Pop Music Hasn’t Been This White Since The Early 1980s

Taylor Swift - Fortune Cookie
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Where the white women at? Dominating the Billboard charts. For the first time in Hot 100 history, 2013 had not even a single black artist with a No. 1 hit. The following year wasn’t much better, with Pharrell Williams and John Legend ruling the charts from March to May. Since then, though? Same story. Iggy Azalea, Meghan Trainor, and Taylor Swift are everywhere, and black artists are nowhere (the Grammys for Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year all went to white musicians this year, too). As Vocativ notes, “a close look at the data reveals that the Grammys — and popular music in general — are whiter than they’ve been in 35 years.”


There was an equality of sorts between white and black artists in the mid-1980s and 1990s, but then “something happened in the mid-2000s, when the presence of black artists on the charts and the Grammy rolls went into sharp decline.” It’s tempting to blame the lingering mainstream popularity of super-white nü-metal for the drop because it’s fun to blame nü-metal for everything, but the 2007 chart was topped by Beyoncé, Mims, Ludacris, Akon, Timbaland, T-Pain, Jay-Z, Sean Kingston, Soulja Boy, Kanye West, Chris Brown, and Alicia Keys.

This year has T-Swift. Maybe her song with Kanye will hit No. 1?

Via Vocativ