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Popular Music

The Art of Gender Representation

The words to SZA’s “Drew Barrymore” ring in my ears as I write this; the song serves as an anthem for the teen angst and insecurities I’ve been feeling since I got home from school today. Feeling lonely, feeling like I’m not living up to the standard of female beauty: SZA articulates the thoughts that have been running through my mind.

45 Years of Free to Be You and Me

When he was three, my son, Jacob, asked for Baby All Gone for Hanukkah. And I couldn't have been prouder.

Blame it on “Free to Be You & Me.” Like many of my generation, that album belonged to the soundtrack of my formative years. Teaching about gender equality in an informal and natural way, the songs and vignettes were snappy, clever, and extremely memorable.

Tribute to a Natural Woman

Carole King has been a constant source of inspiration and fascination to me since I first listened to “You’ve Got a Friend” in second grade and was entranced by the live performance of Beautiful in Los Angeles. As a young Jewish girl hoping to one day pursue music journalism, I have learned many lessons from King as both an artist and as a strong, independent female.

The Anthem I Needed

Amidst all the glitter and alcohol, I knew Kesha was an actual talent. A friend directed me toward an NPR interview in which she talked about her deep love of Bob Dylan, the fact that she does most of her own songwriting, and her deeply artistic spirit. I was smitten.

Nechama Hendel

Nechama Hendel was beloved for her soulful contributions to Israeli folk music, but when she seemed to betray her Jewish heritage, her fans turned their backs on her.

Ofra Haza

Ofra Haza earned an international reputation as a singer on the strength of her blend of pop and traditional Yemeni music.

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.

Zoe Kravitz

Zoe Kravitz has continued her family’s legacy in the arts as a singer and actress in her own right.

Singer-Songwriters

Writing the Songs of their Generations

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Popular Music." (Viewed on December 18, 2018) <https://jwa.org/topics/popular-music>.

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