Pop Stars Who Switched Genres
The struggle for musicians is real: stay true to the music, or go for fame and money? You can't always have both, and the number of pop stars who switched genres suggests that the desire for super-stardom often comes out on top. Of course, singers who changed genres have their reasons, whether they've evolved as artists, want to try something new, or are just listening to their record label. From Taylor Swift (who smartly moved from country to pop) and Katy Perry (who ditched Christian rock for her bubblegum sound), to Gwen Stefani (who left ska garages for the Top 40), these are biggest pop stars who started — or ended — in other genres.
- Before "California Girls" and "Teenage Dream," pop superstar Katy Perry was putting out songs called "Faith Won't Fail" and "Trust In Me" as a Christian-rock artist. Back then, in 2001, she went by her real name (Katy Hudson) and rocked her real hair color (blonde). In 2002, she moved to Los Angeles and spent the next five years fine-tuning her brand new pop sound before emerging as the raven-haired pop goddess Katy Perry in 2007, and debuting her single, "I Kissed A Girl."
- If Lana Del Rey sounds like a made-up name to you, that's because it is! When Lana first tried to break into the music biz, she was known as Lizzy Grant. The girl-next-door name matched her casual look and acoustic sound. It wasn't until 2011 that she recreated herself as Lana Del Rey and found the haunting, DIY sound she used in her single "Video Games." Since then, Lana has released three more albums and described her most recent sound as having a "muddy trap energy."
- In the beginning, Gwen was a mid-'90s ska/punk/NorGal girl who made garage music with her band, No Doubt. She switched it up in 2002 when she released her first solo pop album, Love Angel Music Baby. Now, she bops back and forth between writing her own pop music and collaborating on ska sounds with No Doubt.
Justin TimberlakeJustin Timberlake rose to fame as the leader of *NSYNC, the premiere boy band of the early aughts. When he branched out to be a solo artist, however, Timberlake shed his bubblegum image and sound. His later music had R&B and hip-hop influences.
- Taylor Swift is arguably the most successful country crossover artist of all time. Her first singles out of Nashville were filled with lyrics about pick up trucks, porch swings, and rednecks — a far cry from her 2015 pop effort, 1989. Now Swift is all about shaking it off as the reigning queen of the pop charts. She's said of her transition, "I think eventually you have to pick a lane, and I just picked the one that felt more natural to me at this point in my life."
- P!nk's big 2005 hit, "There You Go," was more R&B than anything else. Her rhyme and flow were on point, but that didn't stop her from testing the waters of the pop world. Her sophomore album, Missundaztood, had a handful of pop hits which encouraged her to dive into the genre head-first. Now, she's a bona fide pop star.