“Singing from the Heart”

Notions of gendered authenticity in pop music

Authored by: Bridget Coulter

The Routledge Research Companion to Popular Music and Gender

Print publication date:  March  2017
Online publication date:  March  2017

Print ISBN: 9781472456830
eBook ISBN: 9781315613437
Adobe ISBN: 9781317042044


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Authenticity is a powerful concept within popular music culture. As Shuker (2002, 20) notes, authenticity carries considerable cultural weight, and Thornton (1995, 26) argues that it is perhaps the most valuable quality that can be ascribed to music. To be considered authentic, music must convey an impression of being ‘real’, ‘raw’, ‘honest’ or ‘original’. In the popular sphere, authenticity is rarely interrogated and, as a result, it maintains an enigmatic quality that increases its symbolic power.

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