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Friday, August 30, 2013

Alcohol In Music Influences Our Youth

English: The logo for the Billboard magazine.

It is no big secret that music influences our youth, sometimes positively and other times negatively. It is quite common for artists to mention drugs and alcohol in ways that send the wrong message to teenagers - advocating the use of particular substances. Just as experts believe that movies and video-games incite violence, experts also hold that teenagers who hear artists glorify the use of various brands of alcohol are tempted.

It is rare to hear a “hip hop” song that does not mention the four alcohol brands:
  • Patron Tequila
  • Hennessy Cognac
  • Grey Goose Vodka
  • Jack Daniel's Whiskey
The aforementioned brands accounted for more than half of alcohol brand mentions in the songs that talk about alcohol use in Billboard's most popular song lists in 2009, 2010 and 2011, according to a new study.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Boston University School of Public Health and the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

This was the first report to focus on the context of specific brand mentions. Researchers found that alcohol use was portrayed as overwhelmingly positive, while negative consequences are hardly ever mentioned - clearly sending the wrong message.

720 songs were examined by researchers; there were 167 songs (23.2%) that mentioned alcohol, with 46 (6.4%) glorifying specific alcohol brands. The major four brands accounted for more than half (51.6%) of all alcohol brand mentions. The most common songs to mention alcohol were urban (rap, hip-hop and R&B - 37.7% of songs mentioned alcohol), followed by country (21.8%) and pop (14.9%).  

The study, published online by Substance Use & Misuse.
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