One in three members of Gen Z is unfamiliar with The Beatles, Queen, and Elvis, according to a new study conducted by Roberts Radio. Roberts surveyed 2,000 UK residents from different generations to see how familiar they were with various artists, and the results are surprising to say the least.
The study found that Gen Zers are less familiar with older artists than one might expect. In addition to one-third of Gen Z not knowing who The Beatles are, the report says that two-thirds are unfamiliar with Aretha Franklin. U2 and The Supremes were also found to be unfamiliar to more than half of the generation, while Pink Floyd, David Bowie, and Prince all hovered around the 50% mark. Queen was just slightly higher at 66.81%, perhaps due in part to the band’s popular biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody.
Conversely, the study found that the Silent Generation, which includes people aged 74+, is likewise unfamiliar with newer artists. Less than 2% of those surveyed had heard of Olivia Rodrigo, who recently won the GRAMMY for Best New Artist. The former Disney Channel star also won Best Pop Vocal Album for SOUR and Best Pop Solo Performance for her hit song “drivers license”. Post Malone was known to less than 3% of the Silent Generation, while Lady Gaga and Ed Sheeran were the only two artists that over half of those surveyed knew. Beyonce and Taylor Swift were both unfamiliar to more than half of respondents, and Billie Eilish was known to only 25%, just less than Destiny’s Child.
The Roberts study shows that while music endures throughout the years, each generation has its favorites, and the popularity of different artists changes over time. Read the full study for a more in-depth look at what artists different generations are familiar and unfamiliar with.