Older musicians regain popularity through new music, collaborations



Elton John performs at the Oslo Spektrum in 2014. His recently released movie, “Rocketman,” helped to boost his popularity.

Carla Vreeland

“Getting an audience is hard. Sustaining an audience is hard. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose, and of action over a long period of time,” Bruce Springsteen once said.

Springsteen is one of the few musicians who has maintained popularity throughout his entire career. Along with others such as Tony Bennett, Elton John, Billy Joel, the Rolling Stones and Dolly Parton, these artists have once again become nearly as popular as they had been decades ago. 

Their ability to adapt to the trends of each new era has given them a tremendous advantage in that aspect. The adaptability of their music has allowed multiple generations to appreciate it. Both Dolly Parton and Elton John have recently written original songs for movies on Netflix or ones that are generally geared towards a younger audience. 

Musicians Tony Bennett and Dolly Parton have recently worked with modern popular singers, helping them boost their popularity. Bennett has released music, including a full album, with Lady Gaga. Similarly, Dolly Parton has performed live with Miley Cyrus. 

More artists have also utilized media and film to reinforce their popularity. Parton, more recently, released a Netflix show and opened a theme park, water park, spa, cabin resort and a charity dedicated to her father. The charity mails free books to children to foster their love of reading, according to Parton’s website. By consistently progressing her material, Parton has regained popularity. 

Junior Abigail Cohen of Marlboro said that she listens to Dolly Parton as well as other older artists. She continued to say that the new releases of the artists help in introducing them to the newer generation. 

“Older musicians are definitely making a comeback,” Cohen said.

Sir Elton John has also reclaimed popularity those the movie Rocketman, depicting his life and career, which was released in 2019. Additionally, John recently launched an autobiography and is going on his farewell tour. 

Sophomore Keira MacDermott of Matatwan listens to many older musicians and believes many have made recent comebacks in popularity. 

“Elton John’s new movie among all the other biopics has helped the artists in gaining more relevance than what they had after they lost it,” MacDermott said.

Singer/songwriter Billy Joel continues to go on tours, making stops in cities across the United States. Joel also attended a panel discussing the arts at the Long Island High School, according to his website. His involvement with issues that are significant to the generations following the Millenials has given him newfound popularity among that audience. 

Bruce Springsteen was born and raised in New Jersey and is still viewed as an icon of the state. He has directed the new movie “Western Stars” an expanded concert filmed, and performed in Asbury Park for the first time in decades, according to his website. 

Springsteen has also released music as political protest and has spoken up about his mental health struggles, according to The Independent. He released a song protesting President Donald Trump and during his concerts he has spoken out against Trump’s Muslim ban. His contribution to this subject matter has caught the attention of a newer, younger audience for Springsteen.

These musicians have recently surged in popularity as a result of getting involved in recent issues, releasing albums and going on tours. They not only rocked the music world years ago but continue to do so today. 

“Generation Z is returning to a golden age of music,” Cohen said.