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 Levine, 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.

The Pudding: https://pudding.cool/
IG: @the.pudding
Twitter: @puddingviz

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

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

And here’s the same Pandora playlist: https://www.pandora.com/playlist/PL:1688849921711361:7344

And a list of all of the songs featured in this video by timestamp:
1:04 – Want to Want Me – Jason Derulo
1:09 – Sugar – Maroon 5
1:18 – Sorry – Justin Bieber
1:30 – Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd
1:32 – What Do You Mean – Justin Bieber
1:36 – The Hills – The Weeknd
1:42 – Hello – Adele
3:33 – Sleep, Baby, Sleep – George P Watson
3:47 – Ill Wind – Radiohead
5:37 – Redbone – Childish Gambino
6:10 – Rock of Ages – Def Leppard
7:10 – Get Lucky – Daft Punk
7:21 – Crocodile Rock – Elton John
8:23 – Killer Queen – Queen
8:55 – I Knew I loved You – Savage Garden
9:28 – Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees
9:50 – Falsetto – The-Dream
10:17 – Cry Me A River – Justin Timberlake
11:52 – Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses
11:55 – Two Hearts – Phil Collins
12:01 – Rocket 2 U – The Jets
12:19 – Smooth Criminal – Michael Jackson
12:28 – Nite and Day – Al B. Sure
12:33 – You Should Be Dancing – Bee Gees
14:33- Me And Those Dreaming Eyes of Mine – D’Angelo
14:44 – So In Love – Curtis Mayfield
15:38 – Sherry – Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
15:48 – Natural – Bloodstone
16:00 – Starboy – The Weeknd

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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