Top 40's decline
In the late 1980s, Top 40, a.k.a. "pop" music was riding high. Acts such as Phil Collins, Billy Joel, New Kids on the Block, and even Donny Osmond rode high on the charts. Alternative rock was beginning to impact the top 40, and rap was an ever growing format. By the early 1990s, pop’s core audience, teens and young adults, became tired of hearing the same type of song over and over. The listeners began to leave the format. Acts such as the New Kids were mocked and shunned. Teens and young adults left the format for country, alternative rock, and rap.
Country music artists were becoming younger and more
"hip", and this helped attract the younger audience. The number of
country radio stations continued to grow explosively in the early
‘90s. On the alternative rock scene, new bands from Seattle
made grunge very popular. Acts such as Pearl Jam and Nirvana attracted
young adults with their angst driven songs. This type of rock made the
"hair bands" look like fluff to the audience, and the hair
bands’ popularity declined. Finally, rap continued to grow
and attract a large part of the top 40 audience.
HAC continues to evolve with musical trends.