Are Female Artists In Decline?

So as a big music addict, I recently noticed that my iTunes library consisted of very little in the way of female artists and I couldn’t work out why. Surely I didn’t just listen to male artists all the time? However, I found that every time I put my iPod on shuffle 9 times out of 10, the song played was either a male artist or band. This made me question whether it was my dislike for female singers or the fact that they may well be dying out altogether. That may seem a bit of a sweeping statement but just take a look at your own iTunes library and you might be surprised at what you find or rather not find there.

10 years ago, if I had have had an iPod I guarantee you it would be filled with female artists from The Spice Girls to S Club 7 but this just isn’t the case anymore. Not only did they break up years ago like all bands eventually do but there is a lack of good women artists or rather more notably; girl bands on the scene at the moment. We have the likes of The Saturdays whom although I am not a fan of, have done well for themselves and continue to do so but for how long? Little Mix have also just appeared on the scene but X Factor talent is few and far between and let’s face it, somehow is never well received by audiences because of the foundations of the artist. Well, except for One Direction I guess but they’re not female so let’s move on.  Then we go on to more indie bands that are rising in popularity such as HAIM who are one of my favourites. They haven’t been around as long but provide a different, more edgy version of pop music.

It isn’t quite the same situation for female solo artists as they seem to have had more success. Just look at the likes of Beyoncé who came from popular band Destiny’s Child and pursued a solo career. This never normally seems to work for band members who go it alone. There are many examples like Geri Halliwell from The Spice Girls, Charlie Simpson from Busted and Noel Gallagher from Oasis. It just doesn’t work. In some cases it does such as Cheryl Cole from Girls Aloud, Phil Collins from Genesis and Beyoncé Knowles from Destiny’s Child.

Beyoncé is the most notable talent from the list above and the reason is because of her tenacity. She is a strong woman who know what she wants and isn’t afraid to do whatever it takes to get there. Now this isn’t going to turn into some Beyoncé fan post, not at all. I like her as an artist as much as the next person but most female artists have the ability to be as big as her if they have the drive to do it.  I guess it also helps if you are married to one of the most successful rappers in the world too but you know.

Then we have Adele. Trying but failing not to be biased, I have to admit I think she’s got an absolutely stunning voice. What makes her so important to the small clan that is female music artists is that she is popular with a mass audience. I think that is one of the most important things in the music industry; marketing.  Like Beyoncé, Adele knows what kind of artist she is and sticks to it. That is why her music is so good, it is clear what you are going to get as a listener and we like routine so it’s all good. Also, both these artists write their own songs which make us connect more to the artist. Furthermore, they don’t crave fame to get recognition for their music unlike big stars Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.

Lady Gaga is a massive worldwide start, there is no denying that. As I go through these artists I am starting to see that maybe there are more famous female artists than I thought but it still seems to be a male dominated industry. Gaga though, knows exactly what she is doing. She uses the technique of synergy and makes the most of it. Not only is she a music artist, but she designs clothes and protests for Gay and Lesbian rights. By getting her face out there and understanding the world around her, she is not only engaging with her audience but making a hell of a lot of money. Male artists never appear to engage in this sort of activity as much but seem to be popular nonetheless. They may be popular due to their appearance aimed at female listeners but the male artists that appeal to men are somehow always more popular than females.

Music producers are predominantly male which affects the artists who reach the mainstream and who are getting signed. It is very hard to make it in the music industry in the 21st century for any artist but are we being deprived of a whole generation of women artists who aren’t being given the opportunity to gain in popularity or are they simply not popular enough with audiences to gain the popularity?


  1. 13/06/14 / 12:42 am

    A few years ago I had the same realization! I was listening to music on my iPod and it suddenly dawned on me how I was into an overwhelming percentage of male bands/artists compared to female ones. Unfortunately, I think it’s evidence of a patriarchy that still exists around the world…
    Nowadays, I’m more self-aware of what I listen to and try to open my mind and ears to as many female artists as I can and not exclude them based on looks or popularity. I recently got into singer-songwriters Allison Weiss and Jenny Owen Youngs. You may like ’em! Def check’em out 🙂

    • Kerrie
      14/06/14 / 4:06 pm

      Yeah I definitely agree! Although I think we have some strong female artists making a breakthrough out there at the moment 🙂 Thanks, I will.

      • 14/06/14 / 10:55 pm

        Who are some of your favs? I’m always looking to compare notes!

  2. Kerrie
    15/06/14 / 7:00 pm

    Um Lana Del Rey, Lorde, Iggy Izalea, Foxes and Haim 🙂 how about you?

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