Shania, Avril, Katy, Shakira, etc- THE SEXY POP CULTURE MARKET-BY JOHN EMMS

ROCK N’ ROLL has always lived by the SEXY image. It’s nothing new. And the ladies of rock n’ roll have literally upped the ante in the last 15 years.

Heck I still dig the album cover of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Whipped Cream and Other Delights. That recording sold 6 million copies in 1965. And the image helped!!!!!

When I saw the recent cover of MAXIM with the hugely talented Avril Lavigne  besides catching my eyes, I thought…..NOW THAT’S MARKETING. 

Let’s face it, the ladies’ SEXY IMAGE has literally sold milllions of albums to the male demographic.

BUT WAIT… I’m sure the guys have bought a few too. Then again they probably settled for a MAXIM mag

 SEXY Image in pop culture SELLS.

Ditto for the recent sexy KATY PERRY cover of ROLLING STONE and of course who could forget  SHANIA TWAIN when she did her covers of  ROLLING STONE and MAXIM

BOTTOM LINE..is most artists male or female live and breathe by the IMAGE whatever it is.

Problem is you have to maintain that image!  So if you start out SEXY like SHANIA, BEYONCE or whoever…. it becomes as vital as the music you make.


WHY HAVE stars like ERIC CLAPTON or let’s say a  blues icon like BUDDY GUY stayed cool?

It seems they have earned their  “elder statesmen star status” by still  writing and recording and  YES still playing their butts off in a live context..

WHO KNOWS if JAY-Z or someone like ADAM LEVINE from Maroon 5 are going to have to live off their images if they can hang in for 20 years or so 

Record companies love to create IMAGE..and it’s a big part of the MUSIC BIZ.

If your smart you should care about your image and that includes your album cover art. Look  OZZY, THE CLASH and PINK FLOYD sold a lot of records with image.

THE LOOK..says it all.. BUT..WOW..IF IT’S SEXY IT seems to sell more

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, radio show host and musician

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October 2010

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