Is it just me?
...or is one of the pre-requisites for making music these days ‘must not have gone through puberty’?
Whether or not you’re a sufferer of Bieber fever, it’s becoming harder and harder to ignore the seemingly-ageing backwards teeny boppers who are dominating the charts of late. At my ripe old 22, I was shocked and appalled to hear that Heart’s 1987 classic Alone had been sampled to within an inch of its life in the form of over-autotuned Alyssa Reid’s Alone Again.
More shocking, however, was the discovery that audacious Alyssa was a grand total of -6 years old when the song was (covered) by Heart, leading my investigation into the increasingly popular trend of pre-pubescent popstars.
Ed Sheeran- 17th February 1991
At 21, Ed Sheeran proved positively ancient in comparison to my subsequent findings, and yet, he had only been 21 for a grand total of 4 days when he acquired two Brit awards for British Breakthrough Artist and British Solo Male Artist. Add that to two Q awards, a BT Digital music award and a Harry Potter star in your music video by age 20 and you’re pretty much laughing your way to the bank.
Miley Cyrus- November 23rd 1992
Being the daughter of an achy-breaky hearted rocker may just be all it takes for a ticket to stardom these days. By 14, Miley was already winning over teenage girls everywhere as Hannah Montana, by 17, she was pole-dancing to singles written for her by the great Jessie J, and by 18, she’d scored herself a cameo in Sex and the City 2. Shame about the ‘bong’ incident, but then, nobody’s perfect.
Justin Bieber- March 1st 1994
Proving that all you need is a webcam and a Youtube account to get famous, Canadian rugrat Bieber was discovered at the tender age of 13 by hip-hop manager Scooter Braun, and now, at 18, has enough awards to rival Adele and a multi-million dollar biopic under his belt. And all Michael Jackson had to do was become the deceased King of Pop to reap the same reward.
Rebecca Black- June 21st 1997
Did somebody mention Youtube? Black’s lyrically-spellbinding Friday achieved approximately 167 million views on Youtube, confirming that any publicity is good publicity. Her critics may be laughing at her attempts to remind us that Sunday comes after Saturday, but with a Glee cover and a cameo in Katy Perry’s Last Friday Night video, Miss Black certainly has a lot to brag about while she rides in the back seat with her friends.
Willow Smith- October 31st 2000
Yes, that’s right- 2000. Will Smith’s nappy-wearing musical prodigy knew nothing of the previous millennium and yet by age ten had a #1 in the UK R&B charts about whipping one’s hair. We’re sure the Fresh Prince had nothing to do with it.
With fame and fortune often come epic falls-from-grace however, and these weeny-boppers would do well to avoid the fate of Britney Spears, who, after releasing Baby One More Time at 17, shaved her head and trashed a photographer’s car aged 25. They should probably also take heed of The Parent Trap star Lindsay Lohan’s stint in prison.
Of course, young fame doesn’t always guarantee a one-way ticket to rockbottomville and a membership to the 27 club; Frankie Sandford of The Saturdays fame seems to be doing pretty well (at present) despite her cringeworthy S Club Juniors past. However, with the ever-changing music industry churning out more and more Youtube-propelled, manufactured ankle-biters than we OAPs can handle, the next generation should accustom itself to more Macaulay Culkins than Madonnas.
Bleak as the future of the music industry may sound, there is at least some satisfaction at the thought of Justin Bieber shaving his head and sniffing cocaine off the back of a Never Say Never DVD case.