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The Student News Site of Darien High School


The Student News Site of Darien High School


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The Rise of True Pop Stars: The Reintroduction of Sabrina Carpenter

Unveiling how the resurgence of authenticity in music is spotlighting new idols.

In the ever-evolving landscape of popular music, the definition of a “pop star” has undergone a profound transformation. Traditionally associated with catchy tunes, flashy performances, and carefully curated personas, the archetype of a pop star has often been intertwined with manufactured images and controlled narratives; dating back to the image of Britney Spears, pop stars dominated the media, yet were specifically crafted to appeal to these audiences.

However, a new wave of artists is reshaping this paradigm, ushering in an era where authenticity and genuine connection with audiences take precedence over mere spectacle. One such luminary, who has been captivating audiences with her multifaceted skills and magnetic presence, is none other than Sabrina Carpenter. In recent times, Carpenter has been scaling new heights, cementing her status as a versatile artist in the realms of music, acting, and beyond. With this reintroduction to Carpenter, fans are beginning to see the emergence of similar stars, where with the popularity, Tate Mcrae and Madison Beer, we get to see what it truly means to be a pop icon in the twenty-first century.  

In the early 2000s, pop stars such as Britney Spears exhibited flashy performances, yet were held down by the weight of their record labels and lack of authenticity.

Seen most recently in Carpenter, an American singer who was introduced to fame at 14 through Disney Channel, pop stars today hold unprecedented talent directly parallel to their stardom. With her face being seen by millions, she is one of the premiere talents to have successfully navigated the often tricky Disney-kid-to-international-superstar pipeline, so much so that that label’s interaction with her artistry is now becoming a thing of the past. In an interview conducted by Alike and journalist Hannah Francesca M. Arsenal, Carpenter commented that this transition, however, was not easy: “I couldn’t really meet any of the people I was working with and I didn’t know if they could immediately get to know me in a way that an artist needs to be known after being on Disney and dealing with a pandemic.” Regardless, Sabrina has triumphed and become one of today’s leading stars due to her individual music success and the popularity she has received by being Taylor Swift’s opening act.

After starring in hit Disney show, Girl Meets World, Carpenter was able to begin her music career, however further grown past her Disney reputation in recent years.

Because of this, listeners and pop-culture fanatics are able to see how this rise of true pop stars like Carpenter marks a departure from the formulaic approach of the past. These artists are breaking barriers and reshaping perceptions by embracing their individuality, vulnerabilities, and personal narratives. Seen with Carpenter, pop stars now leverage their platforms not only to entertain but also to advocate for causes they believe in, fostering a deeper connection with their audience beyond the music itself.

One of the defining characteristics of Carpenter and other modern pop stars is their unwavering commitment to authenticity. They are unafraid to peel back the layers and reveal their true selves, sharing personal struggles, triumphs, and emotions through their art. It is apparent in not only the sonic complexities of the songs, but these artists’ lyrics too; in her newest album, “emails i can’t send,” Carpenter expands on familiar notions of unrequited love and mental health throughout the majority of her songs, allowing for listeners to understand and connect with Carpenter past a superficial and idealistic lens. This transparency resonates deeply with fans, forging an emotional bond that transcends the boundaries of a typical artist-fan relationship. 

With over 1 billion streams across platforms, Carpenters album is a raging success.

In fact, this new twenty-first century pop star relationship has been promoted more so with technological advancements and social media, both in positive and negative ways. While technology has encouraged further engagement and fast streaming abilities, fans now have an accessible platform to spread unsolicited opinions about these pop stars.

Talking with Senior Emmeline Wang, she commented how she found it draining “as a fan of artists to see constantly on social media how people are finding such small things to hate about these people. It makes me not want to learn about these artists because it almost ruins it for me.”

But, as Sabrina Carpenter and other twenty first pop icons continue to ascend in their careers, their trajectory seems boundless. Specifically for Carpenter, with upcoming projects in both music and film, fans eagerly anticipate what the future holds for this talented artist. Her commitment to artistic growth, coupled with her innate ability to resonate with audiences and discuss lyrically familiar and relevant ideas, positions her as a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment landscape.

In an industry where versatility and authenticity are prized, Sabrina Carpenter stands tall as a shining example of a young artist embracing both while leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of fans worldwide. Sabrina Carpenter’s journey from a budding talent to a multifaceted star serves as a testament to dedication, passion, and the unwavering pursuit of one’s dreams—a journey that continues to inspire and captivate audiences across the globe. It is that that allows for her to become an authentic pop star. 

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About the Contributor
Sydney Riccio
Sydney Riccio, Editor-in-Chief Print
Sydney is a senior who started writing for Neirad in the fall of 2021. She loves to write about student life and current events. Along with being a writer, Sydney leads the Asian American Student Union, participates in scientific research and activism, and is a ballet dancer. In her free time, she can be found at the beach, hanging with her friends and family, or driving around town! Sydney's favorite food is tied between sushi and french fries!

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