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Teen pop is a subgenre of pop music that is created, marketed and oriented toward young teenagers and preadolescents. Teen pop covers genres and styles such as pop, dance, R&B, hip-hop and rock.


Teen-oriented popular music had become common by the end of the Swing Era, in the late 1940s, with Frank Sinatra being an early teen idol. However, it was the early 1960s that became known as the "Golden Age" for pop teen idols, who included Paul Anka, Fabian and Frankie Avalon. The first major wave of teen pop occurred in the mid to late 1980s, with artists such as Debbie Gibson, Tiffany and New Kids on the Block. In the early 1990s, teen pop dominated the charts until grunge and gangsta rap crossed over into the mainstream in North America by late 1991. Teen pop remained popular in the United Kingdommarker with the boy band Take That during this period, until the mid 1990s when Britpop became the next major wave in the UK, eclipsing the style similar to how grunge did in North America.

In 1996, the girl group Spice Girls released their single "Wannabe", which made them major pop stars in the UK, as well as in the U.S. the following year. In their wake, other teen pop groups came to prominence, including Hanson, the Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync and All Saints. In 1999, the success of teenaged pop-singers Britney Spears, Mandy Moore, Christina Aguilera and Jessica Simpson, marked the development of what Allmusic refers to as the "pop Lolita" trend, comparing them to Madonna.

According to Gayle Wald, the demise of this late 1990s teen pop was due to:

  • promotional oversaturation of teen pop music in 2000 and 2001,
  • the public's changing attitude toward it, deeming teen pop as unauthentic and corporate-produced,
  • the transition of the pre-teen and teenage fanbase of these teen pop artists during 1997–1999 to young adulthood (and the accompanying changes in musical interests), and
  • a growing young adult male base classifying the music, especially boy band music, as effeminate.

1990s teen pop artists entered hiatuses and semi-retirements ('N Sync, Destiny's Child) or changed their musical style (Backstreet Boys). In 2005, teenaged singers such as Jesse McCartney, Rihanna and Chris Brown achieved success, indicating new relevance of teen-oriented pop music. Since the mid-2000s, many teen stars have developed careers through their involvement with Disney - the cast of the Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical (such as Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale and Corbin Bleu) have had success since starring in the film, and Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato and the Jonas Brothers have developed large fanbases since working with Disney on the Hannah Montana and Camp Rock franchises respectively. The Jonas Brothers hold a record for biggest opening week for a Hollywood Records release in the United States and worldwide.

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