As a lover of all things pop music this article has been a long time coming for me. I've always had a keen interest in the enigma that is the Pop Star - that musical figure effortlessly pumping out tune after perfect tune. That's what I used to think anyway, back in the good old days when Britney ruled the charts.

As grew up I realized there was a lot more to the industry than what's on the surface. After watching behind the scenes documentaries, witnessing Britney's Breakdown in 2007 (where were you when it happened?) and the more recent #lady gaga documentary where she opens up about how her life isn't the fairytale we might imagine.

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It began to dawn on me that it really is a horrible business to be in, especially if you're someone who sees yourself as a real artist rather than the face of the latest producer de jour.

Lady Gaga is a more recent example of someone who claimed to be more than a mere pop puppet but even before her, there were people like Christina Aguilera, Madonna, Gwen Stefani and others attempting to show us they were more than just hit machines.

Creative Freedom

It seems that nowadays many of these pop stars finally have some freedom to create more "adult" music whilst still being "pop stars". Take the latest #Miley Cyrus album "Younger Now" for example. In it, she writes a lot of her own material, with sensual hooks and a good dose of grit. Long gone are the twerktastic and crass songs that grabbed our attention back in 2013.

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She clearly has talent and is now in a place to create something without the need to shift millions of records in the process.

Lady Gaga is another case in point, her last album "Joanne" being a much more adult affair than anything prior, showing off her powerful voice, a bit of experimentation and some good old-fashioned rock and roll. It didn't set the charts alight but then why should it, she's Lady Gaga and she's already been there and done that! And let's be honest, she did everything we needed from her this year with the Super Bowl performance - all whilst battling fibromyalgia. What a woman!

Another interesting case is Kesha, now without the dollar sign, and seemingly liberated to release music again following her lengthy lawsuit with producer Dr Luke. She says she wanted to make more mature music all along but was kept from doing so because of the contract she was stuck in. Now, finally free, her latest album Rainbow boasts guests such as Eagles of Death Metal, the Dap-Kings Horns and even a duet with Dolly Parton.

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Hardly child's play. Here again is a woman (a m**********n woman, in fact, according to her song Woman!) who is no longer bothered about chasing trends and has opted to make music with a bit more substance.

What's the lesson?

What do these pop stars abandoning top producers and bubblegum cookie cutter pop tell us about the modern world then? That diversity is rising to the surface and we don't like being told what to listen to? Or could it be that being popular and established is the key to doing whatever you want, after all, Lady Gaga, Miley and Kesha are all very well established singers with big fan bases. They all had to work hard to get where they are, and it's doubtful that any of their latest albums would have broken them as unknown artists just starting out. So really, I'm not sure that anything is really changing, although access to a wider variety of music is certainly making an impact.

As interesting as it is to see the big pop girls taking career risks, I find some of the newer, undiscovered and under the radar artists a lot more interesting. They are out there if you look for them. The likes of website Pop Justice are a good place to start, as well as Spotify playlists. Let's hope that more of the well-established pop stars use their positions of fame for the greater good - to show the world how interesting and life-affirming music can be, no matter what genre!