Who Are The Biggest Active Music Stars?

History is littered with musical giants who transformed our understanding of what music could be. They recorded tracks that we still listen to today, and went on stage to create lifelong memories for legions of fans. But musical titans aren’t just a thing of the past. They’re living and working among us, right now. Some of history’s biggest selling musical artists are still releasing new music and performing on stage. In this blog, we’re going to run through some of these stars — make sure you get to see them live while you still can!

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Elton John

Elton John is arguably underrated as an artist. He’s been in the game for some fifty years, and has remained remarkably consistent. There were some missteps in the 80s, but then again, most musical artists who came to prominence during the early 1970s had difficulties during that decade. And it’s not just his own material that has kept Elton John relevant. He’s also worked with some of pop’s biggest stars, including Eminem, Kanye West, and many, many others. Admired by the public, admired by his peers, Elton John’s popularity is summed up by his mammoth number of record sales. He’s shifted somewhere around 300 million units. He’s on his last ever tour at the moment, so if you’ve ever serenaded your loved one with a version of ‘Your Song,’ then go show your respects.

Taylor Swift

It took Elton John some fifty years to sell 300 million records. Taylor Swift has reached 200 million in just fourteen years, and with significantly fewer albums. There’s little doubt that Taylor Swift took the world, especially the teenage girl world, by storm. Initially beginning as an out and out country star, she’s developed into something else entirely. Her latest album releases are much more pop-oriented, which has helped her to reach even more fans. Armed with world-class production and management, she’ll be a force forever — there’s no way that star burns out anytime soon.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones have always been a huge band, but it’s not as if they were head and shoulders above their contemporaries when they first got started. They were one of many excellent bands on the circuit. But if you look back at their contemporaries from back in the day, you’ll notice one thing — the vast majority of them are no longer playing. And the ones that are, are usually not playing to packed audiences. One of the greatest strengths of the Rolling Stones is their longevity. They still make (good) music and know how to put on a show, even though they’re pretty old these days. Indeed, many people still say it’s the best show around.

Drake

Canadian star Drake seems to have it all. He makes excellent records, he produces, he’s an entrepreneur, and he acts. That’s a pretty impressive range of skills for one man! He’s sold a boatload of albums, and he’s at that stage of his career where every new release is an event. By the time he retires, he’ll be one of the biggest selling stars of all time, there’s no doubt.

Ed Sheeran

If you took a look at a video of Ed Sheeran from back when he was younger, you probably wouldn’t have said that he’d go on to become one of the biggest stars of his generation. He just didn’t look like a pop star. However, it’s a testament to the age we live in that this fact didn’t seem to matter for much. His peers knew that he was going to be a star, and so, crucially, did the man himself. Today, his simple and sweet songs have catapulted him to superstardom. He’s even managed to create an excellent live show, which he can present to tens of thousands of people, despite being just one person and a guitar.

Beyonce

Finally, there’s Beyonce. It almost seems wrong to call her a music star since she transcends all that. She’s a force of nature. You can’t say that there’s anyone bigger than her, because there’s not. When Beyonce releases an album, the world stops. Her shows are rightly regarded as triumphs of humanity. She’s at a level where people are legitimately having conversations about her being the best ever. Even if you’re not a massive fan of her style of music, you have to give respect for what she’s achieved in the music industry. Whereas many artists aim to appeal to people, Beyonce goes her own way, and takes the industry along with her.

Soul Music: Why Music Helps Fight Pandemics


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To us, a pandemic is a new thing that wasn’t on the radar a year ago. However, in the course of history, there have been plenty, and music has always been there to fight them off. According to The Guardian, singing from balconies is part of a tradition that stretches back to the 7th century BC and the Black Death. It seems that while Covid-19 can decimate global lockdowns and the freedoms we hold dear, it is powerless against music.

Nothing can stand in its way, and here are the reasons why.

The Boredom Factor

Even with Netflix and a plethora of social media networks and videos on YouTube, the pandemic has been boring. As it happens, doing the same thing over and over every day is mind-numbingly tedious, except when you’re playing an instrument. From the guitar to the drums and violin, there’s an actively competitive aspect of trying to be better. Combine this element of learning with the fact that the likes of LVL Music Academy offer remote lessons, and you’ve got the perfect storm. Whether you’re a newbie or an old-hand attempting to level-up, there are multiple ways to relieve boredom when you’re dedicated to music.

Community Spirit

The sense of community we currently have isn’t a feature that most people would say existed pre-March. If anything, the support neighbours have for each other was dwindling rapidly. Yet, once everybody was in the same boat, the need to help the less fortunate, as well as average human beings who needed a boast, came to the fore. From high rises in Italy to London suburbs, people showed their community spirit by singing, dancing, and indulging in musical pastimes. Others are available, of course, yet it’s hard to organise a game of five-a-side during a lockdown! Music, on the other hand, is much more accessible.

Productivity

A pandemic reduces your productivity levels, which is part of the reason mental health is an issue. You’ve spent the last few years crushing life, working hard in the office and playing harder outside of it, only to be stranded at home with nothing to do. The culture shock is draining. To replicate the semblance of a routine, people turn to activities such as home renovation projects and exercise. At the heart of these interests is music as the beat encourages you to go harder for longer. For many, it’s the foundation of daily lockdown routine.

Health

Our wellbeing, both mental and physical, is critical during a time such as this. Therefore, it makes sense that music is used to promote good health and warn us of potential dangers. As far back as January, when the virus emerged in China, residents sang songs such as, “Wuhan jiayou!” – or ‘Stay strong, Wuhan!” Far from being a patriotic war cry, it was a symbol of positive physical and mental health. The same goes for the NHS Clap in the UK. Music is a soundtrack to our lives, especially in the worst periods.

How has music helped you during the Coronavirus health crisis?

How Has Football and Music Culture Changed Over the Last Decade?

Once upon a time, football and music were inextricably linked, both being bastions of the working class. The late seventies and early eighties saw a culture grow up around the two; the casual. Terraces that had once been rife with anger and fighting began to look like catwalks, featuring young men mostly in Adidas trainers, Fred Perry polo shirts and other designer gear.

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They would follow bands that were equally as fashion savvy, but with a message that resonated with the working class of the time. The Jam were a classic casual band, spouting lyrics that mattered but doing it with a style that was both relatable and desirable.

Football and music culture moved on, into the early nineties when rave took hold. New Order sang ‘World in Motion’, a song classed as a game changer by the Independent. It preached togetherness and love, whilst in the clubs in the UK hooligans used to fight on a Saturday; they were now embracing rave, and dance.

Britpop came and had a similar effect; Three Lions followed England around Euro 96 as Cool Britannia seeped into modern life. Floppy haircuts and baggy jeans dominated the football grounds of the UK, whilst bands like Oasis, Blur and the Lightning Seeds set the soundtrack for a generation.
However, in the last decade there has been a visible split in how music has influenced the terrace scene in the UK. In some respects, a north / south divide has opened, or perhaps even a divide between the branded, corporate top flight and those who still stand on a terrace with their mates.
A feature by Ladbrokes on club football’s relationship with music highlights the success some of England’s biggest teams have had, looking to set a soundtrack to represent that success. Many of those clubs now have celebrity followers, artists wanting to drop names into their lyrics, Stormzy being a good example.

Arsenal Fan TV reflects that urban culture and how it’s been influenced over the last decade. There’s no rhythm and reason to their language and style, but it’s easily identified as the urban, working class voice of today. It’s language that’s perhaps alien to supporters of smaller clubs in provincial towns, or perhaps even those north of Birmingham.
On the other hand, there is a strong sub-culture taking grip at grass roots level of the English game. The Guardian describes this as a force for good at many European clubs, the ‘ultra’ is the current-day equivalent of the eighties casual, the new breed of supporter that still embodies the angry working class. There’s no Stormzy here, no urban culture seeping out of the videos on YouTube. The northern ‘football lad’ (or lass) would likely be found at a Courteeners gig, or listen to a Jake Bugg track.

Perhaps this is the natural evolution of the old-style casual. There is still a focus on clothing, or ‘clobber’ as it’s usually referred to. Old school polo shirts and jumpers are just as popular as modern-day Stone Island or CP Company, almost always paired with Adidas trainers. Instead of working class bands like The Jam or the Specials, there is still a burning desire for bands with direction and a message, but equally conscious of having the right look as well.

It’s interesting to see the definite split in culture, perhaps as reflective as the north / south divide as much as anything. Whilst big acts link themselves with clubs and the Premier League, where it really matters the scene is still organic and fan led, with bands chosen and followed not because they’re pushed heavily, but because they fit the style perfectly,
The changes have only begun to develop over the last decade, but the next 10 years will be fascinating as we watch the scene evolve further.