Honorific nicknames in popular music

Honorific nicknames in popular music are terms used, most often in the media or by fans, to indicate the significance of an artist, and are often religious, familial, or (most frequently) royal and aristocratic titles, used metaphorically. Honorific nicknames were used in classical music in Europe even in the early nineteenth century, with figures such as Mozart being called "The father of modern music" and Bach "The father of modern piano music".[1] They were also particularly prominent in African-American culture in the post-Civil War era, perhaps as a means of conferring status that had been negated by slavery,[2] and as a result entered early jazz and blues music, including figures such as Duke Ellington and Count Basie.[3]

In U.S. culture, despite its republican constitution and ideology,[4] honorific nicknames have been used to describe leading figures in various areas of activity, such as industry, commerce, sports, and the media; father or mother have been used for innovators, and royal titles such as king and queen for dominant figures in a field.[5][6] In the 1930s and 1940s, as jazz and swing music were gaining popularity, it was the more commercially successful white artists Paul Whiteman and Benny Goodman who became known as "the King of Jazz" and "the King of Swing" respectively, despite there being more highly regarded contemporary African-American artists.[7]

These patterns of naming were transferred to rock and roll when it emerged in the 1950s. There was a series of attempts to find (and a number of claimants to be) the "King of Rock 'n' Roll", a title that became most associated with Elvis Presley.[8] This has been characterized as part of a process of the appropriation of credit for innovation of the then new music by a white establishment.[9] Different honorifics have been taken or given for other leading figures in the genre, such as "the Architect of Rock and Roll", by Little Richard from the 1990s,[10] but this term, like many, is also used for other important figures, in this case including pioneer electric guitarist Les Paul.[11]

Similar honorific nicknames have been given in other genres, including Aretha Franklin, who was literally crowned "Queen of Soul" by disk jockey Pervis Spann on stage in 1968.[12] Michael Jackson and Madonna have been closely associated with the terms "King and Queen of Pop" since the 1980s.[13][14][15] Some nicknames have been strongly promulgated and contested by various artists[16] and occasionally disowned or played down by their subjects.[17] Some notable honorific nicknames are in general usage and commonly identified with particular individuals.

  1. ^ A. R. Frey, Sobriquets and Nicknames (1888, published online by brBiblioBazaar, 2009), p. 115.
  2. ^ S. S. Walker, "What's in a name: Black awareness keeps the African tradition of 'meaningful names' alive", Ebony, vol. 32 (8), (June 1977), pp. 74–8.
  3. ^ D. Evans, "From Bumble Bee Slim to Black Boy Shine: Nicknames of Blues Singers" in D. Evans, ed., Ramblin' on my mind: new perspectives on the blues: African American music in global perspective (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2008), pp. 179–222.
  4. ^ S. Deger-Jalkotzy and I. S. Lemos, Ancient Greece: from the Mycenaean palaces to the age of Homer (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2006), p. 272.
  5. ^ M. Benoliel and Linda Cashdan, The Upper Hand: Winning Strategies from World-Class Negotiators (Adams Media, 2006), p. 26.
  6. ^ B. G. Rader, Baseball: a history of America's game (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 3rd edn., 2008), p. 140.
  7. ^ Y. Bynoe, Stand and deliver: political activism, leadership, and hip hop culture (Soft Skull Press, 2004), p. 155.
  8. ^ M. T. Bertrand, Race, rock, and Elvis: Music in American life (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2000), p. 220.
  9. ^ G. B. Rodman, "A hero to most?; Elvis, myth and the politics of race", Cultural Studies vol. 8 (3), (1994), p. 474.
  10. ^ J. Warner, On this day in black music history (Hal Leonard Corporation, 2006), p. 56,
  11. ^ "Les Paul". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum.
  12. ^ A. Kempton, Boogaloo: the Quintessence of American Popular Music (University of Michigan Press, 2005), p. 58.
  13. ^ Hawes, Alison (2014), Music and Fashion, Badger Learning, p. 23, ISBN 9781781477588, Many of the most successful pop artists of the Eighties were solo singers. Two of them, Michael Jackson and Madonna, were known as the King and Queen of Pop
  14. ^ R Jones and S. Brown, Michael Jackson, the man behind the mask: an insider's story of the king of pop (Select Books, 2005), p. 49.
  15. ^ Moran, Caitlin (April 22, 2008). "Madonna: more clout than the Beatles, all by herself . . . and wearing heels". The Times. Retrieved April 17, 2013. she has been referred to habitually as "the Queen of Pop" since the mid-Eighties
  16. ^ "The 'Queen of Soul' is not happy about Grammy incident". NME News. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  17. ^ "What's in a nickname?". BBC Magazine. January 15, 2009. Retrieved May 20, 2017.

From Rich X Search The Next Generation Search Engine

Copyright 2021 Rich X Search