Where Have all the Divas Gone?
It’s 2004. Do you know where today’s crossover dance divas are? Since the mid-’90s, female dance artists — not to be confused with female “electronic” artists or those featured on a track — have experienced difficulty in crossing over their rhythmic sounds from dancefloors to the more lucrative mainstream.Despite success on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart, Becky Baeling, Kristine W., Suzanne Palmer, Dolce, Tina Ann, Reina, Ultra Nate and others have failed to find an audience outside of clubland. Industry observers cite many reasons for this, including inferior product, a lack of interest at radio, no commitment from labels and a credibility problem.”Young people are not exposed to dance music artists the way they once were,” WQSX Boston PD Jerry McKenna says. “DJs, producers and (non-vocal) tracks have replaced singers in clubs.”Historically, dancefloors have been a breeding ground for mainstream-primed female artists. Indeed, the female voice has been the centerpiece of club culture.Over the years, a wide range of female artists have successfully made the transition from the dance underground to mass acceptance. They include Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor, Madonna, Lisa Lisa, India, CeCe Peniston, Robin S., Crystal Waters and Amber.”But years ago, dance music was coming from the streets,” McKenna notes. “That has changed. Today, hip-hop is the music of the street. There is no longer a street-level buzz for dance music.” Source: Billboard/Reuters