How Some Artists Become Icons of Pop Culture

How Some Artists Become Icons of Pop Culture

Name: William

Student Number: 13021324

Word Number : 815


How Some Artists Become Icons of Popular Culture


Popular culture refers to the current or up to date events such as arts, entertainments and beliefs which are shared by the majority of society (Flagel, 2006). Some artists, who create works and are known by the masses through their works as entertainment, would usually be considered an influential individual in society. Mostly, they should be attached with certain beliefs and values, if considered an icon of popular culture. Popular culture includes multifarious public icons (icon – Greek word which means “image”) – some artists themselves count inclued, as well. Regarded as icons, these artists have the ability to transform resonating thoughts, beliefs and values into their art objects, and all forms of art objects with the images of artists attached, can be spreaded away under the influence of mass media, which both make them an icon of popular culture.


Regarding of the way of communicating through arts, resonating the masses with their beliefs and values is always the one of desires when some artists have intentions to create their works. If more people have influenced by their works, the artists would be popular in society. To quote what Gilles Deleuze once said (Warhol, 2007, 1) “The artist is not outside the symptoms, but makes a work of art from them, which sometimes serves to precipitate them, and sometimes to transform them.” By transforming their advocacy or rejection into sensible objects, the masses are able to receive those arts by seeing, listening and feeling them. In other words, art itself creates an easy way to communicate. For example, one research investigated on music shows that music is a separated from the primary source of sound phenomena and froms a special communication system (Carter B ,2006). Therefore, it can be seen that, concerning music, this kind of form of art enables people from different backgrounds to overcome the language barrier. Moreover, it helps effectively in communication between the creators and the masses. Thus, artists usually can use it to communicate with others and send their great resonating thoughts about life by their art objects, which can stimulate people and trigger resonance among the masses. The more people gain resonance from their works, which means those artists can have impacts on most people with their images. And once the more people know about these artists’ works, the more popularity they probably can gain. This kind of artists are more likely to become an idol of time – an icon of popular culture – to be remembered and recognized in society.


Mass media nowadays can make the masses idolize some artists and it also can commercialize those artists as icons. With the development of the media, the masses have more chances to know about artists than before. “Idol performance is not limited to music-related media; their image and influence, since the 1980s, have spread to the extent that “time spent in front of the television camera rather than in the recording studio or the concert hall is the definitive attribut of an idol” (Stevens, 2008, 50). An Idolization, namely a spread of worship, of artists can be built on multiple ways of communication through mass media, such as books, the internet, movies, magazines, televisions, newspapers, radio, recordings. This can be an advanced way of making some artists a today’s icon of popular culture. In addtion, for some artists today, they are more likely to be known, idolized and commercialized through the mass media. From the research essay American Idol And The Idols Format (Meizel, 2011, 4) “American Idol: The Search for a Superatar on the Fox Network and its premiere advanced the success of the hit British reality series Pop Idol, and all similar franchised programs follow a same format – the masses are for their voting system and the participants are for wining a recording contract and an ‘idol’ title.” It is said that the mass media nowadays not only has offer a far-ranging platform to some artisits for giving their performances but also it has a purpose for commercializing and idolizing artists. Beacause such a voting system requires an interaction from the audiences so as to gather popularity rapidly and massively for the participants. If these formatted shows can be commercially successful and accepted by the masses through the far-ranging mass media, some artists are able to develop their public images fast and to be an icon of today’s popular culture.


In Summary, it is no denying that some artists have become well-known as an icon in today’s world. No matter when and where, works these artists created has great influence on the masses. In return, it entitles some artists an icon of popular culture. Moreover, mass media, including those fast-growing industries, will make it more easier to spread information about artists than before. As the result of many artists’ devotion and the spread of mass media, icons of popular culture are able to be multicultural and multifarious today.



  1. Meizel, Katherine. 2011. American Idol And The Idols Format, Idolized: Music, Media, and Identity in American Idol. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 4-6
  2. Stevens, Carolyn S. 2008. Japanese Popular Music: Culture, Authenticity, and Power. New York: Routledge. 50
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          Carter, B (2006). Music- Expression if Emotions [On- line]. Available:


  1. Joshua Delpech-Ramey, (2007). The Idol As Icon, Andy Warhol’s Material Faith.

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  1. Joshua Delpech-Ramey, (2007). The Idol As Icon, Andy Warhol’s Material Faith. from Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, Volume 12, Issue 1, 2007.   [On- line]. Available:


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