Why Aren’t Older Acts Having Pop Hits Anymore?

Back when I was working at a radio station in Winnipeg in the middle 80s, I couldn’t get away from Tina Turner. Her Private Dancer album was a massive hit on the pop charts and although she was 44 years old at the time, I don’t recall anyone making a really big deal about it. Yeah, she was making a comeback, but age didn’t really factor into any discussions.  And let’s not forget Cher’s big moment in the sun in 1999 with her massive hit, “Believe.” There are other examples, too: Aerosmith, Rod Stewart, Santana.

Today we rarely see those kinds of acts on the pop charts.  Sure, there’ s the occasional curiosity like Susan Boyle, but these days, the singles charts are monopolized by young folk (The album charts are a different thing entirely. Here’s why.) So what’s with this ageist bias with singles?  Greg Kot writes about this situation in  The Guardian with an article called “What’s Age Got to Do With It?”



Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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