Katie Melua is originally from Georgia, lives in Surrey and sings about bicycles in Beijing. Her videos have unusual special effects and her voice sparkles over the instruments on the track. Natalie Imbruglia is Australian and her debut ‘Torn’, rose to platinum status when it was released in 1997. Alanis Morissette is Canadian American, visited India in an attempt at exploration and self-discovery, and went back to the top of the charts. Tracy Chapman is American and sings of fast cars and revolutions in a remarkably unique voice and expression. Bjork is from Iceland, sings with raw intensity and her video ‘It’s Oh So Quiet‘, is featured in the top 10 music videos of all time. Like an assembly line, pop divas have journeyed from obscurity to stardom with just the right mix of packaging and promotion.
The list is endless – Britney Spears, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Shakira, Rihanna, Janet Jackson are all singers who don’t just have talent, they have been promoted with slightly different shades to their audiences. And long-term success is very hard to sustain. Britney Spears crashed and burned before she was resurrected under the watchful eye of her father. Her songs in the post-reformation phase don’t have the zing she began with. Images need to be cultivated and grown with care – underexposure can mean disaster just as much as overexposure.
The shelf life of the pop diva is limited. And Madonna is the only one who has matured perfectly like wine. From the first flight of ‘Like a Virgin‘ to her latest she has taken on the establishment, religion, parenthood, patriotism as she grew and her music managed to hold her audience in thrall. Her brand custodians and her instincts have been spot on. And in a series of well-scripted moves executed perfectly, she has moved to the top of her game and managed to make it look spontaneous. Her website is more than just a collection of photographs and schedules. It captures all her variety. Just like good brand building should be – it is not the efforts that show but the results.