Richard Dyer’s Star Theory:According to Richard Dyer, a pop performer changes into apop star when their persona is aired to the public in othermeans than just their music. Changing from a popperformer to a pop star is beneficial, according to Dyer,because it is easy to forget an artists music withoutshowing parts of their persona. The star theory states thatcelebrities are constructed by institutions in order toappeal to a specific type of audience and financially gainfrom it. His theory can be separated into 4 areas, whichinclude stars as constructions, industry and audience,ideology and culture, character and personality. I amgoing to go into more detail about what each of thesemean and will use the example of Justin Bieber, who isconsidered a pop star and justifies these segments.
Stars as Constructions: Richard Dyer states that celebrities areconstructed/artificial images that are not real, butpresented as real to the audiences through their useof expressing emotions and beliefs Most celebrities will have a USP (unique sellingpoint) that will bring in fans and make them morememorable towards the public. This USP will beunique to that one celebrity and will allow them tostand out from any other pop stars. To summarise, it can be said that stars areconstructed images that the audience can becomeaware of through new stories in the press,magazines, having other famous partners and muchmore.
Justin Bieber: A Constructedstar Justin Bieber began his career as a younginternet sensation, who got discovered onYouTube. He came from a poor backgroundwith little money and developed into asuccessfully rich pop star. The history of hislife has become well known to the entire fanbase and Justin often expresses emotionsabout it. By showing him as an originallyunhealthy boy whose dreams came true, itmakes him more likeable and is an exampleof how he uses real life events that he hasbeen made to tell in order to bring in a wideraudience. Justin Bieber’s most unique selling pointwas probably his hair. During manyinterviews, on stage and even in thestreets, Justin was caught doing his famousflick of the hair and it immediately cought onwith the public and made him attractive toevery teenage girl of his age. Justin also had a phase recently when hedated Selena Gomez, another pop star. Thiswas a very popular story within the pressand was often stirred and out of context.
Industry and Audience: Richard Bryer’s star theory says that recordcompanies manufacture and construct artists in waysthat they think will appeal to audiences. This isbecause pop stars make money from their fans andso they would need to be presented in ways that arewhat audiences of that time want.This, therefore, makes pop stars a product of theirrecord company. This all serves a purpose; stars areshaped by record companies beause then audienceswill respond to the persona created by purhasingrecords and albums etc and earning them money.Nobody will spend their money on artists that areblunt and uninteresting and so the record companieshave a duty to make pop stars seem real andentertaining.
Justin Bieber: Industry andAudience It is obvious that Justin Bieber has changedfrom when he first came into the musicindustry, to now. His unique long hair hasbeen shortened because the style had wornoff and he needed to maintain popularitywith the press by doing something new andunexpected. Cutting off his hair caused himto be in many magazines and was talkedabout by all of his fans. It shows that hisrecord company thought Justin needed achange and it signifies his leap to maturityby changing his look. His new hair nowappeals not only to younger fans but also tonew, older audiences and this will thencause him to potentially earn more money. Justin also went through a phase where hewore supras shoes all of the time. This wasso that people would automaticallyrecognise who he was. He went on tocreate his own style which made him moremoney. All of this would have been theideas of his record company because it istheir duty to come up with ideas to makehim as much money as possible throughthe way in which he is presented to theaudience.
Ideology and Culture: Richard thought that pop stars were presentedas people who promote certain ideologies byconveying their beliefs and opinions outside oftheir music. They do this by sharing theircultural values and attitudes to the audience.This can be done throughtwitter, facebook, other social networkingsites, or interviews, etc. and can involvepromoting things such as charity or newfashion trends. These opinions and beliefs thatthey convey are what give the stars their ownunique persona and the cultural values willinterest the audiences.
Justin Bieber: Ideology and Culture Justin supprts and takes part in manydifferent charities and always encourageshis fans to donate and help with differentorganisations. For example, for his 17thbirthday present, he asked his fans todonate some money for clean water to helpout those in poor countries who have to usedirty, contaminated water to drink. BecauseJustin has suh a large fan base, this provedto be succesful and it put him in a goodspotlight to the audiences. Justin also shows how he can be supportivewith other charities that he does not organisehimself. One time Justins friend andmentor, Usher, was organising an event forhis own charity ad Justin offered to performlive to get more money for the cause. Another way in which Justin raisedawareness for charities is by releasing hissong Pray. In this song it shows scenes ofplaces affected by natural disasters, sickchildren, possessed homes and more. Thesong not only showed Justin in a good lightand as someone who cared for others, butalso encouraged the audience to not onlyappreciate their lives, but to also help thosethat are less fortunate than themselves. Other Things Justin does that make him agood role model for teenagers is visit hisfans when they are sik and in hospital. Hewill often perform a song directly to them.
Character and Personality: Before a pop performer becomes a pop star, they begin as a realperson. Their transformation from their record company turns them,however, into a construct. This construct aims to be as realistic aspossible and is not entirely fictional as they need to maintain a fan baseby being themselves. The construct is often based on the generationand will conform to what audiences will want to see. Pop stars usually use their characters to give audiences an ideology ofsociety. They do this by conforming to a certain ideology or by beingthe complete opposite. The reason for this is because pop stars areidolised and influential to many people and so their appearance,characters and personalities will often be imitated by their fans. A pop stars character and personality is established usually throughtheir music and their performance. Their music seems to develop associety develops. Audiences tend to judge what an artists personality islike through their songs. If a pop star writes their own songs, showscertain emotion in their songs, allows fans to relate to their music, givesideas of their own personal lives in their music, et, then the pop star willbecome more likeable and will be easier to make a connection with theaudience.
Justin Bieber: Character andPersonality Justin Bieber’s character has definitelychanged throughout the years. Hebegan as a 13 year old boy who had apassion for singing and got discoveredby Usher. His songs began as typicalteenage boy songs about girls, suchas ‘baby’ or ‘one time’ and thesemirrored his stereotypical 13 year oldboy attitude and behaviour. Theyhelped him gain a wide female fanbase and it was from here that his fanbase was introduced. As the years went ahead, Justin’ssongs got more modern to suit societyand he released more albums. Hestarted dating other pop stars andcelebrities such as Selena Gomez. His maturity was discovered when hewas caught smoking illegal drugs suchas weed. Justin also developed anattitude and is seen on manyoccasions getting angry at paparazzi.
Reflection: Getting star image right is important because the more pop starsappeal to audiences, the more money they will earn from them. It isimportant for pop stars to conform to society and influence fans indifferent ways. This can be done through their beliefs and opinions thatthey air and publicise through social networks or other ways. I will use Richard Dyers theory to create my own star image because Ithink it is important to get the image right and attract certain audiencesin certain ways. I now know what my pop star will have to do in order toachieve as much fame as possible and this includes supportingcharity, expressing her emotions in songs, having a unique selling pointthat makes her different to other and constructing her so that sheconforms to society. All of this will allow my pop star to set trend andbring in bigger audiences which will then make her more money andallow her to be more memorable to the audienes. Afterall, blunt, uninteresting pop performers will be forgotten after a whileand I want my star to have an impact on audienes for a long time, notonly through her music, but through the things she does outside of hercareer also.