people with, say, Cockney accents in their singing tend to be regarded as novelty acts in the States. Also, the American accent is fairly standard- you don't hear many singers with a strong New York accent, for instance.
So if they "lose" their natural accent, and we think it all sounds American, what does this mean about the American accent? I've thought about this myself and I'm under the impression that the North American accent is more relaxed. So when singers (be they Scandinavian like Ace of Base, French-Canadian like Celine Dion, or American like Alan Jackson) form their words around the music, perhaps they have to let some conventions go and the result is an "American" accent.
Originally Posted by tdol
Country music accents
Have you also noticed that in Country music, everyone has (relatively)the same accent, which I call a hick accent for lack of a better word (I'm not being demeening, my parents talk this way...). They all sound like they're hicks from the country, even people like Kieth Urban and Jamie O'Neal, who are from Australia.
I also find it hilarious that everyone that calls in to our local country station has a hick accent. I live in Seattle!! Nobody that I have ever run into anywhere in this large city of more than a million people speak with a country accent!
I've puzzled over why accents seem to homogenize in singing since I was a teenager. The two comments below come close to what I've concluded:
Originally Posted by tdol
Let me suggest that singers' accents sound similar across British/American/Australian for phonological and/or esthetic reasons ... and that the end product may not be a true American accent. e.g.,
Originally Posted by Samantha
1. Many American singers drop medial-final /r/'s but don't speak that way ("my haht" for "heart")
2. As one contributor pointed out, speech rhythm, timing, and intonation conform to the musical phrase, so dialect variations are lost.
3. for esthetic reasons, singers open their mouths wide to improve resonance. This changes vowel pronunciation. That might explain "o" in "got" becoming more "ah" like
4. Finally, it's possible that native speakers of English, regardless of regional/national accent share a common knowledge of an underlying phonology that emerges in a purer form during singing. Am curious about what others think ...
Number 3 strikes me as a very interesting point that I hadn't thought of or heard before.
If I remember correctly, I think John Lennon once said in an interview the the Beatles sing with American accents because "it sells better".
I hope I have remembered correctly.
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