Madonna at 60: Female pop stars entering their seventh decade are not just rocking - they're snarling
It was less than two years ago that the head of the regulator Ofcom accused the BBC of 'not doing as good a job as it should be' in its treatment of older women, after many complaints from viewers about a lack of mature female presenters.
The corporation had long faced criticism for its treatment of older women, and lost an age discrimination case brought by Countryfile presenter Miriam O’Reilly, who was sacked in 2009, to make way for younger presenters.
But there is one area where the older woman is suddenly and somewhat unexpectedly thriving - rock music. Madonna celebrates her 60th birthday on Saturday. Kate Bush has just celebrated hers. In fact, they are the spring chickens. Suzi Quatro, 68, and Patti Smith, 71, are not just still rocking, they are still snarling. Cher at 72 pops up with a delightful cameo in the Mamma Mia! movie. The queen of soul, Aretha Franklin, is still recording at 76.
Who’d have thought it? Look back to the 1960s and there were precious few women at all in pop music, let alone older ones. In the UK, Sandie Shaw, Dusty Springfield, Marianne Faithfull and a handful of others carried the fight to the mass of male groups (the word boyband had yet to be invented).
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