3 Pop Stars Who Got It Right

In an age of disposable pop, these three divas have flown under the radar and achieved something all pop stars dream about: longevity. Let’s figure out how they did it.

1. Pink

When Pink first came on to the music scene, she was the definition of a gimmick. She was more known for her tresses than for her formulaic R & B songs, and the public couldn’t really figure her out. Was she a rapper? Was she Britney Spears with an attitude? No one really knew or cared.  But then something strange happened. For her second album, Pink did things her way by hiring “the lesbian producer with feelings” Linda Perry, and creating the seminal album, Missundaztood— a genre-defying record that introduced the world to catchy pop songs with substance. It could’ve been titled “Pop Music Goes 2 Therapy” because that’s essentially what it was—killer hooks with an emotionally raw edge. Since that  record, Pink has quietly been turning out radio hits like it ain’t no thing. What’s even more interesting is that this so-called bad girl is one of the only pop stars who hasn’t been arrested.  Weird! You know what the best part about Pink is though? She’s sort of a lesbian. And she’s huge in Australia. And she likes to do circus tricks.

2. Avril Lavigne

Regardless of how you feel about her, the fact that we’re still talking about Avril Lavigne is a testament to how well she’s branded herself. When she first debuted with “Complicated”, Avril was as manufactured as they came. Plucked from Canadian obscurity, pop producers The Matrix handed her hit record after hit record while her managers told her to put on a tie and look permanently pissed off. And of course she did it! Who wouldn’t? It’s money, honey. Plus, I don’t think it was even that much of an act. Ten years and four albums later, Avril still dresses like a faux-punk mallrat despite her being, like, 30, and the trend being way over. So maybe she just genuinely has bad taste, okay? The reason why Avril is still relevant today is that she makes a great pop song. Her bratty vocals blend perfectly with those unabashed power chords and sweeping choruses. Ten years from now, it will be interesting to see what music she’s making. I sort of think it will be the same thing. I can see her at age 40 still singing about Brody Jenner-type assholes, and having pink hair extensions. By the way, how perfect are Brody Jenner and Avril Lavigne as a couple? I feel like a high school relationship is being played out in front of my very own eyes. Except for the fact that they’re both kind of old, and have a lot of money. They probably call each other “beb” a lot.

3. Christina Aguilera

OK. Let’s erase and rewind the last year of her career. Let’s erase Burlesque, Bionic, The Grammys, The Super Bowl, and the D.U.I. For the sake of my argument, let’s pretend none of those things ever happened. XXXtina is obviously in a dark unscripted place right now. But before 2010 happened, she had the perfect career of a pop star. Before Lady Gaga, she was the one who most resembled Madonna. Like the Queen of Pop, Aguilera would adopt a new persona and sound with each record, promote the hell out of it, and disappear for five years between albums. She wasn’t overexposed because she controlled her relationship with the media. Even though divorce coupled with alcoholism put a crimp in her career,  I honestly think she can rebound and reclaim what’s rightfully hers. Because whether she’s a dirrty twenty-something, a 1940’s soul diva or a Disney pop princess, Aguilera makes all of her identities believable and that is a quality of a true performer. Let’s just hope she breaks up with that dopey P.A. and her bottle of vino ASAP before shit gets real weird. TC mark

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Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

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  • conor

    backed.

  • http://twitter.com/magalinahag magalina hagalina

    This is an interesting perspectives, and I certainly wouldn't have thought to choose these particular entertainers. It seems as if success is found mostly by sticking to a script (at least in Lavigne's case)? We do still talk about Avril Lavigne, but I wonder if in 5 more years will we still be? She's 26 years old right now; the public is probably going to expect her to grow out of the pop-punk thing she's known for.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/nvvmxac danne rassle

    nah

  • PERFECTCIRCLES

    Also as a footnote: Pink is HUGE in Australia. none of you fuckers would know that because you've never been down under.

    • Kenya

      how do you know that?

      • PERFECTCIRCLES

        One of my friends is a kangaroo and the other is Kevin Rudd.

      • Kenya

        I meant how do you know that no one has been to Australia? I could care less about the kangaroos you personally know.

  • FAT and SExy jk

    justin timberlake is easily number one. EASILY.

  • Papageorgio

    Props to Xtina – out of all the 90's pop-stars (Jessica, Britney, Mandy) she is the only one still relevant. She's also the only one that is an amazing singer with more vocal talent any pop singer currently out there.

    • YOGIRL

      LOLOLOL, how is Christina relevant in any way?? She had a couple successful albums and then everyone kind of went “what happened?” She didn't “rebrand” — she just doesn't really have a real identity. Britney Spears has had countless best selling albums and number one's. There's no arguing that. Britney truly triumphed.

    • True Life

      Yeah, Xtina is painfully irrelevant. Britney just got a #1. Xtina just had a flop album, a flop film, and a run-in with the law. They don't call her Floptina for nothin'.

      Britney is queen, for better or for worse.

  • YO RYAN

    thank you for reminding me that Missundaztood is a great fucking pop album!

  • Gurl

    ROBYN! Remember ” Show me love?”

  • ace

    No matter how relevant they may be, they still make shitty music.

    • Asha

      No.

  • Wolff Kristy

    Hell yeah

  • uhnonnymus

    Who is still talking about Avril Lavigne?

  • http://goldenday.tumblr.com Kia Etienne

    are we not including beyonce here? bitch been around for like ten damn years, where's her street cred?

  • precious

    who said avril was relevant?? and more importantly what about Beyonce?!?!?!

  • ca

    EW

  • acristofani

    very clever and well written piece, but I must ask: why in the hell are producing hits and 'longetivity' your criteria for 'getting it right'. Shouldn't 'getting it right' be awarded to pop stars who miraculously produce something IMPORTANT, something socially useful or at least artistically sublime? The real three who've gotten it right: Bono, Sophie B. Hawkins, and…never mind, that's about it for pop.

  • Eli

    Gwen Stefani?

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