Genre Detail

    The term Adult came to the forefront of all advances in the late 1970s and early 1980s when it replaced the Easy Listening chart and became a successful radio format. Adult Contemporary, unlike Easy Listening, is a vocal form, and it incorporates a few elements of Smooth Soul, Contemporary, or Smooth jazz.

    As the name suggests, the target audience for Adult Contemporary is the adults. Rather than invigorating, this genre tends to aim toward mid-tempo songs that follow similar patterns and give a sweet texture to ears. 

    Adult is essentially a continuation of the soft rock style that became popular in the '70s, with a few adjustments that reflect the evolution of pop-music production techniques. Adult contemporary has the same lush, soothing, highly polished qualities as soft rock, and it works the same "middle of the road" territory -- in other words, it largely lacks the grit of even the slicker varieties of rock or soul music, but it's too indebted to those original sources to qualify as traditional pop or easy listening. The main dividing line between soft rock and adult contemporary is that the latter commonly features synthesizers (and

    Many of the notable and predominant names in the Adult Contemporary genre are also known for adjacent genres. The list includes: Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie, Neil Diamond, Julio Iglesias, Celine Dion.

    With much hype built around Kenny Rogers and Celine Dion, they were two of the most prominent names in the AC genre. Celine Dion, one of the biggest international stars, is termed as the ‘Queen of Adult Contemporary.’ 

    Current soft AC stations are featuring remakes of top-notch artists such as Elton John, Celine Dion, and Whitney Houston. Artists of the adjacent genre like Adele and Michael Bublé have also become modern fixtures of the format.

    Adult Contemporary is derived into further sub-formats, each according to its own. Each sub-format has its own demographic and musical direction. Some of the famous Adult Contemporary formats are:

    • Hot Adult Contemporary.
    • Modern Adult Contemporary.
    • Soft Adult Contemporary.
    • Urban Adult Contemporary.
    • Rhythmic Adult Contemporary.
    • Smooth Adult Contemporary.
    • Contemporary Christian Music.

    Soft Adult formats focus more on women with conservative taste in women. Hot Adult Contemporary formats feature songs involve a selection of recent hits that appeal to a wide adult audience. Urban Adult Contemporary formats focus on soul music and R&B that appeal to African-American adults. Lastly, Rhythmic Adult Contemporary focuses solely on other rhythmic genres and dance music.

    2019 saw ‘Girls Like You’ on top of the billboard performed by Maroon 5 and Cardi B. ‘Shallow’ by Lady Gaga, and Bradley Cooper was second by a close margin. To listen to these and more, follow the Adult section of RadioFM and keep updated with the latest and trendy songs.