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Popular Music

Singer-Songwriters

Writing the Songs of their Generations

Just Like Animals

We need to pay strict attention to what messages we get from the media and how those messages perpetuate violence and misogyny. Violent and offensive lyrics, such as those in “Animals,” glorify and romanticize sexualized violence, causing distorted views on healthy relationships. Objectification and violence toward women can too easily become mainstream when popular celebrities endorse this behavior.

Choosing Our Role Models, and Letting Them Go

When I was younger, I used to love watching Hannah Montana on television. The lead character, played by Miley Cyrus, lived a double life as pop sensation Hannah Montana. Cyrus had so many fans, so many young not-yet-teenagers who looked up to her. I remember going to see her in concert when I was in fourth grade. It was one of the highlights of my year. 

Odetta Holmes, Singing for the Voiceless

Through her blues music, Holmes inspired people all over America to take a stand for black equality. She performed at numerous rallies, advocating for civil rights for all; in fact, her music is often called the “soundtrack of the Civil Rights movement.” 

Birth of “Mama” Cass Elliot

September 19, 1941
"If you truly dig what you are doing, if you lay it out that way, nobody can not respond." - "Mama" Cass Elliot

Bette Midler owns her own voice

October 31, 1989

US Court of Appeals says Bette Midler's voice is distinctive.

Carole King Releases "Tapestry"

June 7, 1971

Singer-songwriter Carole King released the album "Tapestry."

Singer Sylvia Blagman Syms dies during standing ovation

May 10, 1992

Jazz singer Sylvia Blagman Syms dies of a heart attack at age 74 while receiving a standing ovation after a performance.

Rachel Bloom

Rachel Bloom has combined her passion for musical theater, her gift for comedy, her feminist sensibility, and her roots in Jewish humor to create the award-winning show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

Alicia Jo Rabins

With her indie rock song cycle Girls in Trouble, musician Alicia Jo Rabins has reinterpreted the women of the Bible for a modern audience.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Popular Music." (Viewed on January 20, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/popular-music>.

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