*The creation of character identities for stars provides a
point of identification for the audience/spectator which
is especially important when lyrics often lack depth.
*The construction of stars is central to the economics of
the music industry – only stars guarantee sales and long
*Star loyalty is a key ingredient – fans are loyal to the star
*The audience knows its own tastes but the music industry
has long been able to work around this – The construction
of stars is one of the ways they do this.
*The record industry is very dependent on stars – many
record companies rely on a few big stars (or even just
one) to provide stability
*Stars are a phenomenon of consumption – that is they are a
result of our modern culture of consumeriem.
*There are a ranger of audience -> star relationships
* Most common, where ‘audience feels a loose attachment’ to the artist
* When the audience member places themselves in the same situation and
persona of the star
* This is apparently most common among the young and takes it beyond the
ordinary. The audience -> star relationship acts as a sort of model
* This is when imitation ends up when it becomes extreme – it doesn’t
happen often and it is when the fan’s behaviour becomes more than
simple mimicking of clothing, hairstyle etc.
‘No machinery ever of
itself and by itself made a
star. That takes place in
the depths of the
*Stardom is food for dreams and has escapist qualities
*It’s about conspicuous consumption – the way the wealthy show
off the fact that they are wealthy.
*Stars are ambiguous as they are both ordinary and special –
especially when thinking about the history of stardom – their
behaviours were modelled and lifestyles desired and perhaps are
now more influential and yet also more derided/deconstructed –
the majority of the older audience holds their views of stars with
a kind of postmodern knowingness
*Stars could stand for whole segments of society. However, stars
also tap into the ordinary and more recently perhaps, the notion
of the dream life of a star has died – however, think about x-
factor, BGT etc. Is the recent surge in the cult of celebrity
related to economics? To our loss of ‘faith’ and secularisation?
* Just as Nietzsche ‘announced’ that ‘God was dead’ perhaps it has almost
become like that for society – it appears that it doesn’t have anything to
believe in any more – those extravagant lifestyles of the rich and famous
have fallen before our eyes – they have been ‘deconstructed in their own
lifetime’. Conversely western culture seems to desire that ‘dream’ more
and more…these ideas are worth a good deal of contemplation and are
part of issues and debates in media studies.
* They do sell a lifestyle we think is ordinary/achievable – it’s like us but
better. Much of selling generally relies on this selling of a broader
‘lifestyle’ to some extent.
* Conspicuous consumption may not be as acceptable as it once was….how
do stars deal with this? Have they all adapted or are some ‘genres’ or stars
still very conspicuously consuming?
* The music industry/rock business has been seen as a destroyer as well as a
kind of ‘dream factory’
* Has the industry become more or less rebellious? Destructive?
*Stars can be political. Stars can serve legitimate
*Love is a predominant theme, with heterosexuality still
*Are stars typed – are there ‘good guys’, ‘bad guys’,
‘rebels’ albeit with different labels – can we categorise
them by ‘image’ rather than by genre or label? (And
some have multiple images – e.g. Madonna, Kylie)
BODY OF WORK CRITICISM/COMMENTS
* Who is the author of a star?
* INDIVIDUAL – do they decide?
* MULTIPLE – many authors can be seen in one piece of work - plurality
* COLLECTIVE – the author is the sum of a team’s work
* CORPORATE – the author is actually the company/business/institutional structure(s)
* What do you think?
* And from the AUDIENCE point of view…
* How do we view a star?
* What positions do we take?
* Why do we watch/listen?
Finally STARS ARE “Idols of consumption”