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.
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.