New kids on the (rock) block

The success of Daughtry and Allison Iraheta on American Idol, not to mention Adam Lambert, is raising the profile of solid, contemporary rock music again. We rejoice at the demise of lame, wimp and near-emo indie boys and bands. We can almost see the tail-end of the swaggering but limp metrosexual mall rats that make up 90% of the studio-enhanced hip-hop and rap non-singers.

There are surprises on the crossover stars as well, from Florence + The Machine and, of course, Rihanna. Leaving aside Justin Beiber and Usher because it is way too early to know how that will develop, there is new power from an unexpected source.

Miley Cyrus, a new rock divaFrom Pop Princess to Rock Diva

Miley Cyrus has a cowboy star daddy, a rock star brother and a pop star younger sister. Since Miley toured with Trace and took part in a whole lotta head-bangin’, there has been a significant jump in the maturity of her voice, of her song lyrics, and her stage attire. Raunchy Rock Diva emerging from a Disney Pop Image has been done before – Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera – but Miley is, somehow, a more radical evolution.

Miley has lived the cotton-wool life at home and on stage since about age 4 but her family is strongly independent, holding a somewhat unique combination of Christian values and endless creative expression.

Miley says her new album Can’t Be Tamed is all about freedom and empowerment. When asked for more details, Miley said:

The new songs “are about freeing yourself from anything you think is holding you back. And I think that’s really important, especially for girls, because so many people are told, No, you can’t do something, or, You need to be this because mom and dad say that, teachers say this.” And finally, in encouraging young people to follow her example, Miley has also said, “There’s a short amount of time, when you think about it, and no day needs to go by wasted.”

Do kids decide the future stars – The Nick Kids’ Choice Awards say yes

Miley Cyrus - popular with teens and now young adults

The Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, also known as the KCAs, announced in March/April of each year, are often an early indicator of stars of the coming year or two. As most of the votes come from the nick.com website, it’s reasonable to assume these are media-savvy and YouTube-aware teens and pre-teens.

Also of interest is the results cover a wide range of ages of the winners, so demonstrate the power of marketing into even the younger age groups.

Danica Patrick has inspired millions

Back in early 2008 the winners included:
Reality Show: American Idol
TV Actress: Miley Cyrus
Movie Actress: Jessica Alba
Female Singer: Miley Cyrus
Song: Girlfriend – Avril Lavigne
Female Athlete: Danica Patrick
Wannabe Award: Cameron Diaz

The Wannabe Award is presented to the best celebrity role model or inspiration. Previous winners have included Paula Abdul, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Queen Latifah, Tia D. and Tamera Mowry (of Sister, Sister) and talk show host and actress Rosie O’Donnell.

As well as having considerable natural talent, a combination of staying fit alongside good marketing can make sure you photo stays in the news – and on the web. Our photos show Miley Cyrus in more relaxed mode (left) and Danica Patrick (right) in a promotional shoot. The 2009 nominations and voting are open, so we wait the results with interest.