. After leaving The Beatles, he formed other bands such as Wings and The Fireman. Most of his wealth comes from music royalties for songs he wrote and sang alongside The Beatles.
7. Pop music is on a decline in quality
Pop music may be declining in quality. The comparison is made of today’s pop music compared to the ones produced from the 60s to the 90s. Common arguments include the tendency for increased vulgarity, lower artistic value, and poor singing skills. Pitch, timbre, and other sound qualities of today’s pop also cannot compare with the pop music of the past.
Despite these criticisms made towards today’s pop songs, millennials and younger generations continue listening to pop music and think there are no reasons for concern.