Pop music was formed in 1950s, coming of rock and roll. The term popular music is also applied to this genre, however it is not entirely right. The latter one describes music which is widely known and pop is a specific genre containing sort of mass appeal. On the road of its development, pop music has absorbed elements of different styles, including soul, gospel, country, jazz, rock, dance, and even hip hop.
Early pop music can be characterized by such well-known artists as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peggy Lee as well as other artists like Fats Domino (Ain’t That a Shame), Bill Haley and his Comets (We’re Gonna Rock Around the Clock), and Elvis Presley, who were extremely popular with younger audience. These people sang pop songs people could easily recognize and sing along.
In 60s, new idols appeared: The Beatles, Cliff Richard, The Small Faces (All or Nothing). Other cult figures of that time included Cat Stevens (Wild World), Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin (You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman), Marvin Gaye (Sexual Healng), and The Supremes (You Can’t Hurry Love). Also, in 60s emerged The Monkees (I’m a Believer), and similar groups were later called boys bands.
In 80s, pop music took a huge step forward, when Michael Jackson released his Thriller, one of the best-selling records of all time. Since the 90s, Jackson was regarded as a King of Pop. The other mighty figure of that time was Madonna. Her songs Papa Don’t Preach, Like a Virgin, Like a Prayer brought her success in the 80s and a title of a Queen of Pop. Prince also made a significant impact in the pop music. His songs (Purple Rain, When Doves Cry) and albums (Purple Rain, Dirty Mind) held the highest positions in the charts for a long time.
In 90s, R&B influenced artists became popular. Among them were Mariah Carey (I Still Believe), Destiny’s Child (Say My Name), En Vogue (Free Your Mind), Janet Jackson (Rhythm Nation), and others.