Artists over 50 deserve to be just as visible as everyone else, but while there are countless opportunities for those ones aged 18-25, it looks like there is nothing out there for them. Why?
Because of ageism, a prejudice which is hard to challenge in the music industry. It can take the form of a record label only signing younger artists, encouraging artists to lie about their age, or giving an older artist less radio playtime.
Numerous artists have in fact spoken out about how that has affected their lives and careers, among them Dolly Parton, who despite ageism in the music industry continues to write music, perform, and inspire many. “After you reach a certain age, they think you’re over – she said-. Well, I will never be over. I’ll be making records if I have to sell them out of the trunk of my car. I’ve done that in my past, and I’d do it again”.
If you want to pursue a music career in midlife, a surefire way to get motivated when you’re feeling like you’re too old to keep going is to find someone older than you who is crushing it.
The music industry is full of inspirational artists aged 50+ who are still thrilling audiences around the globe. Embarking on a tour in her late 60s with the ‘Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour in 2008’, Tina Turner packed the stadiums dancing in her trademark mini-dresses with those famous legs still in fabulous shape and the voice that still brought the audience to their feet stomping and dancing along. At age 64, Grace Jones performed at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, singing her hit song, “Slave To The Rhythm.” What made the performance remarkable, was not just her two-and-a-half octave voice which can go from contralto to soprano, but the you-got-to-see-it-to-believe-it routine that had her singing in a body suit, staggeringly high heels and gyrating a hula hoop around her waist whilst singing live for 4 minutes.
The pop star, Stacey Jackson became an inspiration for stay-at-home moms when she shot to fame, having launched her music career at 40. Following the success of her debut single, Stacey Jackson has gone on to release four albums & over a dozen singles, recording a track “Live It Up” with legendary rapper Snoop Dogg. Now in her 50s, with her regular show on Spotlight TV, she gives proof that love for that ’80s nostalgia is still a prominent part of today’s culture as her latest single ‘FLIPSIDE’ smashes through to hit the No.1 spot on Global Digital Radio charts.
And how about the “Queen of Pop” Madonna (64)? She has recently announced a whistlestop 35 date arena tour taking us on her artistic journey through four decades and paying respect to the city of New York where her career in music began.
A songwriting competition to challenge ageist attitudes
CrunchyTales believes it’s never too late to achieve your goals and develop your skills, knowledge, experience and voice. In order to challenge ageist attitudes in the music industry, Belfast-born musician Saskia Griffiths-Moore, a folk & acoustic singer known worldwide for championing acoustic music, launched ‘Talent is Timeless‘, a free groundbreaking international songwriting competition with the goal of bringing musicians aged 50+ together and shining a spotlight on mature artists.
Speaking about how she came up with the concept, Saskia said “I started ‘Talent is Timeless’ during lockdown to challenge ageist attitudes in the music industry and to simply connect and inspire people during a dark time in our lives. My objectives were to have people focus on being creative because I believed it was essential to our well-being and shine a light on the talent in people over 50. Too many of my fans have told me they feel they’ve ‘missed the boat’ for being a songwriter or musician and I simply don’t think that’s true. ‘Talent is Timeless’ has already developed a long way from its original goal of being a one-off songwriting competition and I’ve been led entirely by the members who love this community and movement. We are now in our third year and welcome songwriters from anywhere in the world and I look forward to this community strengthening and growing over the next 20 years until I am eligible to be a member myself!”
Sponsored by Universal Audio, APS Speakers, JWC Guitars, and Caffè Nero, Talent is Timeless provides a platform for older songwriters to connect and share their passion for music with the world. The first prize includes a record deal with JAM Records, recording at Abbey Road Studios, a music video, photography and production.
To help judge the thousands of entries Saskia has assembled an all-star line-up including Ian Matthews from Kassabian, Grammy award winner Judy Collins, Chris Difford from Squeeze, Ralph McTell, Tom Speight, Boo Hewerdine, Elles Bailey, and more.
Former winners include academic criminologist Fergus McNeill from Glasgow who started writing songs in his mid 40’s and was crowned the inaugural winner of Talent is Timeless in 2021.
The competition is open to songwriters aged 50+ and closes on 31st March 2023. To enter or for more information visit talentistimeless.com.