We measured pop music’s falsetto obsession

From Vox.

From Justin Timberlake to the Bee Gees, we charted the popularity of men singing high.
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It’s nearly impossible to turn on the radio and not hear a male artist singing really high. Likely he’s a tenor, and more often than not he’ll sing in falsetto. Think Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, Bruno Mars, Drake, Charlie Puth, Shawn Mendes, Adam Lavine, Sam Smith … the list goes on and on and on.

This isn’t a trend — it has been the status quo for decades.

Using the data diving know-how of The Pudding, and drawing on the expertise of Anthony Roth Costanzo, a professional opera singer, I dig into the world of the high male vocal range by tracking how pervasive it really is across the decades.

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Here’s a Spotify list of 65+ songs that have some pretty fun falsetto moments: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0nUxhLp94vGOARoCJKkV0k?si=sGtRcGPtQ_-Dktcc5H_Thg

The articles referenced in the video can be found here:

The Evolution of the Male Falsetto: https://frieze.com/article/evolution-male-falsetto

What does it mean when The Weeknd hits a high note: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/what-does-it-mean-when-the-weeknd-hits-a-high-note/2016/12/01/4969c506-b65b-11e6-959c-172c82123976_story.html?noredirect=on

Active Child, Prince, and the Science of the Male Falsetto: https://pitchfork.com/thepitch/794-active-child-prince-and-the-science-of-the-male-falsetto/

Why Are There So Many Tough Guys Who Sound Like Ladies On The Radio?: https://www.npr.org/2016/02/15/466404515/why-are-there-so-many-tough-guys-who-sound-like-ladies-on-the-radio

Earworm is a series where Estelle Caswell takes you on a musical journey to discover the stories and sounds behind your favorite songs. More videos can be found here:

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