|Cultural origins||Late 1970s to early 1980s, United States and United Kingdom|
Dance-pop is a subgenre of pop music that originated in the late 1970s to early 1980s. It is generally uptempo music intended for nightclubs with the intention of being danceable but also suitable for contemporary hit radio. Developing from a combination of dance and pop with influences of disco,post-disco and synth-pop, it is generally characterised by strong beats with easy, uncomplicated song structures which are generally more similar to pop music than the more free-form dance genre, with an emphasis on melody as well as catchy tunes. The genre, on the whole, tends to be producer-driven, despite some notable exceptions.
Dance-pop is highly eclectic, having borrowed influences from other genres, which varied by producers, artists and periods. Such include contemporary R&B, house, trance, techno, electropop, new jack swing, funk and pop rock.
Dance-pop is a popular mainstream style of music and there have been numerous artists and groups who perform in the genre. Notable artists include Cher, Madonna, Britney Spears, Rick Astley, Kylie Minogue, Christina Aguilera, Spice Girls, Paula Abdul, Backstreet Boys, Michael Jackson, NSYNC, Jennifer Lopez, Janet Jackson, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Years & Years, Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Ava Max, among others.
As the term "disco" started to go out of fashion by the late 1970s to early 1980s, other terms were commonly used to describe disco-based music, such as "post-disco", "club", "dance" or "dance-pop" music.These genres were, in essence, a more modern variant of disco music known as post-disco, which tended to be more experimental, electronic and producer/DJ-driven, often using sequencers and synthesizers.
Dance-pop music emerged around the early 1980s as a combination of dance and pop, or post-disco, which was uptempo and simple, club-natured, producer-driven and catchy. Dance-pop was more uptempo and dancey than regular pop, yet more structured and less free-form than dance music, usually combining pop's easy structure and catchy tunes with dance's strong beat and uptempo nature. Dance-pop music was usually created, composed and produced by record producers who would then hire singers to perform the songs.
At the beginning of the 1980s, disco was an anathema to mainstream pop. According to prominent AllMusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Madonna had a huge role in popularizing dance music as mainstream music, utilizing her charisma, chutzpah and sex appeal. Erlewine claimed that Madonna "launched dance-pop" and set the standard for the genre for the next two decades.As the primary songwriter on her self-titled debut album and a co-producer by her third record, Madonna's insistence on being involved in all creative aspects of her work was highly unusual for a female dance-pop vocalist at the time. The staff of Vice magazine stated that her debut album "drew the blueprint for future dance-pop."
In the 1980s, dance-pop was closely aligned to other uptempo electronic genres, such as Hi-NRG. Prominent producers in the 1980s included Stock, Aitken and Waterman, who created Hi-NRG/dance-pop for artists such as Kylie Minogue, Dead or Alive and Bananarama. During the decade, dance-pop borrowed influences from funk (e.g. Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston), new jack swing (e.g. Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul), and contemporary R&B.
Other prominent dance-pop artists and groups of the 1980s included the Pet Shop Boys, Mel and Kim, Samantha Fox, Debbie Gibson, and Tiffany.
By the 1990s, dance-pop had become a major genre in popular music. Several dance-pop groups and artists emerged during the 1990s, such as the Spice Girls, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, Backstreet Boys, and 'NSYNC. During the early 1990s, dance-pop borrowed influences from house music (e.g. Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy", Taylor Dayne's Soul Dancing , and Madonna's "Vogue", "Rescue Me" and "Deeper and Deeper"), as well as contemporary R&B and new jack swing (e.g. Shanice's "I Love Your Smile").
By the late 1990s, electronic influences became evident in dance-pop music; Madonna's critically acclaimed and commercially successful album Ray of Light (1998) incorporated techno, trance and other forms of electronic dance music, bringing electronica into mainstream dance-pop. Additionally, also in 1998, Cher released a dance-pop song called "Believe" which made usage of a technological innovation of the time, Auto-Tune. An audio processor and a form of pitch modification software, Auto-Tune is commonly used as a way to correct pitch and to create special effects. Since the late 1990s, the use of Auto-Tune processing has become a common feature of dance-pop music.
Celine Dion also released a midtempo dance-pop song, "That's the Way It Is" by the end of 1999. Also during this period, some British bands connected with Britpop and alternative pop experimented with dance-pop as a form - examples include Catatonia single "Karaoke Queen," Bis's top 40 hit "Eurodisco", Kenickie's final single "Stay in the Sun" and Romo band Orlando's major-label debut single "Just For A Second." Another Britpop band, Theaudience was fronted by Sophie Ellis Bextor who went on to a successful solo career primarily in artist-driven dance-pop.
At the beginning of the 2000s, dance-pop music was still prominent, and highly electronic in style, influenced by genres such as trance, house, techno and electro. Nonetheless, as R&B and hip hop became extremely popular from the early part of the decade onwards, dance-pop was often influenced by urban music. Dance-pop stars from the 1980s and 1990s such as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Madonna, Janet Jackson and Kylie Minogue continued to achieve success at the beginning of the decade. Whilst much dance-pop at the time was R&B-influenced, many records started to return to their disco roots; Kylie Minogue's albums such as Light Years (2000) and Fever (2001) contained influences of disco music, or a new 21st-century version of the genre known as nu-disco; hit singles such as "Spinning Around" (2000) and "Can't Get You Out of My Head" (2001) also contained disco traces.In Madonna's case, her album Music (2000) contained elements of Euro disco, especially the successful eponymous lead single.
Nevertheless, it was not until the mid-to-latter part of the decade when dance-pop music returned greatly to its disco roots; this can be seen with Madonna's album Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005), which borrowed strong influences from the genre, especially from 1970s artists and bands such as ABBA, Giorgio Moroder, the Bee Gees and Donna Summer. Britney Spears' album Blackout (2007) contained influences of Euro disco.
The mid-to-late 2000s saw the arrival of several new dance-pop artists, including Rihanna, Kesha, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. This period in time also saw dance-pop's return to its more electronic roots aside from its disco ones, with strong influences of synthpop and electropop. Lady Gaga is frequently considered one of the pioneers of this evolution, notably with her singles "Just Dance" and "Poker Face" which were heavily influenced by synthpop and electropop.Rihanna's singles in the dance-pop genre, including "Don't Stop the Music" and "Disturbia", contained electronic influences, the former of which has elements of house music, the latter electropop. Kesha's debut single, "Tik Tok", was also highly electronic in style and employed a video game beat. Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold" (2008), "California Gurls" (2010), and "Firework" (2010), which were major commercial hits, also showcased influences of electropop and house music.
The 2010s, similarly to the late 2000s, saw strong electronic influences present within dance-pop and also strong emphasis on bass-heavy drum beats. Artists such as Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Madonna, Kesha, Christina Aguilera, Usher and Rihanna remained very popular, while newer recording artists such as Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Rita Ora, and Dua Lipa joined the dance-pop charts within the decade.
American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift's albums Red (2012), 1989 (2014) and Reputation (2017) contain more of a pop-influenced sound, which features production by dance-pop record producers Max Martin and Shellback. Ariana Grande's single "Problem" featuring Iggy Azalea was a big hit in 2014 and reached combined sales and track-equivalent streams of 9 million units worldwide the following year.
Dance-pop generally contains several notable characteristics:
Kylie Ann Minogue is an Australian singer, songwriter and actress. Minogue is the highest-selling female Australian artist of all time, having sold over 80 million records worldwide. She has been recognised for reinventing herself in music as well as fashion, and is referred to by the European press as the "Princess of Pop" and a style icon. Her accolades include a Grammy Award, three Brit Awards and seventeen ARIA Music Awards.
Synth-pop is a music genre that first became prominent in the late 1970s and features the synthesizer as the dominant musical instrument. It was prefigured in the 1960s and early 1970s by the use of synthesizers in progressive rock, electronic, art rock, disco, and particularly the Krautrock of bands like Kraftwerk. It arose as a distinct genre in Japan and the United Kingdom in the post-punk era as part of the new wave movement of the late 1970s.
Electropop is a popular music fusion genre combining elements of the electronic and pop styles. Writer Hollin Jones has described it as a variant of synth-pop with outstanding heavy emphasis on its electronic sound. The genre was developed in the 1980s and saw a revival of popularity and influence in the late 2000s.
Body Language is the ninth studio album by Australian singer Kylie Minogue. It was released on 10 November 2003 by Parlophone. Following the commercial success of her eighth studio album Fever (2001), Minogue enlisted a diverse group of writers and producers to aid in creating a new album, including Cathy Dennis, Dan Carey, Emiliana Torrini, Johnny Douglas, and Kurtis Mantronik among others. Influenced by the musical works of the 1980s and artists like Prince and Scritti Politti, Body Language musically differs from Minogue's previous albums, which mainly featured disco-oriented dance-pop tracks, and instead explores genres like synth-pop, electroclash, R&B, and hip hop. Lyrically, the album touches upon themes of enjoyment, flirting, and sex.
This article is an overview of the major events and trends in popular music in the 2000s.
Teen pop is a subgenre of pop music that is created, marketed and oriented towards preteens and teenagers. Teen pop incorporates different subgenres of pop music, as well as elements of R&B, dance, electronic, hip hop and rock, while the music of girl groups, boy bands, and acts like Britney Spears, NSYNC, Backstreet Boys are sometimes referred to as pure pop. Typical characteristics of teen pop music include Auto-Tuned or pitch-corrected vocals, choreographed dances, emphasis on visual appeal, lyrics focused on love, relationships, dancing, partying, friendship, puppy love and repeated chorus lines. Its lyrics also incorporate sexual innuendo. Teen pop singers often cultivate an image of a girl next door/boy next door.
Dance Club Songs was a chart published weekly between 1976 and 2020 by Billboard magazine. It used club disc jockeys set lists to determine the most popular songs being played in nightclubs across the United States.
Peter Rauhofer was an Austrian-American disc jockey (DJ), remixer and producer who formerly worked under the moniker Club 69 as well as Size Queen. A native of Vienna, Austria, he was famous for a variety of his remixes including Cher's "Believe" and a number of Madonna's songs including "Nothing Really Matters", "American Life", "Nothing Fails", "Nobody Knows Me", "Get Together", "Impressive Instant" and "4 Minutes", as well as her collaboration with Britney Spears, "Me Against the Music" and various collaborations with Janet Jackson. He has also provided remixes for Donna Summer, Kylie Minogue, Whitney Houston, Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Yoko Ono, Pink, Tori Amos, Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Book of Love, Soft Cell, Duran Duran and Mariah Carey, among others. He was also behind the tribal house record label Star 69 and was a frequent producer of the label's releases.
Dance/Mix Show Airplay is a monitored electronic dance music radio chart that is published weekly by Billboard magazine.
"Chocolate" is a song by Australian recording artist Kylie Minogue, taken from her ninth studio album Body Language (2003). It was written and produced by Johnny Douglas, with additional writing by Karen Poole. The song is a ballad that uses a chocolate simile to describe Minogue's obsession with love. It is a quiet storm song that contains elements of disco and funk and employs breathy and whispery vocals. It was released as the third and final single from the album on 28 June 2004 by Festival Mushroom Records and Parlophone.
Klas Frans Åhlund is a Swedish songwriter, record producer, and guitarist. He is the founding member of the Swedish rock band Teddybears. As a songwriter and producer, he has worked with artists such as Robyn, Sugababes, Jordin Sparks, Teddybears, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Kesha, Kylie Minogue, Bo Kaspers Orkester, Britney Spears, Melody Club, Katy Perry, Madonna, and Ghost. He received a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Dance/Electronic Recording for producing Robyn's 2011 single "Call Your Girlfriend".
Nu-disco is a 21st-century dance music genre associated with a renewed interest in the late 1970s disco, synthesizer-heavy 1980s European dance music styles, and early 1990s electronic dance music. The genre was popular in the early 2000s, and experienced a mild resurgence in the 2010s.
Dave Audé is an American DJ, producer and remixer. He operates his own label Audacious Records, and is known for having more number ones than any other producer on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart. He has done production for artists such as U2, will.i.am, t.A.T.u., Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Barenaked Ladies, Faith No More, Rihanna, Yoko Ono, Britney Spears,Alexis Jordan, Madonna, CeCe Peniston, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion, LeAnn Rimes, Selena Gomez, Olivia Holt, Laura Pausini and Beyoncé. As an artist, Audé has scored 14 hit singles so far on the Billboard charts, and an unprecedented 132 No. 1 remixes on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart. In 2016, Audé won a Grammy Award in the Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical category for his remix of "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. Audé's songs are represented by Downtown Music Publishing. He is managed by songwriter and producer Darrell Brown.
The Scandinavian electro-pop scene kickstarted with the invention of the Nordik Beat sound in Stockholm in the late 1980s. By merging the new technologies at the time, building small inexpensive studios armed with computers and samplers rather than traditional instruments and studio equipment, and the latest dance music trends with the Scandinavian focus since ABBA on mixing strong pop melodies with catchy hooks, both a new sound and a new way of making music were born. A commonly recognized birth date for the movement has become the October 1987 cover story of ID Magazine in the UK, a cover graced by the first international Afro-Scandinavian pop star, La Camilla from Army of Lovers, as the face of the brand new Nordik Beat movement.
Wonky pop was a loose grouping of musical acts that played what the BBC called "quirky, catchy and credible pop", rooted in the eccentric side of 1980s pop music, which was briefly popular in the late 2000s. Artists associated with the genre include Mika, Alphabeat and Frankmusik.
"Slutwave" is a pejorative applied to female pop music stars who "favor sex appeal – suggestive dancing, scant clothing, explicit lyrics – to promote their career over their actual music."
"Right Here, Right Now" is a song recorded by Italian producer Giorgio Moroder, featuring the vocals of Kylie Minogue, for Moroder's studio album Déjà Vu. The song had a minor impact on singles chart in Europe and attained the top position of the US Dance Club Songs.
"Pop Culture" is a mash-up song created by Hugo Pierre Leclercq, better known by his stage name, Madeon. The song was recorded on-the-fly by Leclercq, when he was seventeen years old, using samples from 39 popular songs, mixed using software FL Studio controlled with a Novation Launchpad. Leclercq recorded a video of him creating the mix which he uploaded to YouTube on 11 July 2011. The video went viral within a few days of release, and it has subsequently been seen more than 60 million times. The video drew attention to Leclercq and would lead to him being signed by Columbia Records and launching his music career.
The ARIA Dance Singles Chart ranks the best performing dance music tracks within Australia and is provided by the Australian Recording Industry Association.
The Grammy Award for Best Pop Dance Recording is an award presented by the Recording Academy to honor quality dance pop music performances in any given year. The award will be presented for the first time at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards in 2024, as a complement to the Grammy Award for Best Dance/Electronic Recording and the first new category honoring dance/electronic music since 2005.
The 1980s brought the dawning age of the synthesizer in rock. Synth pop, a spare, synthesizer-based dance-pop sound, was its first embodiment.