Since the release of her debut album, Billie Eilish has fought hard to maintain control of her identity. Far from content to be a pop caricature, she continues to subvert expectations. Following her own conscience, Eilish rejects many of the rules and conventions society places upon her. The recent change of her signature skunk green mop top for a buttery blonde look, is but one example. And while acts like these captivate millions, there has been a far greater transformation going on beneath the surface.

Ariana Grande‘s third album Dangerous Woman takes its title from a quote by Nawal El Saadawi. “They said,” the feminist author wrote in 1975, “‘You are a savage and dangerous woman.’ I am speaking the truth. And the truth is savage and dangerous.

Ariana Makes Her Stand

This was a bold statement for Saadawi to make. She lived in Egypt at a time when women were imprisoned and brutalized for expressing their thoughts. The world in which Ariana Grande found herself in 2016 was not as far removed from Saadawi’s Egypt as many liked to think. …

A close friend of mine was institutionalized with an eating disorder last year. She was so malnourished she had to be fed through a tube to stay alive. A former partner went through a similar experience. After, she was not allowed to keep scales in the house. She found a way around this though by using a hidden tape measure to monitor the size of her waist. Reading into the subject of body dysmorphia recently I realized I too had been taught, over a lifetime, to hate my body.

I have some bad news for you. We have a problem…

With outrageous dress sense and an attitude to match, Lil Nas X is one of modern culture’s most visible and outspoken media personalities. He is also one of its most misunderstood. Answering the question of who he is, how he found success, and the impact of his work as a Queer artist is a far more complicated matter than many media commentators make out.

Old Town Road

Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’ was released in 2018. It later went viral in March 2019. The unique mix of rap and country had never been seen before. It was welcomed as a global phenomenon…

I was painting this morning when a lyric came into my head. It was an older song. One I had not, admittedly, ever really paid that much attention to. It was Halsey’s ‘Colors’. And although I had listened to the song probably more than a thousand times, its lyrics had flown straight over my head, their heaviness unnoticed. The words that caught me by surprise were these. “I hope you make it to the day you’re 28 years old.”

Watching Colors Fade

The song, featured on the singer’s breakout album Badlands, focuses on themes of family and addiction. It alludes strongly to Halsey’s…

Olivia Rodrigo hit the ground running with sentimental single ‘Driver’s License’ in January this year. Released when Rodrigo was just 17, it acted as an encore for several popular ballads she released as a cast member of High School Musical: The Series. After gaining rapid traction through apps such as Tik Tok, Youtube and Instagram, her melodic lamentation of lost love topped singles charts across the world. It is currently the most listened to song of 2021. This fast-spread of notoriety skyrocketed this once quiet Californian actor to the new status of world’s youngest pop superstar.

2005’s Music of the Sun transformed Rihanna from an unknown 17-year-old from Barbados into an international superstar. With Good Girl Gone Bad she broke free from the girl-next-door persona a heartless record industry had forced upon her. Then, after the 20-year-old Rihanna had been savagely beaten by boyfriend Chris Brown, Rated R pushed past the self-doubt which followed the terrifying helplessness abuse. Rihanna refused to let domestic violence, or anything else for that matter, define her story. With her ninth studio album, she faces yet another significant challenge. Her own success.

When Paul McCartney finds himself in times of trouble he writes a McCartney album. As the Beatles were breaking apart he wrote McCartney. When Wings was coming to an end in 1980 he delivered some of his most eccentric material on McCartney II. In the wake of the global outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic McCartney once again found himself adrift.

Paul McCartney’s 2020

First, his multi-million dollar tour was postponed. A triumphant headline appearance at iconic UK festival Glastonbury’s 50th anniversary was also canceled. As McCartney bunkered down in his English country home, the woman he loved was on the other side of…

Released in February 2021 Framing Britney Spears instantly struck a nerve. Shocking millions, The New York Times documentary cast new light on the spectacular decline of one of modern music’s biggest stars. It laid bare the confronting realities of celebrity culture and the popular media’s dehumanizing treatment of women. It continues to provoke discussion. More than ever, music fans across the world are questioning media depictions of women, challenging systemic sexism and asking how narratives like Spears’ can be reclaimed.

Listen here:

The Tragic Story of Britney Spears

With the legal dispute surrounding Britney Spears’ controversial conservatorship continuing to unfold, The Glitter and Gold has…

This article was originally written by Audrey Songvilay for The Glitter and Gold Magazine.

Lady Gaga‘s story is one of the constant rebirth and reinvention. She exemplifies the journey of psychological transformation. Growing through self-discovery and artistic creativity, Gaga came to embrace a unique public persona. And within her work, few songs speak as strongly about this innermost aspect of her personality as 2011 single ‘Born This Way.’

With statements like ‘Born This Way’, Lady Gaga defied conformity and fought for social freedom. She broke out of an impersonal pop star persona and showed the world something unlike anything else…

Riley Fitzgerald

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