Taste in the Music Industry

Miley Cyrus is a very poular, yet contraversial musical artist due to her drastic transformation over the past 10 years. Cyrus started her career in the spotlight on Disney Channel on the hit TV show Hannah Montanna. Cyrus portrayed a world famous pop star leading a double life as an all American high school teenager. The show was fun, lighthearted, and immensely popular among young girls who loved Hannah Montanna’s songs, her sweet relationship with her father Billy Ray Cyrus, and the adventures her and her best friend Lola got into trying to keep her secret identity concealed. As Cyrus grew up and grew out of this juvnenile role, she shaved her hair and developed more of a punk rock, and edgy style. With this new persona, she got into one of her most contraversial media scandals when she performed at the MTV Video Music Awards where she was scantily clad dancing suggestively as she performed along side Robin Thicke. She also released her music video “Wrecking Ball” which received a lot of criticism for being highly innapropriate. Cyrus’s signature blonde Hannah Montanna wig had now become her buzzed hair and stuck out tongue. I chose the quote from Keith Negus’s reading, “sucessful bands knew what genre they were playing, recognized its musical and social boundaries..”. Cyrus’s success started dwindle as she lost fans due to her deviation from the social boundaries of her image. The drastic switch in persona and music genre gave her a bad reputation in the music industry and media. This break in what Negus defines as “genre rules” resulted in a negative response from consumers. Miley Cyrus and her journey as an artist can also be an example of taste in the media. Although at first her vulgarity was rejected as audiences’ tastes changed over time, they became more accustomed and began to embrace her new image and the music that came with it.

I chose this picture because I felt that Miley Cyrus was a music icon that people were familiar with and was known for her radical change in image and genre of music. The picture includes snapshots of Miley Cyrus over the years that clearly depicts her transition and documents her personal journey.


Class Leader Questions

  1. What examples of surveillance do you see in the media (reality TV shows) and what its implications?
  2. Why is it important for artists to adhere to genre rules? What happens when they deviate from them?
  3. How do changes in culture affect the mass markets taste?