Words by Nick Slay
In a recent interview with the New York Times, P!nk gave her candid opinion on how women are treated in the music industry. Quoting the what the label told her, “I had the whole sit-down, you know: ‘Just be prepared they don’t play girls over 35 on Top 40 radio.’” She went on to say, “ There are exceptions, but they’re songs, not artists…Unless you’re Beyoncé.
On the heels of her Beautiful Trama World Tour and the release of her new album of the same name, P!nk took time out to serve the music industry on their treatment of women. Among the many topics she brought up: ageism and sexism were at the forefront. For good measure, she also took a jab at Dr. Luke and his very public battle with Ke$ha. She didn’t go into great detail but with much more than to say, “he isn’t a good person,” in describing how he did business. She also expressed never wanting to work with him again.
P!nk always the first be very vocal with what’s on her mind, she describes what its like to become a so-called aging popstar. Describing the struggles to get the comparable airplay younger female artists do, despite her success in the charts and her world tours. Madonna had a similar controversy with BBC’s Radio 1 in England who refused to play her record despite local success. Madonna who was 56 at the time, put the radio station on blast for ageism for snubbing her, ‘Living for Love’ single.
P!nk who has always been the black sheep of pop royalty, talks about never being mentioned among the top pop stars of her generation and continues to go right under the wave even after winning her MTV Vanguard award. The argument is there is a bit of Darwinism in the music industry, where the youngest and newest survive. Yes that Darwin, the evolution guy.
The question is: Are younger fans thriving that much more for who’s new and trending on Am/FM and digital radio? Or is it the sinister ‘Boy’s Club’ deciding which women get to stay relevant? Fans may come out to tours and give standing ovations during live performances, but is the listening support really there. Queen be is one of the reigning queens of media, with the absence of her attendance/performance being what makes or breaks a TV award show. She also has a powerhouse social media fan base that requests her music as well as drags her enemies on, ‘Black Twitter’. Is Beyonce the template who female pop stars should aspire to be? Or is it time for the music industry to smash the symbolic glass ceiling that decides the life span of the female pop artist.