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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pace chapter.

Being a “pop girly” is truly a state of being, not just the genre of music you sing or write for. Renee Rapp, Olivia Rodrigo, and Madison Beer are not just some of the present “it” girls, but also role models and a person that people go to when they want to feel understood, seen and heard. These three “pop girlies” have all released their albums within a month of each other, all with outstanding and enlightened reviews from their fans, peers, and other music professionals. But why is it that this genre and era of pop music, along with the esteemed title of being a “pop girly”  is specifically tied with these three women?

The first of the “pop girlies” to release an album was the part-time musical theatre star, actress, and newly-labeled pop icon— Renee Rapp. She’s a 23-year-old, openly bisexual singer who gained popularity after playing Regina George in Mean Girls: The Musical on Broadway from 2019 to 2020. This profound artist’s sophomore album titled Snow Angel touches on topics involving the trials and tribulations of growing up, her love life as a bisexual and self-proclaimed delusional woman in today’s day and age, and even how she subconsciously links the people of her past with places and things. The reception of this album between both her new and previous supporters stems from the relatability of the various themes she conveys with such emotion through her lyrics and tone. Her entire discography, including Snow Angel, only having been released on Aug. 18, 2023, has already acquired over 200 million streams globally.

Renee Rapp’s extreme vocal ability and agility make for a genuinely surprising and exhilarating listen. Everyone who listens to the album has a moment, sometimes for the duration of an entire track on this album, where they say, “Wow, that’s literally me” or “Wow, that’s so relatable.” Renee Rapp’s sheer use of honesty is what makes her music enjoyable and relatable. She strives for complete authenticity through her personality and career, which has created an open and fun space with her fans. This relationship with her fans pays off in numerous ways — through the pure happiness and joy they provide Renee with, but also how die-hard they are in streaming their favorite artist’s music. As an avid and loyal fan of Renee’s career myself, the album, along with any of her other projects, both in music and acting, have yet to disappoint. Her career is only at its beginning, even though she’s been in the industry for years. She isn’t going anywhere, and Snow Angel is just a small example of how she is one of the world’s newest “pop girlies” who is here to stay. 

The queen of having her fans and even outside spectators obsessed with any of her new releases: Olivia Rodrgio. Coming from the acting industry, appearing on Disney channel on shows such as Bizaardvark and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Olivia had her fair share of singing and songwriting within the show’s productions. As a child Disney star, Olivia had already created a strong and caring fanbase, which only grew more after she released her debut album Sour on May 21, 2021. With a debut number-one album on the Billboard Top 100 and three Grammys under her belt, Olivia had made a pretty impressive name for herself. The only question going forward was, will she beat the typical “the second album is always the worst” stereotype?

Olivia Rodrigo completely shattered that stereotype with her highly-anticipated sophomore album titled Guts. I, along with her other fans, weren’t disappointed in any sense of the word. From relatable lyrics, to sad melodies, to genres ranging from rock to indie, to pop, Olivia Rodrigo proved that she is indeed an iconic “pop girly.” Sour was already extremely vulnerable with topics of love, grief, and growing up, with similar topics also being highlighted in Guts, only differentiated with a more mature mindset behind her lyrics. The number one thing that draws in millions of people who listen to Olivia Rodrigo’s music is the relatability. She’s at or around the same age as most of her fanbase, allowing her to have a unique relationship and connection that other artists cannot achieve. She has lived in similar situations to her supporters, making the themes and topics within her lyrics extremely relatable and, therefore, more enjoyable for listeners. 

Last, but certainly not least is an extremely underrated and underappreciated “pop girly.” The mother, the myth, the living legend, Madison Beer. Madison Beer’s career dates all the way back to early 2018 with her debut album, As She Pleases. Although she had been singing and performing for years prior, Madison Beer didn’t really gain global popularity until 2021, when her stunning sophomore album, Life Support dropped on Feb.26. Her song “Selfish” took the internet by storm with its beautiful vocals and daringly raw lyrics. Madison Beer poured her heart into her sophomore album but poured her whole soul into her latest album Silence Between Songs, which was released just on Sept. 15, 2023.

Madison Beer, although talented and extremely creative with her musicality, has a record label that does little to support her ambitions, particularly with this new album. You may not have heard much about it, but I promise you it is worth a listen. With gut-wrenchingly beautiful lyrics in songs such as “King of Everything” that discuss situations of betrayal and greed to the reminiscent feelings of nostalgia in a song like “17,” Madison Beer creates an atmosphere and feeling with an array of genres, such as pop and the ‘50s decade of music that is an obvious influence on her album, Silence Between Songs. If you have a sibling, whether you are close or not, her song “Ryder” about her younger brother and their childhood together will be sure to make you shed a tear. Although Madison Beer’s relatability in the realm of lyrics shines brightly throughout this album, so does her vocal ability. She’s improved so much vocally, and this album is a perfect embodiment of that. While Madison Beer may not be as “recognized” at times as other artists, she deserves to be America’s next “pop girly” because in my mind she already is. She has the music, charisma, and fanbase to achieve it, which I am extremely proud to be a part of.

These three women have a strong connection with their supporters, their ability to create a safe and relatable space with their art, and lastly, with their unique sounds that bend and break the norms of the “pop” genre. They are the definition of “pop girlies,” with all new albums that deserve to be heavily praised right now. All individual and distinct in their own ways, Snow Angel, Guts, and Silence Between Songs deserve all the recognition they are receiving and more. 

Morgan Stanislaus is a future Journalist and Communications and Media Studies major at Pace University. At Her Campus she is a first year staff writer, where she specifically enjoys writing about the entertainment industry, including music, media, and film. Outside of Her Campus, Morgan spends a lot of her time writing for an online Journalism Website called ATWX media on topics within the music industry. She has interviews bands such as "87 Nights" and artists such as Renee Rapp. She also enjoys participating the other clubs she is a member of on the Pace Campus, such as the Pace Press Newspaper, Pace Music Group, Arts and Entertainment Management Industry Network, and more. Along with this, Morgan has submitted and written many personal, educational, and entertainment pieces for her School Newspaper and journalism class. Independently, Morgan loves to listen to music, go to concerts, watch and review movies, and hangout with her friends and family. She is huge into the world of pop culture and considers herself a major "fangirl" along with being a Marvel movie geek. Other than this, she also loves fashion and expressing herself with her clothes. This includes her being a major thrifting addict.