Pop stars filled with teen spirit
Colin Somerville 16 June 1998 Evening News - Scotland
(c) 1998 Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company. All rights reserved.
POP stars and their audiences are getting younger every day .
But when 15-year-old Billie Piper was signed up to be Virgin Records'
biggest hope since The Spice Girls, she did not expect to be sent back to school so soon - especially in Edinburgh!
This Thursday, Billie is performing at Bruntsfield Primary in Montpelier
at 11am, followed by a second show at South Morningside Primary at Comiston Road at 2pm, and she has never played to such
a young crowd before.
"This is the very first time I have ever appeared at a primary school,
although there have been quite a few personal appearances for under-18s," says the teenage singer, whose single, Because We
Want To, comes out on June 29.
"They will be a lot younger than I am used to, but having got together
my own little show with four songs and lots of competitions, I hope it will go well."
Fifteen-year-old pop stars worrying about their audience being too
What is the music business coming to?
Falling record sales have driven companies to widen their audience,
and that means going after the pocket-money market.
Many boy bands aspiring to Take That and Boyzone status have staged
tours of secondary schools, but those groups themselves tend to be in their late teens or early 20s.
The three Hanson brothers - 12, 15 and 17 - have proved that teen
power works with world-wide pop success, and Aaron Carter, aged 10, is truly a Primary pop star.
But Billie Piper thinks that is stretching things a bit: "I don't
think that pop stars will keep getting younger and younger, but for me I feel that right now Aaron Carter is just a bit too
"You really have to work so hard at this, and when you have your schooling
and stuff on top of that it can get a bit much.
"I have to do 10 hours of school work a week which is tough, although
it has been explained this is the busiest part of my musical career with the all-important third single coming out."
She was hardly plucked from obscurity - having been spotted as the
model in an advertising campaign for a best-selling teen pop magazine .
"Madonna was always my idol, because she has never just been a singer,
having incorporated a lot of dancing into her act as well," continues Billie.
"Then she got into a lot of acting later on, before coming back to
the music better than ever."
So does our teen sensation sees herself in music for the long haul
"I can't see myself doing it for another 20 years, maybe another 10,
and then I'll have a break and try something else. I just think if younger kids see me and decide they would like to do the
same sort of thing that I do, that they should wait until they can develop some real passion when they are a bit older, and
be more professional."
As long as they do not wait too long, because at this rate pop stars
will all be considered over the hill by the time they hit the grand old age of 20.