Stars keep shining for half a decade


Fifteen minutes of fame is hard enough to accomplish, but how about fifty years? When Sanderson opened in 1968, teens plastered their rooms with posters of singers, actors, and athletes. Some of the stars of the past are still popular today. Being a popular celebrity for over fifty years requires talent, presence, and charisma that ages gracefully with the times.

For the past fifty years, Sanderson students and staff have been fascinated with these people. Three years before Sanderson opened, music duo Sonny & Cher sold 40 million records worldwide. They skyrocketed in popularity beginning in the sixties, but while Sonny died in 1988, Cher remained a top chart artist. Her most recent work was in Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again! where she demonstrates her lasting star power.

In 1967, Dolly Parton released her first album, Hello I’m Dolly, which peaked in sales throughout the sixties and seventies. Parton is still popular in the country music industry, with her chart topping hits such as “Jolene.” Now, Parton is teaming up with Netflix to create a television film series.

Another successful female singer-songwriter, Carole King, began a career with her first husband, Gerry Goffin, in the early 1960s. However, it was not until the seventies that King had success as an independent artist. She has recently released an autobiography, A Natural Woman: A Memoir, and performs mainly in the U.S and Britain.

The Beatles dominated music in the 1960s-1970s. Currently, the only living member is Paul McCartney, who still carries on his solo career. “Paul McCartney’s work has been very influential to music today. He is even writing and releasing music currently. His ability to inspire artists who came after him has really made an impact on music today.” said Sanderson senior Nicholas Moody.

Motown legends Diana Ross and Stevie Wonder were some of the freshest artists of the time.  Ross was the lead singer for The Supremes in the sixties and released her solo album in the seventies. Today she is still seen as one of the royals of music, inspiring artists such as Jay-Z and Beyoncé. Wonder, a fifties child prodigy was signed to Motown record label at age eleven. He has not made or been featured on a record since 2013, but in 2018, we still listen to “Superstitious,” and “Isn’t She Lovely.”

Do not forget actresses Julie Andrews and Betty White, who are still some of our favorites. The Golden Girls, The Princess Diaries, and The Sound of Music are still classic films for all ages. In August, a documentary called Betty White: First Lady of Television, was released about White and Julie Andrews voiced Marlena Gru in Despicable Me 3.

These eight people have remained famous because they were so loved during their time. Most of our parents and even grandparents have made a point to incorporate their works into our lives growing up. The longevity of these stars’ careers makes us wonder where Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, Angelina Jolie, and LeBron James will be in fifty years. Maybe they will be playing at the Sanderson 100th anniversary celebration.