Quit Disrespecting the Taste of Teenage Girls and Start Appreciating Justin Bieber
What helped out both The Beatles and Justin Timberlake is that they had the talent to keep those loyal teens around, even once they reached the teeny-bopper age limit and could watch their listenership expand. Isn't that exactly what acts like Justin Bieber and One Direction could foresee in their own futures?
Biebz, pop's Prodigal Son, had been discovered by Scooter Braun after the manager accidentally found the then-tween's precocious performance of Ne-Yo's "So Sick" in a local talent show. The five boys of One Direction were placed together after individually auditioning for and making it through to the next round of Britain's The X Factor, having showcased the extent of their own ranges and vocal abilities. While still "manufactured" by Simon Cowell via the reality show, it's hard to sell performances like Liam Payne's jazzy, big band delivery of Michael Buble's "Cry Me a River" as anything short of brilliant.
Maybe it's the intensity of the fervor that feels off-putting to the less pop-inclined -- younger fans have an almost cult-like obsession with their favorite acts. They own all the products, reenact Beatlemania-level riots at all their events, and have an unprecedented breadth of knowledge thanks to blogging communities and social network sites. It's really not that different from the level of engagement rock fans have with the bands they worship. We all know that one person who collects memorabilia emblazoned with mop-topped heads of John, Paul, George and Ringo, and we've probably had a chat or two with that other person who spends all their money on top-notch seats at multiple concerts in a singular tour for their favorite act.