Introduction: Authenticity in the Marketing of Female Artists

In 2014, the best-selling album of the year was by a female singer/songwriter. When YouTube released their list of the most-watched music videos, eight of the ten videos were the work of female artists. In 2015, Taylor Swift broke records during her sold-out 1989 World Tour after being the first artist to sell one million records in 2014, Adele smashed charts with her album 25 by selling over three million albums the first week, and Beyonce, in addition to nabbing six Grammy nominations, became the first African-American artist to appear on the cover of Vogue’s infamous September issue. If the music industry is on fire, it is, in significant part, these women who lit the flame. As women’s roles in society have shifted, expanded, and evolved with a newfound embrace of feminism and push for equality, the world has opened up and allowed female leaders to have the floor—billboard chart leaders, included. In large part, it is the marketing of these modern-day icons that has changed the former “outsider” status of women in the music industry to one of triumph, change, and societal progress. Through the way they present and emphasize authenticity through their own career leadership, social media, and the social issues they choose to tackle—all of which are forms of self-marketing—Swift, Beyonce, and Adele are rewriting women’s roles in the music industry. Through an examination of authenticity, this blog will address the role of marketing in female leadership, musical, and social roles.

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