How Pop Culture Affects Teens

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Through several different times in history, music has influenced teenagers. Teens in America are a prime example of how music has effected teenagers economically, physically, and even psychologically. Different decades lead to different styles of popular music, but the effects are about the same. Popular music can be used by: companies as a marketing gimmick, young teenagers trying to become recognized by starting as a garage band, or just used for entertainment purposes.

However it is used, popular music is a powerful tool to impact teens of all times. Music has gone a long way throughout the previous decades. Music has evolved and shape shifted its way to the time of now.


The 1950ís offered several different types of musicís styles. One of the many famous 1950 singers was Elvis Presley. This particular singer brought forth the power of rock ní roll and became the first rock star which sparked the beginning of rock ní roll. With Color TV for sale and Radio becoming popular, popular music began to spread like wildfire.

Teenagers rising up after WWII wanted something upbeat and fast to catch their attention. Not only Rock ní Roll was gaining popularity thought. Folk songs were quite popular as well with singers such as Pat Boone, Perry Como and Patti Page. Broadway and movie musicals started to rise up to become important forms of music as well. Swing also had a place in the teenagersí hearts such as Bill Haley's Rock Around The Clock.

The Beatles

During the 1960ís still maintained the previous decadeís view of rock ní roll; however, more foreign forms of music was introduced through singers such as the famous Beatles. The new styles of 1960ís pushed rock ní roll to the side for the new musicans. With the Beatles a British craze swept over America as American to British groups rose up such as Knickerbockers, Turtles, Buckinghams.

Even though the British had a place in the hearts of Americans, there was still a place in their hearts for the increasingly popular R&B and Soul music. The musical company "Motown" allowed African-American singers to jump on the musical scene such as Stevie Wonder. The musical style of Rock still had Jimi Hendrix during the 1960ís; however, as the 1960ís ended the groups of the 60ís started to fall apart.

The popular figures such as The Beatles and Hendrix started to fall apart internally which left for the 70ís to find more forms of music and musicians.


As the music styles of the 1970ís died down, rock ní roll found footing for it to rise into popularity. Led Zepplin and Chicago were just some of the rock ní roll bands that were formed and became popular in the 1970ís. Rock ní Roll became one of the two most popular music styles of the 70ís. The other most famous music style of the 70ís was disco.

Discoís fast upbeat trends danced into the hearts of the teens of the time. The disco music wasnít performed by bands, but on records. This allows clubs to access popular music for a lot cheaper instead of hiring live bands. Disco was also used in movies such as "Saturday Night Fever" which turned John Travolta into a disco icon. The spread of disco in its various forms lead to its popularity.

Michael Jackson

In the 1980ís, the popularity of pop music skyrocketed. With the help of newly developed compact discs and the rise of the popular music channel MTV, pop stars such as Michael Jackson rose to fame in the quickly growing society. Various different styles of music were born during the 1980ís as well such as: psychedelia, acid house, death metal, goth rock, hip hop, and folk.

The pop era of the 80ís flourished off the success of the little pop bands such as the New Romantics who gained popularity in basement clubs. These little bands influenced teens to wear exuberant wild clothes and changed the styles of dance in its age. Clothes, make-up, and image were very important aspects of musical groups of the 80ís.

With layers of mascara and long flowing hair, musicians could almost easily become a star with the exception of women. Women had a tough time entering the business of music. Some women even dressed like men to gain popularity. Pop musician began to organize organizations to help out the world during the mid-80ís. A few musicians from Boomtown Rats helped organize aid for staving people in Ethiopia and later they organized two aid live concerts to raise £50 million for famine relief in Africa.

The 1980ís was most known for itís production of the one-hit wonder songs such as: Devoís "Whip it", Lipps Incís "Funkytown", and The Vaporsí "Turning Japanese".


The music of the 1990ís started off strong for the music styles of pop, rap, and even more one-hit wonders. Hip-hop and techno gradually rose up in popularity due to itís image of being "dance music". Different hip-hop artists used different techniques in their music such as: MC hammer rap about the rise of his career while Tone Loc would sing with sexual lyrics and innuendo.

Rock started to make a bold entrance back into the radio airwaves by using the lyrics to satirize society and its values such as Nirvanaís "Smells like Teen Spirit". In rockís return into mainstream music, it brought along with it the rise of grunge and alternative rock. Grunge and early alternativeís dark style had called for teen to search a more happier and lighter style of music.

Their answer came in the form of groups such as Hootie and Blowfish, Sister Hazel, and The Bodeans. The upbeat lyrics and beats lead them to stardom. Along with the rise of "happy" rock, Bubblegum pop and Boy Bands rose in fame. Figures such as Britney Spears and Nsync dominated the late 90ís era; however, they had brought back the sexual lyrics and innuendos of the previous era.

Unfortunately, in the late 90ís the quality of music was slightly fallen to the power of maintaining image.


The music of today has been shaped for years and years to refine to its quality of today. Old stars of the previous decades such as Madonna and Mariah Carey attempt to keep their career afloat by releasing singles occasionally. Justin Timberlake is one great example of an old pop star reviving his career. Punk rock has risen in fame due to bands such as Fall Out Boy and Simple Plan.

The reminisce of old school rock of the previous decade attributes a great role in the success of punk rock. The popular music show "American Idol" has sparked various different styles of music. American Idol allowed young adults to become stars much like in the age of the 80ís. Foreign acts started to become popular in the eyes of the teenagers much like the foreign musical revolution in the 60ís.

Even Asian groups such as H.O.T. became popular in America. As of late 2000ís, pop music started to blend in with R&B as showed in the music of Nelly Furtado, Rihanna, and Pussycat Dolls.

The era of 2000ís still has time for improvement and surprises. Music can go anywhere. The current music style of pop may receive damage in quality because of the current strive for image; however, music still remains important in the hearts of teenagers. "On average, American youth listen to music and watch music videos four to five hours a day, which is more time than they spend with their friends outside of school or watching television."

The effects of music include altercation of study habits, introduction and development to slang, and damages eardrums. Popular music effects the moods in examples such as: fast paced techno exciting the actions of teens in parties or slowed down rock mellowing out its listeners. Common slang, when used in popular songs, slip into the vocabulary of teenagers. Popular phrases such as "Yay-yeah" and "Crunk" are now used by teenagers in everyday conversations.

Some musical analysts conduct experiments on how music damages the ear drums of its listeners. High decibel sounds slowly damage the eardrums with potentially irreversible hearing loss to the listeners. Using earbuds increases the damage of hearing loss. According to studies on earphones, earphones can increase audio signals power by about nine times as the original amount of decibels.

MTV and various musical channels act as medium to reach out to teenagers. Business companies exploit the popularity of music to sell products to teenagers, but not everyone exploits music for profit. Some teenagers use music as outlet for expression and creativity. Music, in a general view, has been a large part of popular culture.

During its development stages in the past decades, teenagers have learned to love music and learn from it. Music has become an important part of the daily lives of teenagers.

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