Is the Mainstream Ready Once Again for Dance Music?

Not since the heyday of Dance/Pop Artists like Taylor Dayne and Paula Abdul has Dance Music been a mainstream category. Today, "Dance Music" as defined by Billboard's Dance Club Chart represents only a very small segment of the music market. But thanks to the recent CD Release "Sleeping in the Nothing" from Kelly Osbourne and another upcoming CD release from Entertainment Media magnet Paris Hilton, that could very well change.

Osbourne is a Reality TV Star and Mainstream Solo Artist who has embraced the Dance Music Genre on her latest CD. And because of her Star Status, she's bringing a lot of mainstream attention back to "Dance Music". It is ironic that Osbourne, a newcomer to the genre, might yet turn a Dance CD into a multi-platinum Mainstream hit.

After the country's musical tastes moved towards Hip Hop, Urban, and R&B/Pop, the Major Labels redirected their focus away from the Dance/Pop genre and it fell into decline. The dance music landscape attracted more than it's fair share of sub-standard Producers, Vocalists, and Songwriters. It got so bad that even legit Artists who could hold their own in any genre, like Grammy Nominees Amber and Deborah Cox were affected by it. Cox has even suggested publicly that being labeled a "Dance Artist" hurt her mainstream career.

Though these Artists have continued to release Remix Singles (Amber's latest "Voodoo" is out June 21), many of them have embraced other musical genres. Amber has gotten great notices for her multi-genre (Alt Rock infused Electronica, Pop/Rock, Dance, Jazz) CD "My Kind of World" and Cox has said that she is recording a CD of Broadway and Jazz standards. Even Kristine W told the Toronto Press after an appearance at last year's Fashion Cares that she'll do a Jazz CD next.

If Osbourne has a mainstream hit with "Sleeping in the Nothing" though, Dance Music's fortunes may turn once again. And the announcement from the Internet's most searched for celebrity Paris Hilton that she too will release a Dance CD shortly (which will reportedly include a remake of Blondie's Disco Classic "Heart of Glass") virtually guarantees that Dance Music will get a huge Mainstream Media boost. If these Artists are successful in turning younger CD Buyers onto Dance Music, the genre might once again become a Commercial force.

Kevin Snook is the editor of Dance Music, a site focusing on dance/pop music artists, articles and reviews.

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