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Fifth Harmony's hiatus signals the end of American girl groups as we know them

Fifth harmony Bts Bigbang Wonder girls 2ne1 Migos Jonas brothers One direction Beyoncé Camila cabello

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#1 My Everything

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 07:17 PM (Edited by My Everything, 20 March 2018 - 07:18 PM.)

19-fifth-harmony-2.w710.h473.2x.jpg

Group acts in pop have always been unstable compounds. Even when the pieces fit, the blowup is inevitable. It can happen many ways. The management can be so corrupt that it’s intolerable, for one. Lou Pearlman, the former manager for Backstreet Boys, ‘N Sync, and virtually every boy band in the ’90s ended up being sued by most of the groups he managed for gross financial chicanery. Sometimes the group just runs out of steam: Witness the fate of the Spice Girls, who sank out of sight almost as rapidly as they’d risen. And then there’s dissension. Fame magnifies imbalances in talent and, as intramural tensions grow, the allure of a solo career becomes irresistible. Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé are the classic examples, but the most recent instance is that of Camila Cabello, who struck out from Fifth Harmony to achieve even greater success on her own.

Meanwhile, the remainder of Fifth Harmony has taken Cabello’s acrimonious parting rather less well. Today the quartet announced that it would be suspending operations until further notice. Along with One Direction, Fifth Harmony had been the defining pop group of its generation; the end of both in the last three years now raises questions about what could follow them. Pop groups have always been ephemeral by nature, but it’s not impossible that the pop group itself, as a general format, is no longer viable.

Few types of acts have been more reliant on the music industry than the pop group. With the partial exception of family-based units like the Jonas Brothers or 98 Degrees, its chemistry has always been entirely artificial, and the rise to stardom of any given group is rarely organic. The members’ contribution to their own artistic direction is secondary; all considerations of quality are tied to market appeal. It follows that the relative weakening of the music industry over the past two decades has dampened the prospects for aspiring boy bands and girl groups, plus their managers. Though the industry remains powerful by objective standards, its ability to dictate tastes has fallen off considerably due to the internet. Even if a group is loaded into the catapult, there’s no way to ensure that it hits its mark. It’s telling that Fifth Harmony, One Direction, and the Jonas Brothers came to the industry only after having gained great visibility through television: 5H and 1D were forged on The X-Factor while the Jonases were graduates of the Disney Channel.

Yet as streaming services eat away at the audience for television, particularly among the young, even television seems like less of a sure road to music stardom. It’s telling that a fledgling boy band like Why Don’t We owes most of its recognition to their affiliation with big-league YouTube vlogger Logan Paul rather than publicity arranged by music-business publicists, or that Paul’s brother and fellow YouTube celebrity, Jake Paul, could land his posse Team 10 on the Billboard charts with a song named after Jake’s catchphrase, “It’s Everyday Bro.” To say that Team 10 qualify as a musical act would be generous, but they’re the closest thing to a future model for the pop group that we have at this point, which is a nice way of saying that there may be no future at all.

And then there’s the state of pop itself, which seems more and more like a saccharine sub-variant of rap than the main attraction for the masses. Pop groups thrive on the spotlight and the spotlight only, but as pop is progressively eclipsed by hip-hop on streaming, it’s evident that however well individual solo acts adjust to the new environment, any new pop group will have a hard time gaining traction. Who needs the next Jonas Brothers when the Migos already exist? Why invest time and money to invent five different characters for a girl group when Cardi B is realer than anyone the industry can manufacture?

Of course, the prospects for the pop group are hardly dire everywhere in the world. For at least a decade, the liveliest girl groups and boy bands have come out of South Korea, where a rising economy and a relative absence of competition has made fresh-faced acts like BTS, BIGBANG, Wonder Girls, and 2NE1 not only major stars in their own country but superstars within much of East Asia. Backed by ferocious fan hives with access to the world’s fastest internet, K-pop groups sit at the peak of the Korean music industry. And though the music industry abroad is no less exploitative and groups are no less prone to dissolution, it’s still a given in Seoul that when one group goes down, another one, just as big if not bigger, will soon replace it. As far as a successor to Fifth Harmony goes, though, we’ll believe it only when we see it.

http://www.vulture.c...b&utm_medium=s1


#2 ßlair

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 07:22 PM

I just want to say ur one of those users that I've never rly looked at your profile but I appreciate everything you post and the only reason I recognize you as the same poster that has made threads about other stuff Ive read is because those boys in your sig are always spanking their butts at me




#3 NCT48

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 07:23 PM

LOONA says otherwise rolleyes.gif




#4 My Everything

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 07:25 PM

I just want to say ur one of those users that I've never rly looked at your profile but I appreciate everything you post and the only reason I recognize you as the same poster that has made threads about other stuff Ive read is because those boys in your sig are always spanking their butts at me


thank you!

tumblr_p5w75wwLXO1v5e1o1o2_250.gif


#5 TAE ZONE

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 07:34 PM

rip America's national gg warstarplz.png

i hope another gg will debut/rise in the States




#6 Kami Nana

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 07:35 PM

I find the lack of SNSD mention in that article...unsettling. omgwtf.pngwthplz.png




#7 llamaswag

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 07:38 PM

Sound correct.


#8 GoAwayILY

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 07:48 PM

There’s a different mentality in the entertainment business in the East & West. The West pushes individuality more while the East emphasizes on group dynamics. Western groups like 1D & 5H were formed from reality shows where soloists failed to pass through the next round & S. Cowell combined 5 soloists into one mega group. But the yearning from wanting to be solo never really goes away. I mean, can anyone name all three rappers from Migos without looking it up? There’s a definitive cultural difference and it’s basically comparing apples to oranges. In addition, when competitiveness becomes the norm in a group, the group’s survival will not last very long, unless there’s 50 people in the group & everyone can be easily replaceable, but that type of group will not do well in the West. There must be a strong bond between members & the mentality that the team comes first always in order for a group to survive long term. Unfortunately, personal individual goals/wants & external factors (i.e. management, contracts, etc.) also play a factor in group longevity (FYI shared blood is not a guaranteed longevity factor since groups with siblings like the Jonas Bros. & Oasis have broken up).


#9 indigo

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 07:48 PM (Edited by Indigo, 20 March 2018 - 07:50 PM.)

Nah, Destiny's Child 's and then PCD were the last time America really cared about a girl group.

 

No one ever cared about Fifth, they got lucky with 1. getting in early on the eastern sax hook trend in Worth It and 2. Work From Home. There wasn't any wide relevance for them as a group, they only had two (massive) hits.

 

Girl groups have been over in the US for a long time, we just prefer honest soloist. Our culture can't support a girl group, everyone is an individualist. 




#10 GoAwayILY

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 07:54 PM

Nah, Destiny's Child 's and then PCD were the last time America really cared about a girl group.
 
No one ever cared about Fifth, they got lucky with 1. getting in early on the eastern sax hook trend in Worth It and 2. Work From Home. There wasn't any wide relevance for them as a group, they only had two (massive) hits.
 
Girl groups have been over in the US for a long time, we just prefer honest soloist. Our culture can't support a girl group, everyone is an individualist.


Agreed. Even the two groups you mentioned had spotlight individuals:
Destiny’s Child >>> Beyoncé
PCD >>> Nicole (lead singer)


#11 Saint Rose

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 08:07 PM (Edited by Saint Rose, 20 March 2018 - 08:10 PM.)

Fifth Harmony never really went outside their comfort zone, they never brought anything "new" and innovative to the table so it's not all that surprisingly that wouldn't last. 5H basically chased trends and bandwagon to whatever is trending instead of creating their own unique sound

 
Boy groups are the same, but bgs in the west get away with it more because they create a reliable niche fanbase to keep them afloat- but eventually even that fall through compared to kpop boy groups
 
the western formula of groups needs to be updated and honestly they need to take a page from kpop groups when it comes to creating a devoted fandom. Western groups seem so much "colder" compared to kpop groups no lie. There's so much more interaction with idols in the east, which comes with its own pros and cons of course. 
 
Kpop groups have a lot creativity, from concept pictures,albums, music videos and stage outfits, kpop is a well oiled machine working together to create a monster robot and thats why its successful. 
i don't see that in western boy groups and girl groups imo



#12 twices

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 08:38 PM

no one gives a crap about them here.. the only song i listened from them on the radio was wfh. 

 

their fandom kept them alive for the most part

 

gp doesn't care about the members or the group. no one is upset about this but their fans




#13 Hazard125

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 08:39 PM

Hardly the end. This is nothing new. Groups don’t last long in the West because solo activities aren’t allowed and whomever is the biggest star wants to do their solo work. It’s a team versus individual perspective. It’s ok to use a team as an obvious stepping stone to individual activities in the US so it happens quicker.


#14 a818

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 08:53 PM

honestly, that seems like a pretty melodramatic reaction to the hiatus of a group thats semi-relevant at best. more popular acts than them have disbanded and still pop groups have continued to form. even if this really was the end of pop groups, it would be for the reasons discussed in the second to last paragraph about the drastic changes in the genre, which still would have nothing to do with 5h lol




#15 AL2

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 09:31 PM

where a rising economy and a relative absence of competition has made fresh-faced acts like BTS [...] not only major stars in their own country but superstars within much of East Asia

 

 

I dont like this sentence. its seems like bts isnt winnng cuz theyre good but because aMeRiCaNs dont have  girl/boy groups anymore




#16 Rose.

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 10:14 PM

Nah, Destiny's Child 's and then PCD were the last time America really cared about a girl group.

 

No one ever cared about Fifth, they got lucky with 1. getting in early on the eastern sax hook trend in Worth It and 2. Work From Home. There wasn't any wide relevance for them as a group, they only had two (massive) hits.

 

Girl groups have been over in the US for a long time, we just prefer honest soloist. Our culture can't support a girl group, everyone is an individualist. 

 

This.




#17 xjdifyx

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Posted 20 March 2018 - 11:32 PM

Groups don't work well in the US cause they don't tend to stay together. Most times a member leaves a group to go solo and the group just breaks apart and usually one person becomes the star solo that overshadows the group. Personally I prefer how in kpop groups stay together even when one member goes solo as all members will eventually have solo and group work. Don't know why it doesn't work that way in the west.




#18 blazeaire

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 12:22 AM

Yas, Little Mix time to rise 

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#19 creamsoop

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 02:04 AM

Yas, Little Mix time to rise
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/proxy/...




#20 DocumentaLy

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 03:46 AM

 

Fifth Harmony never really went outside their comfort zone, they never brought anything "new" and innovative to the table so it's not all that surprisingly that wouldn't last. 5H basically chased trends and bandwagon to whatever is trending instead of creating their own unique sound

 
Boy groups are the same, but bgs in the west get away with it more because they create a reliable niche fanbase to keep them afloat- but eventually even that fall through compared to kpop boy groups
 
the western formula of groups needs to be updated and honestly they need to take a page from kpop groups when it comes to creating a devoted fandom. Western groups seem so much "colder" compared to kpop groups no lie. There's so much more interaction with idols in the east, which comes with its own pros and cons of course. 
 
Kpop groups have a lot creativity, from concept pictures,albums, music videos and stage outfits, kpop is a well oiled machine working together to create a monster robot and thats why its successful. 
i don't see that in western boy groups and girl groups imo

 

 

That's because Western groups want to not seem as manufactured.







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