6. Britney Spears
Britney is one of the most successful and controversial artists of our times. She began her career at the age of 11 when she started performing on “The All New Mickey Mouse Club” TV show and it wasn`t long after that she landed a contract with Jive Records and released her first single “…Baby One More Time,” an instant success. After she skyrocketed her way to the top of the pop charts with her debut song, she releases another No. 1 hit, “Oops! I Did It Again“, selling well over 1 million copies in its first week.
One year later, she was already done with her virginal image and started working on something a little bit spicier. Her performance at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards of “I’m a Slave 4 U“ made heads turn as she stepped on the stage wearing an albino python for a necklace. Two years later, she surprised her public once again, sharing a most outrageous intimate kiss with Madonna. Some people saw in this a glimpse of Britney`s on-growing sexualized public persona. Not even her personal crisis could stand in the way of her singing and her next record, “Circus”, instantly reached the top of album charts, proving that she still remained a powerful force in the pop music industry.
After launching her last comeback in 2008, Britney focused most of her time on her new album and the world tour to promote it, being occasionally joined by her ex-husband and their two children. Additionally, she became one of the judges of the popular singing-competition “The X Factor”, but she was soon forced to retire as she wasn`t feeling all that comfortable with being negative towards the performers.
5. Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga is like a breath of fresh air when it comes to any aspect of the music industry, and even far beyond that if her unique fashion sense is any indication of it. Many people have branded her negatively because of her costumes, but once you find out her life story you realize it might be the motivational impulse you need in order to continue chasing after your dreams when you`re down.
Up until now, Lady Gaga has been constantly facing bullying and bad reviews all the time, but she never allowed herself to be overcome by difficulties in her path to fame. She took an early start in singing, taking vocal lessons from Don Lawrence when she was only 11 and she was never afraid to take risks in life, as shown by her dropping out of NYU Tisch School of the Arts to pursue a rock star career, but after only a few months of success, she was laid off. However, she quickly bounced back and in 2008 she caught the attention of R&B songwriter Akon. Within a year, her debut album „The Fame “ was making rampage in international charts, turning the newly discovered Lady Gaga into a legend.
Unbelievably, it`s been almost 7 years later after her blooming as an artist, time in which we`ve seen several transformations of her, and it`s starting to become clear that she`s not done yet. After a critical review of Artpop, she realized that her current self had reached a dead end. Not only did she reinvent herself, she was also successful. Her latest work, a jazz album in collaboration with Tony Bennett has brought her home another Grammy award. Lady Gaga has been many things over the year, from a provocative fashion icon to a sex icon even, but bottom down she has always been and remained a singer, her Sound of Music tribute is proof enough of that.
4. Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift is the most recent world-wide phenomenon in music. She picked up singing in her adolescence, inspired by her grandmother, a professional opera singer. While other teenagers were struggling to identify themselves, Taylor already had her mind set. At 10 she was already performing in her hometown, singing at festivals and fairs. To further advance in her career as a country music singer, she and her family moved to Nashville, where she was finally going to set a solid foundation for her future success. While delivering a performance at The Bluebird Café, she managed to catch the eye of music-industry veteran Scott Borchetta, who later on produced her first single, “Tim McGraw,” the song that became Top 10 material in the music charts.
After just 2 years, she was nominated for a Grammy and won the Academy of Country Music’s “Female Vocalist of the Year” Award. Soon afterwards, she released her next album, entitled “Fearless”, which was an instant hit in both country and pop music charts, and it wasn`t long after that, that she became the highest selling artist of 2008. Even after that, there was much more to be expected of her.
What really sets her apart from the rest of the music industry is her policy when it comes to singing. She is well-known for being open with her personal life, a subject most stars struggle permanently to hide. During an interview, Taylor confirmed that most of her songs are inspired by her past life experiences and that she wants to be more than an artist who plays “the sound of the moment”; she wants to become an icon for her fans and generation. The only thing experts have to say about her is that she`s the perfect antidote to the over-sexualized performers of today`s music industry. As her latest album “1989” rapidly becomes the fastest selling record in 12 years, Taylor Swift, at only 24, has become the biggest star of our times.