The Music Industry’s Age Limit On Success

Published: Tuesday 11th May 2010 by Trent

The music industry has many biases against women involving skin colour, body type and even the texture of their hair. However, the most prevalent of all these issues is the one that most people overlook: age. It seems that as soon as  a female artist nears the dreaded age of 40, the clock starts clicking against her, with each passing moment being nothing more than borrowed time. Indeed, while many may herald a woman’s 40th birthday as a milestone of achievement, the music industry considers it be an expiration date.

No matter how successful or famous the act, the age of 40 presents a hurdle that is near impossible to overcome. From Toni Braxton to Jennifer Lopez, female artists struggle to find their place on the charts amongst their younger counterparts, regardless of their talent or the strength of their material. For instance, Janet Jackson’s latest album, ‘Discipline’, boasted some of the best records she has released since 2001’s ‘All For You’, yet it has been unceremoniously overlooked by the masses. Yet, there is one thing that women can do remain relevant: change their target audiences.

Female artists receive tremendous pressure from their fans and critics alike to start “acting their age” once they enter their 40’s. Suddenly, the revealing clothing and playful lyrics that defined their music before their 40th birthday become taboo. These women are automatically expected to behave more ‘maturely’ and craft material to attract consumers within a similar age bracket on the Adult Contemporary formats. For instance, Mariah Carey,whose sex appeal is almost as famous has her vocal range, is being pressured to tone down her look and “grow up”. In fact, she was slammed by various critics for her #1 single ‘Touch My Body’ (which she made when she was 38) because of its “juvenile” lyrical content. It seems that women are expected to magically transform into political analysts as they grow older; placing their sex appeal and playfulness in a box, only to be used behind closed doors.

Interestingly, male artists do not face similar criticism for their musical efforts. Jay-Z and R. Kelly, for example, are both over the age of 40 yet neither have been told to adjust their lyrics. Quite notably, R. Kelly’s ‘Untitled’ album was littered with sexual content with hardly anything resembling the ‘mature’ sound of ‘I Believe I Can Fly’.

Thus, it seems that the music industry is just another construct of the male-dominated world in which we live, where women continue to be pressured to conform to certain standards that men manage to evade. Nonetheless, many may argue that women themselves are at fault for their own downfall. While it may be true that women have to work harder to achieve success in their 40’s, artists like Madonna and Sade Adu (who are both in their 50’s) continue to enjoy similar accomplishments to what they did in their youth. Maybe some female artists get too comfortable with their earlier achievements and their declining success is simply a signal from their longtime fans to step up their game.

Do you think that the music industry has an age limit

on success?

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  1. Deirdre B Pride May 11, 2010

    It would appear that way.

  2. jonstrax May 11, 2010



  3. TheYoungLion May 11, 2010

    Another b******* ass essay from Trent….. oh joy!!!

  4. MIKELo May 11, 2010

    i would say i dont really agree . Susan Boyle Sold more records last year than anyone i believe … and she aint 23 lol .

  5. Gary May 11, 2010

    i dont agree, aslong as the product is commercial then you should do well??

  6. Blasian May 11, 2010

    No I don’t believe that

  7. SupaCi May 11, 2010

    I think males are pressed to conform to s** symbols as well; Especially young males. No one noticed Trey Songz for 4 years until he started removing his shirt and singing sexual songs. D’Angelo said the cause of his drug abuse is because the industry pressed him to have a 6 pack and the only reason people would come to his shows is to see him get “naked” on stage.

    Even Chris Brown was pressed into losing weight and getting a 6 pack around the time of Exclusive. Drake & Jeremih often speak about them being in the gym trying to get fit. Also see Ruben Studdard, Luther Vandross and Biggie Smalls.

    I think the pressure is evenly put on everyone.

  8. TheYoungLion May 11, 2010

    R. Kelly album flopped worst than Mariah so wtf are you bitching about?? Mad cuz nobody is buying Mariah or Toni’s albums. Tell them old hags that they need to cross over in the pasture with Aretha, Chaka and Patti. We have NEW divas on the scene and its their time to shine. Mariah and Toni are DONE being the “it” girls. The cycle of life must continue..

  9. ADE May 11, 2010

    ugh Trent, u and ur damn useless essays! leave it out! SMDH

  10. FiercerMC May 11, 2010

    Double Standard!
    but you just can’t ignore a talented artist like MC

  11. BeyonceSoldier May 11, 2010

    I think music doesn’t have an age limit I. Sade who’s in her 50s left for 10 years and came back topped the Billboard 200 for weeks. I think the artist you mentioned like Mariah, Janet, JLo are trying to hard to be young, ESPECIALLY MARIAH! But I think the same for the guys also I am not a fan of Jay Z always sagging, I mean he’s in his 40s time to give that s*** up. You can still perform without people seeing your undies. But I guess that’s current-day rap *sighs*. So I feel all these “aging” artist and I use “aging” loosely because some of these artist are aging gracefully, like Sade. Anyways the industry didn’t stop these artist these artist stop themselves. And mind you these older artist don’t appeal to the younger generation. Like my mom is a HUGE Janet Jackson fan, the only reason I listen to Janet is because of her. Janet doesn’t appeal much to me as lets say Beyonce does. Thats because of a generation difference, Overall my answer to your question is NO!

  12. chrissy May 11, 2010

    U forgot mary! Now that’s a woman that knows her target audience and has a loyal enough fanbase, I think she’ll be ok for a few more albums to come.

  13. chelsie May 11, 2010

    SUBO was/is a product of a reality show.. a novelty. She was hyped due to prejudice about her looks ie frumpy, plain and seemed quite batty in the audition room. Her appeal was that she was “ugly'”, her sophomore will not make the same type of splash because “ugly” will only sell once.

  14. SupaCi May 11, 2010


    Susan Boyle’s sophomore album has already sold over 2 million copies in pre-orders… and she hasn’t even RECORDED it yet. So your point was null & void.

  15. Slick May 11, 2010

    I agree 100%

  16. Whatever May 11, 2010

    Seriously Trent, these articles you author are complete random and somewhat ridiculous. Look for example at powerhouses like Madonna, Cher, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin. All are over the age of 40 and still have careers in the industry. Granted, they may not be as popular as what they once were, there is no evidence to prove that they are facing some kind of prejudice for being women in the entertainment industry. If you don’t have any proper content to post, rather don’t post anything at all!

  17. Glow In The Dark May 11, 2010

    Its not a age limit on success. Its a problem, when you try to hard to act young.

  18. Me May 11, 2010

    somehow I agree!!!

    can’t wait for mariah to come back and shut up the haters!

  19. KB May 11, 2010

    I think has to do with showmanship and/or fanbase! Sade & Maxwell has a SOLID fanbase as does Mariah, Madonna & Whitney! Madonna however, she’s the BIGGER concert attraction & better showman like U2, Springsteen, Tina Turner & if Michael Jackson was still alive…..self explanatory! From what I can tell, its really the performers who prosper still & thats great to see!

  20. Anne May 11, 2010

    I agree with WHATEVER. Singers like Sade, Madonna, Cher, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Patti Labelle etc. remained competitive past 40 because they make good music. Janet, Toni, & Mariah have been releasing mediocre material. Male singers like R.Kelly & Joe have also struggled to remain competitive but someone with better recent material like Maxwell is at the top of his game. Old school artists can’t rest on their past material if they want to remain relevant, they have to continue to release top quality material or they will be left behind.

  21. Quiana May 11, 2010

    I do think there is double standards on women vs. men in the industry. I mean look at Jay- Z, he still sells out on all of his concerts, but yet he still calls women b****** and h*** and really don’t have nothing to talk about besides money I mean really. Hell the person who needs to grow up in her music is Beyonce’s ass, damn can I get something meaningful from her. Mariah needs to know her audience she really does, Mary knows her audience and what they want.

  22. stan May 11, 2010

    @WHATEVER the people you mentioned still draw big numbers when they tour. but as far as album sales goes, not so much.

  23. TheMan May 11, 2010

    Whitney, Madonna , Cher Celine all have their fan base but they can’t compete with these younger girls witht he record sales. their is nothing worse than watching a 40 plus year old women wear skimpy clothes trying to be s***, thats the worst.. not saying that women over 40 are not s***, but they have to do it with class like Mary, Halle, Whitney, not mariah, Madonna and Jlo.

  24. Anne May 11, 2010

    @Quiana: Meaningful Beyonce songs: Halo, Once In a Lifetime, Listen, Flaws and All, When I First Saw You, Daddy, Irreplaceable, Scared of Lonely, Resentment, Me Myself & I, Disappear, Broken-Hearted Girl.
    @Stan: Those artists also have/had respectable record sales at 40 ish. No one sells records like they use to b/c of the internet.

  25. Kev May 11, 2010

    I think what Trent has mention is valid. Many people don’t look at the big picture. The truth of the matter is that if you were a consistentlly successful diva and your career was lengthy (for 10 years or longer) the general public is sent a message that your washed -up. The records are not being promoted, the airplay is slowing down or non existent. There’s a lack of support. This is even happening when you generate intrest and pull rating in from live performances on shows or when concert seats are still being filled. Janet, Mariah, Jlo Toni and others in that bracket can release quality music that rival any artist of today and because of their age they find that their music is not seeing the light of day. Our culture dictates to us that something new is better and that those artist are the only ones that ashould be in demand. How many record are forced on you? That you hated in the beginning, but due to heavy rotation at radio and promotion you end up giving in and finding a way to appreciate something about it! That their tactics to create that intrest and so many new artist(whether their music stinks or is actually a solid record) get a shot at having a hit song these days. The veterans do not get that opportunity. Unless it’s a long awaited comeback or a special circumstance with some kind of story. Those artist that created good music consistently like Janet and Mariah don’t get a fair deal. Alot of other things come into play like race and even bans, but that’s a different discussion. It’s sad that these days if it’s not a gimmick or something odd or rare about you as an older artist(like Susan Boyle) you will not stand a chance. Trust me if Susan was out since 2000, she would not be celebrated even if she had released the same album, music and all that made her the big star she is today!

  26. Sarah May 11, 2010

    I disagree completely. In women like Mariah’s case, she desperately tries to remain relevant by putting on this fake eternally 12 persona and completely refusing to grow up. I honestly think she has serious issues and mental problems and I’m a lamb. I mean think about it. What 40 year old would even want to behave the way she does? She desperately and pathetically tries to hold on to her youth and I’m starting to wonder what Mariah is going to do when the wrinkles start to kick in because you can’t stop the inevitable from happening. I just think Mariah is kinda wacked out.

    Toni B. is basically on the same page, except MATURE. She just released her album trying to come off as a Rihanna clone by taking pages out of a Rihanna book and is trying to stay relevant by following after what the younger crowd of female artists are doing. I can’t explain why Toni’s career is a bust but maybe album sales doesn’t matter to her.

    Janet J’s career has been f***** since the Superbowl and she, just like Toni, is no longer relevant. She was wise for taking a break from music and not planning to release anymore material. I think Janet needs time to find herself again because ‘Janet Jackson’ is no longer there.

    Can’t say much about Madonna because though her albums don’t sell much in the US, she’s a global phenomenon and her last tour is the highest grossing tour EVER by a female recording artist. You can’t beat that. Even if the US completely turn their backs on Madonna, she still has her loyal fanbase overseas.

  27. Sarah May 11, 2010

    J. Lo’s supposed music career is a joke and she has absolutely no kind of talent musically and nobody even gives a s***. As a matter of fact, it’s insulting to even have her name in the same sentence as the rest of the ladies.

    Being 40 is not J.Lo’s problem but she is too much of a joke and to many.

  28. Liberal May 11, 2010

    Sade is successful and having more success than youngin. Not all of the young female artist get a chance. if they dont sell they’re out the door.

  29. SEAN2010 May 11, 2010










  30. Kev May 11, 2010

    I don’t think Jlo is doing anything different now than from what she started out with. Her music has actually gotten stronger. Her voice is stronger(with all her coaching). her style of music is developed. She has her own sound. It’s not getting any promotion. It’s difficult for those artist to get over that hump. Janet was being banned since the superbowl, let’s be honest. Her albums had hits on each and every one of them that was released! Many people that think otherwise haven’t heard any of her work. Whose playing it? Toni is not a Rihanna clone, she’s had the short hair first. Hands Tied is traditional Toni and it fits in for today’s music and she is not getting major airplay. We all know Mariah works hard and even if you don’t love every song, she does nail it with every other song. She’s being looked over as well. There are other factors besides age! It’s a fact, but there is discrimination and I agree you can’t be the it girl forever, but why do we have to completely throw these artist away. When will we ever have any legends that can still be in their prime. We are so quick to replace them! We give everyone 20 years -max and it’s like okay, we have so and so now, goodbye!

  31. Kev May 11, 2010

    Sean 2010… Amen. These people have to die, for folks to then recognize that their music is still good! MJ, was a clown for over a decade before we decided to honor him once he died. These women in the business have it hard. I love Alicia, Bey and Ciara… but why do we have to cancel out the women that pave the way for them. Their music is solid, trust me they are not slipping!

  32. Teflon Boy May 11, 2010

    I think while it may seem that way, Sade has proved that if you respect your fanbase and don’t force albums on them willy nilly and ensure the quality is really high the demand created means they’ll likely support you each outing. Also, general audiences get bored. It’s not about aging gracefully so much as evolving. I love Toni Braxon but the reality is she has been off the boil as an artist for a while now so even though she’s comeback somewhat vibrant, she is yet to convince the masses she’s a modern product they can rely on. Mariah on the other hand I almost feel that while her fanbase are loyal and love her as the relevant icon she is and respect her singing, they are basically voting with their wallets regarding what they think of her cheap juvenile image, lacklustre creative output etc. She is the only artist on your list who refuses to evolve. It’s a shame because on each of her recent projects there has bee a smattering of good material but because audiences judge artists on their singles, image and videos these days before they ventue off and check out their albums Mariah is shooting herself in the foot…, and Clearly it’s because she likes herself a certain way and that’s cool for her personal life but the reality is that her audience is asking her now for something else and she seems to keep abandoning them for younger and younger tastes. Lastly, she never takes a break but if she let the anticipation build for her projects they might begin to sell better.

    Ps. IMO Emancipation sold because not only did it sound like she’d grown, evolved and calmed down a bit in between albums, she’d also been gone long enough for people to ask ‘Where’s Mariah?’ Believe it or not, that helps

  33. Kyus93 May 11, 2010

    Tell that to Sam with his Mariah’s ‘expired s** appeal’ comments all the time

  34. SOOS May 11, 2010

    You have forfot CELINE DION. She had no huge #1 singles this decade, but she sold millions of records this decade off her new albums, and also made one of the biggest tours in this decade around the world in 2007-2008 with Taking Chances. (Maybe if it had had as big ticket prices as Madonna had, Celine’s tour would have been the top grossing concert around the world. Just Celine is not a money-centric person like Madonna (I am a huge fan of Madonna, but she is so money-centric when it comes to concert tour)

    Dispite Taking Chances was not a 6-7-8 million sold record (but it is an awesome record), her concerts were full of with ten thousands of people around the world.



  35. SOOS May 11, 2010

    forgot, not forfot 😀

  36. chocolate May 11, 2010

    I thank you trent for this story. I really do this has been an issue for sooo long and I think it’s time for change. These Legends like (Whitney, JAnet. Toni, Mary J. and Mariah etc.) are all in there 40’s now….RADIO will not give them a fair chance and that sucks. What ever happened to if you still got it FLAUNT IT! There music is still relavant. There legend is undeniably un matched. But yet there 40! it’s time to plot a grave for them. That is not fare. These woman sold over 40 plus Million albums with long lasting careers spanning over 20 years and because there 40! they are being pushed to the back of the BUS like ROsa Parks. That’s insane to me. I feel as long as you stay FRESH, Look great you should get the fair shot if not more due to your longevity in this music industry, but thats not the case. These young girls (RIhanna, Miley, Taylor and Gaga) will never sell as many records as these Older women have. It will take them an enternity to do so. I wish there was something we can do to make sure everyone gets a fair shot at the TOP of the charts again. AGE is nothing but number. Thank you for this article.

    Toni (40 plus) has a hit album and single and NO she is not copying Rihanna, baby girl….RIhanna took pages out of her book. Her music is as fresh and new. She even reinvented herself and STILL No Airplay. WHY?

    JANET is still and have been relavant (no honestly) she isn’t musically anymore because RADIO killed her music career due to the SUPER BOWL fiasco. She has been making GOOD music her entire career but the BAN, No Airplay, 40 plus, and lord knows alot of other things I will not mention has caused her to be where she is. Okay I will go in about this girl….she black, she a JACKSON, and she was the baddest b**** in the game for over 20 plus years. They couldn’t wait to kill her music off. It’s not fare?

    J.LO – well I like her music but she is a 40 million albums sold diva. I can’t say anything negative about that rather you or I think she hot or not she sold albums. Since she turned 40 it’s slowing down for her.

    MARIAH- Has more #1’s than anyone and her age is playing against her now. Her last album had a HUGE HIT “Obsessed” which I still hear on all formatted radio stations across the US. BUt the sales say something else. Okay she got the radio play but the charts say something else! That’s weird.

    Mary J. – She knows her audience but her sales are lacking and if you ask me she is trying to stay young and fresh but Is it working? Her last single has been pushed to no limit and still nothing has come from it. Hip Hop stations have started to slow down on her too. HEr song with Drake, got yanked off the Hip Hop Stations quick.

    WHITNEY- was the most anticipated artist of the decade that’s what got her BACK on TOP but Radio won’t play any of her hot songs from that album. WHY!?

    It’s unfair these divas got to work 10 t imes as hard to get noticed when there music clearly speaks for itself and they deserve the same respect. They are ICONS and LEGENDS for a reason and should be treated as such! EQUAL.

  37. Dave May 11, 2010

    I completely agree, except Mimi’s latest album was a snoozefest to me. Ballads can be good, her album was just uninspired to me though

  38. SpunkyDoc May 11, 2010

    ^^^TRUE TRUE TRUE……it’s not right these legends have to be pushed to the side to make room for the younger girls. It’s a sad case. Music is universal and speaks to all ages and groups why can’t this go for the older women as well.

  39. Kev May 11, 2010

    Teflon, that’s a good point. Artist may gain some intrest after taking a break and building up some kind of demand. It’s just that in today’s music scene that is a death sentence(in most cases). Alot of popular artist keep releasing albums because the public now have short attention spans. These artist that are having problems at 40 will have even bigger problems once their 50 or approaching it. Yes, Sade is an exception… but even with her how many songs from her album do you hear on the radio? She has a loyal fanbase and I think because she was big(but not a mega diva) she is able to find that success again. Those singers that have achieved superstar status at some point have it worst. Those are the people that everyone don’t want to see on top. It’s fine if your a lowkey kind of act that did well in the past, but if your not and your new material is hella good you still won’t get that much love(in most cases where you are not making a huge comeback or in a special circumstance).

  40. Stacey May 11, 2010

    If you use s** to sell, eventually you will expire. Real talent never dies. Mariah, quite frankly, has started to lose her voice, and Braxton refuses to focus on her singing and is still trying to seduce people.

    This is what happens when you’re all hype and no substance. You fade because you can be easily replaced. You don’t see Patti, Gladys, Sade, etc.

  41. Kev May 11, 2010

    There’s nothing wrong with being mature and seductive. Toni is a perfect example of that. She looks better than so many artist half her age! She’s not being raunchy or too overly sexual. She is honestly a very s*** woman and I don’t see why using that should be held against you.

  42. Mosh May 11, 2010

    I disagree. Lets be real neither Janet, Mariah, Toni, Jlo made a HIT SONG in last few years…
    Madonna still makes hits and she is over 50.

  43. bobby from bulgaria May 11, 2010

    It’s obvious… somebody decides what music should be played and what not…

    And some people get away with showing their s** appeal to the point of being really vulgar while others are asked to put on their clothes…

    Some people get away with worshipping the Devil, showing almost nude in their videos, promoting drugs, alcoholism and murder while the others promoting LOVE and FAITH IN GOD are left in the back…

  44. SpunkyDoc May 11, 2010

    ^^^ AMEN Kev! If you got it , you got it. Toni has s*** class and very age appropriate.

  45. SpunkyDoc May 11, 2010

    MOSH it’s because they were approaching 40 plus and Radio refuesed to play or support there albums. That’s why they haven’t had a hit in years.

  46. ugggghhh May 11, 2010

    Well I don’t agree, I think that article was just a way of coping with Mariah’s fading career. I think the real is people respect real music and detect fake gimmicks (to sell records) . You need to stop trying to put Mariah Carey on such a high platform and realize she no longer has that “It” factor. Yes she is talented but i think the public has seen just about enough of her immature behavior and sub-par music.
    You and Sam try so hard to make her competition look so bad when in fact its her who is suffering a career blow.. not Christina, Leona, or who ever else you all try to bash. (funny we never see any stories about Mariah, besides ass kissing ones)

    please put up some real news no matter how many other names you throw up in there we all know this is about Mariah.. i mean for Christ Sake you put her picture up as the main picture????

  47. Kev May 11, 2010

    @Mosh, how do you get a hit record if radio decides that their canning your career. Madonna is a legend as well, but she’s white and she doesn’t have the same obstacles. I’m not interested in making it a race thing, but that does play a part. If your an r&b/pop diva and your no longer being played on pop radio(you can count on 1 or 2 hands how many blacks female artist are let “in”… not many), but r&b radio is constantly fixated on finiding the new this and that. Usher barely got back in. I’m sure if Chris Brown wasn’t banned for his foolishness that would not even be the case!

  48. Sarah May 11, 2010


    We all know you are a stupid little Janet fan who stans for her very hard. Please stfu with your bs. Janet is still relevant?? GTFOH. The industry has left her behind and she has had flop disaster after flop disaster and hasn’t had a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in almost damn near a decade. Noone said that she doesn’t influence people. That will never go away but as far as her music career, it has been irrelevant since the Superbowl and if it hadn’t been for her stupidity and trying to get some publicity by flashing her tit, she probably would still have a hot career. Why do you think she hasn’t signed to a record label, you idiot? Or why do you think she’s chosen not to release any new material? That’s right. Janet hasn’t been “Janet Jackson” in years, so I’m correct when I said she lost herself.

    Excuse me? Nobody said anything about short hair. Toni rocked the short hair way back in the 90’s but never have I seen her with the side of her head shaved up untll now. It’s obvious that she’s been watching Rihanna and possibly even Pink. Her hairstyle looks lik it was taken right out of Rihanna’s play book.

    J.Lo’s voice has gotten stronger?? In what areas? She still sounds like pure s*** to me. I heard the Barbra Streisand recording. You folks need to stop coming up with these lame ass tired excuses.

  49. Kev May 11, 2010

    …to finish that last statement, I’m making a point that if you face that delimma you have no audience.

  50. Sarah May 11, 2010

    Mosh, what you mean Mariah hasn’t had a hit song in a few years? Ummmm….TMB was a #1 smash and she did well with Obsessed.

    Know what you’re talking about before spewing bs.

  51. Kev May 11, 2010

    Sarah, girlfriend… Toni shaven head was an updated version. It’s 2010 was she supposed to look exactly the same? There are many artist doing that look, not just Rihanna and just because you are doing that it doesn’t mean your rockin’ out like Pink. Jlo’s voice is stronger, it’s obvious if you observe it objectively. She has done a few live performances and it’s evident. Janet has been banned! How many times must it be said??? You must get radio play to have a solid hit! If your favorite artist stop being played today(assuming that it may be a popular one out now), eventually their following will die down and people won’t even know that their out when they release new music.

  52. SpunkyDoc May 11, 2010

    SARAH you need to stfu you have to understand your music and artist before you start talking out your friggin nose. Janet Jackson has not flopped, her albums didn’t sell well because people never heard them on the got damn radio and some people didn’t even know she had albums out after Super Bowl. She still went platnum after that so you don’t know s***. I bet you the stupid b**** who never buys albums you probably download music.

  53. SpunkyDoc May 11, 2010

    oh and JLO does sound gREATTT!!! You wont hear the songs though because she over 40!

  54. SpunkyDoc May 11, 2010

    Mariah should have had a #1 hit with “Obsessed” but strangely enough it wasn’t!!! Oh I f orgot she was approaching 40 too.

  55. SpunkyDoc May 11, 2010

    the whole POINT of this thread and topic is the artist that are 40 plus are not getting the FARE shot of airplay and promo as they should. Some of you are plain dumb asses and need to do your research before coming on this here blog. There is no rule that says your 40 roll over and die. These woman over 40 look better than half you b****** who are 20, so fall back and take f****** notes before you talk s*** about the legends.

  56. Kev May 11, 2010

    LMAO @ Spunkydoc… Your so right. I wish it was their first album sometimes. That’s probably the only way they could get airplay for 1 album.

  57. Bobs May 11, 2010

    What’s the point of these dumb-ass, 6th grader reports that aren’t fact-checked or researched?


    MEN and WOMEN alike do not top the hot 100 very after after the age of 40 – but they sell their concerts out to the hilt.

    In fact women like CHER, TINA achieved mega-success AFTER 40.

    To mention Toni Braxton at all is mind blowing. No one has cared about her since the 90’s.

  58. chocolate May 11, 2010

    ohhh yesssss darling @Sarah, you have no idea little girl. Yes I am a Janet fan and Mariah fan and I will tell you this much. JANET is a victim of circumstance. Her music speaks for itself. Do ya RESEARCH. JANET is still headlining events and the whole 9. If she wasn’t relevant, would they still have her own shows and concert arenas. JANET got the full brothel of this age wrath because of who she is. My little neices love JANET and they are under 12. So how dare you talk trach about an ICON/LEGEND who has been doing this since the age of 7 and call her irrelevant. Is you out ya damn mind. JANET paved a lonnngggg way for these young b****** and I figure she would be the last female artist over 40 they would do that too, but they did it too her first!!!! so f*** off!

  59. chocolate May 11, 2010

    BOBS @ your dead wrong, TONI has a new album/cd in stores now you better go get it! Honey child…..It’s worth a listen and YES we do care about TONI in the 90’s and TODAY! thank you very much.

  60. Kev May 11, 2010

    @Bobs, Cher and Tina did find success after they were well beyond 40. It’s just not consistent success, they’re not giving the same platform repeatedly. Again, those were comebacks. It’s only far a project. What’s love got to do with it and Believe did allow them to resurface, but it didn’t starta new beginning for them. That’s the difference. Yes there are a few instances here or there, but can an artist do it more than once? It’s spread out like and perhaps a few get a turn, but what about 1 person continuing on to have a career again? …That’s what’s not allowed.

  61. All Ryght May 11, 2010

    In today’s world this new generation is not excepting veteran’s that been in the game for years because they didn’t grow up listening to them as kids. They may know of the artist heard a few songs but never caught the true essence of the artist in their earlier days of their career. Therefore you hear alot of , “Ohh Janet needs to sit her old ass down, or Mariah needs to tone down her s*** image.” Look they can do whatever they want to do because they paid their dues in the music world and they want to keep that legacy afoot. These women are in their 40’s & look better than some women in their 20’s so i believe thats where alot of hate comes from too. So in a nutshell I’m rooting for all of the female artist i grew up listening to as a child because most of them still got it & sound better than alot of these breast milk babies.

  62. TheBlogManLAMB May 11, 2010

    The problem with Janet & Mariah is that they’re are releasing mediocre material. The reason why Toni Braxton isn’t selling is because she’s underpromoted. Most people didn’t even know she had an album coming out, because they’re not playing her music on the radio. Trent, it’s not an age limit on success. Tina Turner is 70 years old & a year ago she had a sold out world tour. Celine Dion, Whitney, Madonna..etc STILL Sell Out World Tours. Mariah Did It To Herself, By Making This Teeny-Bopper Music That No One Wants To Hear. Yes, People Listen to the b**** Ke$ha or whatever, but they dont expect that from Mariah Carey, who is a LEGEND. When Janet & Mariah Make QUALITY Music, & Finds A Record Label That Will Actually Promote Them, They’ll Succeed. STOP making these random posts, BTW. It seems as if you’re trying to gain publicity for Mariah. They hate on her & the lambs enough as it is.

  63. chocolate May 11, 2010


  64. Anne May 11, 2010

    @SPUNKYDOC: I hate the song ‘Obsessed’, I think the lyrics are so amateur-like; so maybe it didn’t go to number one b/c not enough people liked it although it got a lot of airplay just like ‘Touch My Body’ (which I also hated but it went to #1 so I guess enough others liked it).
    @ CHOCOLATE: Toni, Mariah & Mary J. get a lot of radio airplay; if enough people liked their music enough to buy it, it would sell more (BOTTOM LINE). I agree that Janet has been somewhat blackballed since the superbowl but I have noticed that the releases don’t sound as good as the older ones either. Maybe she should work Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis again.

  65. dodo May 11, 2010

    The music industry! that’s a joke. No one will get airplay and become famous unless they sell their soul. To become famous you have to do alot of things nowdays, and its been going on for sometime now. READ VIGILANT CITIZEN.COM Read then scroll down on each picture then click on them. This is ashame and the older singers will not stand for it. The music industry is very different now. Nothing, I mean Nothing is like years ago

  66. Anne May 11, 2010

    @All Ryght: The two old school artists you named, Janet & Mariah have vocal issues so I don’t agree that they sound better than the real singers of today. Mariah has substantially lost a lot of her vocal ability and Janet was never really a strong vocalist although we didn’t notice back then b/c we were so busy enjoying the music and checking out her moves –she was the first to introduce choreography at that level. I think many singers of today like Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Leona Lewis, etc can sing circles around Janet and can more than compete with what Mariah has left. Who does Janet sound better than?

  67. chocolate May 11, 2010

    Janet sounds better than let me see Madonna, Ciara, Britney, Cassie, J.Lo, may I go on….. Janet not just known for her vocals she is known for her entertainment performance the entire package.

  68. Kev May 11, 2010

    @Anne Janet may not be a power house vocalist, but there are many in the same lane that’s doing just fine. Rihanna and Britney aren’t exactly easy on the ears, their music is still becoming hit songs! It’s always come down to the material(it’s been that way for as long as we can remember- that’s the case whether your a good or bad vocalist.
    @The blogmanlamb, your right people don’t know Toni is out. It’s an automatic fail. Nothing can be done even when your label is backing you, when radio refuse to acknowledge your work. That’s the problem. People aren’t given the option to like anything if they don’t hear it!

  69. Anne May 11, 2010

    Okay, I agree Janet sounds a little better or in the same lane as Britney, Rihanna, Ciara, J.Lo, & Cassie (which I don’t know why she’s on the list b/c she never really had a hit). I also agree that it comes down to the material. I think that’s the bottom line.

  70. All Ryght May 11, 2010

    @ Anne you really got me all f***** up with what i said! Please re-read what i wrote. I never said anything about anyone’s vocal abilities! Dam i swear…WTF do ya’ll be reading? Ya’ll read just a little bit & turn people’s words all around! Try again boo boo! S.B what school did some of you graduated from or are you still in school?? Knowledge is the key!

  71. LUV-LEE May 11, 2010

    First of all…

    Was always, and will ALWAYS be!!!

    And second, Mariah Carey over does it for a 23 year old. She dresses like she stuck in the 80’s. She used to be so sophisticated when she first came on the scene. But ever since she got divorced she tried to become this whole other person. She even had a mental breakdown!! As far as Mariah specifically, IMO I feel that she shoulda been toned it down years ago. Less is more.

  72. dazja May 11, 2010


  73. lihalee May 11, 2010

    For women like Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight they may no longer have huge recording careers but they do have a music career. They can still sing and many of them still do concerts. Some of these women careers span over 40years and I think at the end of the day you want longevity. You don’t want to be a flash in the pan. You don’t always have to be on every blog, every gossip site to show that you are relevant; you may not be relevant to the young fan base but you may be very relevant to your own base and if you can continue doing what you do which is sing and make money then its good.
    I think the problem with Mariah is that she can no longer sing like she use to and she is still carrying on as if she is 20 but that may be a self esteem issue. However she is a very shrewd business woman and she is a good song writer (so she may be able to tap into another side of the industry) so money wise she will be fine.
    Rhianna and Britney and in their 20’s will they be able to continue do what they are doing now in their 50’s , that is the question?
    No they won’t to think that you can continue doing what you did when you were 20 now that you are 50 is not realistic and that is for everyone.

  74. SEAN2010 May 11, 2010









  75. Glow In The Dark May 11, 2010

    Nobody can touch Queen Janet and Queen Mariah. #Thatisall

  76. Eric May 11, 2010

    I think Janet Jackson’s problem is not her age at all. Young ppl of this generation still like her, They still dance to her music and all. I think she is still relevant to this day. Her thing is she doesn’t get airplay at all on radio and on TV anymore ever since the Superbowl. She’s been blacklisted. Many people may not want to believe but its truth. Mariah and the rest has no excuses to be flopping because they get 100% airplay and promotion. Janet in the other hand, has to work twice as hard then the others, these days to promote her music. Janet’s gets no airplay and yet still manage to get a #1 album and HITS. Yes Feedback is a HIT and as well as Call On Me. Its her lasts HITs since 2001’s “Someone to call my Lover”, however. Janet as always been ahead of her time. Janet can still compete with the Beyonces, Britney’s, Rhi Rhi’s, Ciara’s and GaGa’s of today. Her music is just the same has there’s and sometimes better. She even out dance all of them till this day. She always changes her style and never stays the same with every album.
    I hate when people is fast to say that her recent albums were flops. How can they be flops if all of them MINUS Discipline went Platinum and sold millions around the world. (DJ sold nearly 5.1 million WW that’s included U.S and 20 Y.O sold 3.3 million WW also included U.S) Google it.. Now, somebody plz explain if Beyonce’s Bday & I Am… Sasha Fierce albums has sold 6 Million WW each and it consider a major HIT how the hell JJ’s DJ with 5.1 million is a flop???.. Um, Rihanna’s A Girl like Me album sold 3.5 million WW and that’s a major HIT for her but JJ’s 20 Y.O, 3.3 million WW is a major Flop!! Plzzzzzzz explain, That’s pretty damn good for a women who doesn’t get enough airplay or promotion compare to the others. Maybe its flops compare to her older sles, when she was doing 15-20 million WW but hello, the music industry has changed, No one sales 20 million WW anymore. At the end of the day the music industry is shady against Janet who happen to changed the music industrys foundation, but she still brings it hard like the trooper she is. Janet is in a whole different problem compare to Mariah and the rest.

  77. chocolate May 11, 2010

    oh and MAKE ME was #1!!!! on the DANCE CHARTS….and her new single “Nothing” from the WDIGMT soundtrack is doing well for her….so if thats irelevant than what the f***! that sounds very relavant to me!

  78. PLAIN AND SIMPLE May 11, 2010

    I love that song “Nothing” It’s the sound track from Why Did I Get Married Too

  79. X,Y,”and Z” May 11, 2010

    This is Trent’s “answer” to Sam’s recent not-too-nice MC comment/review!!!
    But Sam, this “trend/standard(double)” IS changing, no? Isn’t 30 the “new-40”?? And weren’t the leading/best-sellers for 09 women? …Susan Boyle and-they-likes; and they’re all near-or-past 40y/o, no?

    In any case, if MC had Madonna’s body, Sam wouldn’t have had a-thing-to-say; now would he?
    And-speaking-of ‘the gifted-one’, is HE at that “Last Girl On Earth” concert…..?
    Trent, tell our-boy we await…….with “bated-breath!”

  80. CrackisWack May 11, 2010

    While I agree that women past 40 struggle in the music industry I think your “essay” is a bit deceiving. You fail to mention that Sade is over 40 and so is Mary J. Blige and they sell just fine. And then you cite R. Kelly to support your point as if he is some top selling male artist at the current moment. Give me a break. How many male singers over 40 are doing anything either? Please name them for me…

  81. Kev May 11, 2010

    Very well said Eric! @Crack is wack, I think R.Kelly was mentioned to drive a point home because he was one of the leading and top selling r&b artist. His album sales aren’t great either, but I think he was comparing how women and men are criticized differently. Jay Z and Kellz are able to avoid ageism and have hit records and airplay. No one ever dictates to them that their too old to do x,y and z. For females it’s a different standard their held up too.

  82. tracy May 11, 2010


    Me and many people of my generation prefer Janet over Beyonce so nice try. It isn’t just down to generational difference, it’s down to the change in the music industry and the individual taste of music listeners.

  83. ella May 11, 2010


    Janet was never really a strong vocalist although we didn’t notice back then b/c we were so busy enjoying the music and checking out her moves –she was the first to introduce choreography at that level.

    um Janet was NOT the first to introduce choreography at that level. Her BROTHER Michael Jackson was. She followed suit. What a ridiculous statement to make.

  84. ella May 11, 2010


    There are people in the new generation who prefer Janet Jackson over Beyonce, just like there are those who prefer Michael Jackson over Usher/JustinTimberlake/ChrisBrown. If it weren’t for MJ or JJ, those imitating artists wouldn’t exist.

  85. SEAN2010 May 11, 2010





  86. Sarah May 11, 2010

    Sean aka airhead. Apparently you, chocolate and spunky care about what I have to say, seeing as you all responding pretty harshly. I must have really hit a nerve lol.

    And spunky, Janet did not flop? What the eff do you call her last album and the one before it, you f***** moron? Lmao. Again. Janet’s music career is completely irrelevant and the general public doesn’t give a s*** anymore.

    People are only giving her work because they felt and still feel bad for the death of her brother. I bet you the VMAs and Essence wouldn’t have even bothered asking her had it not been for Michael dying. The truth hurts, I know.

    So long, losers lol.

  87. BEN May 11, 2010

    I do think that older artists such as MC, R.Kelly, Toni, and a few others do tend to conform to what is popular as opposed to their own signature styles. All 3 of these artists sound completely different today than they did 15-20 years ago. It is a good thing, for them, yes, because it possibly means more money in the long run in order to compete, and no, because people are starting to notice the lack of quality in their music now.

  88. BEYONCE VS. THE WORLD May 11, 2010


  89. Anne May 11, 2010

    @ Ella. My bad, M.J. was first. In my defense I was thinking of females when I said Janet was first. She brought more of a s*** & hip flavor to the choreography that inspired countless female artists to include choreography in their performances.

  90. Anne May 11, 2010

    @Ella & Tracy: I’m sorry but my standards for an artist’s vocal abilities are a lot higher than they use to be when I was a kid enjoying Janet Jackson. I have matured now and that level of vocal ability is just not good enough for me. This overall entertainer crap is just an excuse to praise a SINGER with mediocre singing ability. In my opinion singing is always the main ingredient and if a recording artist is limited in that department than so is my respect for them as a recording artist. In comments above people had to list artist with little vocal talent like Britney, Ciara, J.Lo & Cassie as examples of newer artists that Janet can outsing. That’s nothing to brag about. I personally wouldn’t spend one penny on any of those so-called singers. So, I am one of those older generation music fans who would prefer someone like Beyonce over Janet.

  91. xratedforj May 11, 2010

    The ladies over 40 are not given the same opportunity now adays like when they were back in their haydays. Substance doesnt have anything to do with it, Rudeboy was #1 and tell what substance is in that particular song? The music industry is fickly and phony and they treat some of the veterans like they don’t have no clue of who they are now adays.

    Mayb some are not seeing clearly…because Janet is still doing her thang and been doing her thang. Radio did abandon her for a good minute and when people don’t hear you they think you not there. Janets videos have been on point like they were back in the day. Still hitting the moves. She constanly is changing her image, style, dance, stage. You tell me how many other artist and I use that loosely really put hard work into every aspect of their package. Very few have created a dynamic artistry catalog that will be apart of music history. Most of the artist today put out “anything” and they blow up and you got people that been doing their thang for decades and want even play them on the radio! At the end of the day substance don’t have nothing to with it in these days of music. Its basically who is hot at the moment! So I do agree that women do have it a lil harder especially if over 40.

  92. Steven May 12, 2010

    Touch My Body is Mariah’s #1 selling song on iTunes. As long as people buy it, she’s gonna keep doing it.

  93. ricanstar May 12, 2010

    women are unfairly treated and its very rare for women to be almost the same as they once were like the lucky madonna. you can scream this isnt true but it is especially in urban music its disgusting how we expect girls to just transform outta no where. look in alot of these videos you see the “typical” black girl is jumping rope has braids with the beads simply being a child then the automatic transition is shes in the video with magically long wet hair moving seductively has her lips slightly open showing no emotion but truely sexual. yet we buy it we do this to our own women camera always going up and down their body giving little attention to their face, their ass is their asset or there b****** men dont have this problem ok u can give the little trey songs example but he wanted attention and if his music wasn’t enough he was gonna look to other means to get it and if that is singing about s** and taking his shirt off he will do it. but the point is women have to do this first and most often but it dont matter cuz we tell the artist to grow up how about we grow up as a society but nah thats to hard so keep on worshiping these young s** symbols and continue to toss them to the side once they hit 40 you only really loved their music cuz it came in a package with their appearance if jlo janet mariah all did thier songs wearing sweats and a loose ass tee would they have been as appealing to watch and desire? gender equality may be better then it used to be but it sure as hell aint where it should be.

  94. Chaz May 12, 2010

    @Ella if you took the time out to do some in depth research on Janet then you would know that she actually has very good vocals. Why is it that people always think that a great singer has to be a loud singer. To me it is not about how loud a singer can sing but the actual tonation and musicality in their voice. Janet has a beautifully soft voice but can also belt it like in her songs “Again”, “Scream”, “Love Will Never Do”, “Rhthym Nation”, “Anytime Anyplace”, “All For You”, etc.

    Also, you should not diminish the fact that she can put on one hell of a show and entertain your ass. Even some artists with powerful voice but on a boring ass show to the point where it doesn’t matter how good they sing. You give Janet too little credit and I suggest that you spend an evening doing your Janet research before dogging one of the most celebrated artists in music history.

  95. LUV-LEE May 12, 2010

    @ ERIC


  96. Kevin May 12, 2010

    Such a well written article, good to see that blogs aren’t all mindless gossipy drivel

  97. GREG May 12, 2010


    I think your comment was meant for TRACY not ELLA

  98. Anne May 12, 2010

    CHEZ: It’s NOT about being loud. Stephanie Mills, Deniece Williams, Angela Bofil, Anita Baker, Brandy, Eryka Badu, Minnie Ripperton, on & on, are examples of soft, sultry, beautiful STRONG voices, they really SING. Janet, who mostly lip syncs, has a little weak, whisperry voice in my opinion and she can’t hold any notes and I would not put her on a list like the names above. She is just not a good vocalist in my opinion in the studio or out. There are many great, not boring female ENTERTAINERS with great stage presence who can ALSO really sing like Tina Turner, Celine Dion, Beyonce, Pink, Patti Labelle, Lauren Hill, etc. Also, since when is great singing boring? Some of you people need to grow up. Natalie Cole, the late Lena Horne, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Dianne Reeves, Teena Marie, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, etc. can JUST SING and still be entertaining (if you’re a great singer you can get away w/sitting on a stool w/ a mic in you hand during the entire performance & still entertain the heck out of the crowd).


    I love how Janet fans get on the Internet and lie about her sales. You fools vandalize her Wikipedia articles with inflated numbers, get on forums and blogs telling blatant lies.

    Damita Jo did NOT sell anywhere near 5.5 million worldwide, you dunce. Nor has 20 Y.O. sell over 3 million.

    * DJ sold a little over 1 million in the US, and 2.4 million worldwide.
    * 20 Y.O. sold 655,000 copies in the U.S., and 1.2 million worldwide.
    * Discipline sold 441,000 copies in the U.S., and has not sold a million worldwide.

    “Feedback” only barely and briefly nicked the top 20 on moderate downloads. “Make Me” may have topped the dance charts, it failed to even chart on the Hot 100. And “Nothing” has done virtually nothing. Janet hasn’t had a real hit since 2001’s “Someone to Call My Lover,” damn near ten years ago. The general public isn’t interested in her music anymore. Sorry, but it’s true.

    Sad ass Janet fans. You know so good and well that her sales over the last decade have been in the toilet, and so you attempt to spin lies — hoping to snow people who don’t know any better. Unfortunately for you clowns, I do…

    Check out:
    The Conversation Chamber

  100. bonny May 14, 2010

    age limit does not count lets be real ppl

  101. Black May 15, 2010

    I think they do get the boot so to speak after a certain age. But my question is this, what music is it that they want us thirty somethings to buy I would like to know. All the best to RiRi, but I don’t think I’ll be purchasing rude boy anytime soon..GEESH. Just a thought!

  102. * WAKEUP May 16, 2010

    Name anyone over the age of 40 that’s get radio play?

  103. * WAKEUP May 16, 2010

    When was the last time a record company gave a deal to someone older then 30??

  104. * WAKEUP May 16, 2010

    Madonna , Janet, Mariah, Prince, Toni don’t get radio play people. Like artist like Ke$ah. Reasons why adults really don’t listen to the radio anymore.

  105. Sabrina August 31, 2010

    The music industry is decidedly partial to those who are under 35, but if an “over 35” is exceptionally talented, then they do stand up and take notice. Susan Boyle is a perfect example of this. One can’t and shouldn’t judge only by radio airplay. Radio is dead and has been for a long time. Last year, the 90-something British artist Vera Lynn had the top selling album…and she hadn’t recorded in well over 40 years at that point. So quality is quality…regardless of age.

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