We were just as horrified as you when the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative released their annual stats about inclusion in the music industry at the start of the year.
The USC think tank's findings were unfortunate; in 2017, the research showed that men were dominating pop music, with women representing only 16.8% of popular artists on the top charts. It was a six-year low, showcasing how "women are pushed to the margins or excluded from the creative process" in music-making.
To combat this bleak statistic, we found we actually didn't have to look far at all for strong examples of women in the pop sphere — encompassing stylistic diversity that includes genres like R&B, hip-hop, and electronic — who were pushing boundaries and shaking things up with their virtuosic art.
Below, 100 women across all spectrums who are revolutionizing pop, and the face of music as we know it for the better, this year and beyond. Click through and listen to a special playlist curated by PAPER editors, featuring all 100 pop stars.
A teenage machine of brassy, nostalgic-beat-driven, neo-girl power power anthems, Bea Miller balances optimistic, sunshine-ing body positivity and self-love, with a vulnerability and self-reflection that teen girls are unsurprisingly devouring, because — as pop is finally figuring out — teen girls contain emotional multitudes that could be harnessed a la Monsters Inc. to power a continent! The upstart, released her synesthesia-inspired sophomore album aurora in February, is currently in the running for song of the summer (being analyzed by the music journalism think tank at the moment) for her sultry collab with NOTD, "I Wanna Know," but her joyful feminist manifesto "S.L.U.T." best showcases how Miller is one of the wave of young pop stars giving their time, attention and considerable talent to those complexities. — Jael Goldfine (Photo via Bea Miller)
Story by Michael Love Michael, Vrinda Jagota, Justin Moran, Jael Goldfine, Katie Skinner, Talia Smith