Adult contemporary music 成人时代音乐

翻译| 魏成苗 审校| 高淑媛 梁新珍

Adult contemporary artist Celine Dion is one of the biggest international stars in music history, selling more than 220 million albums worldwide.
成人时代音乐艺术家Celine Dion 是音乐史中最为著名国际明星之一,在全世界卖出了2亿2千万多张唱片。

Adult contemporary music (AC) is a style of music, ranging from 1960s vocal and 1970s soft rock music to predominantly ballad-heavy music of the present day, with varying degrees of easy listening, soul, rhythm and blues, and rock influence. Adult contemporary is rather a continuation of the easy listening and soft rock style that became popular in the 1960s and 1970s with some adjustments that reflect the evolution of pop/rock music.


Adult contemporary tends to have lush, soothing and highly polished qualities where emphasis on melody and harmonies is accentuated. It is usually melodic enough to get a listener's attention, and is inoffensive and pleasurable enough to work well as background music. Like most of pop music, its songs tend to be written in a basic format employing a verse–chorus structure.


Adult contemporary is heavy on romantic ballads which mostly use acoustic instruments (though bass guitar is usually used) such as acoustic guitars, pianos, saxophones, and sometimes an orchestral set. The electric guitars are normally faint and high-pitched. However, recent adult contemporary music may usually feature synthesizers (and other electronics, such as drum machines).

成人时代偏重于浪漫歌谣,大部分使用原声乐器演奏(虽然也常用到低音电吉他),比如原声吉他、钢琴、萨克斯管,有时也会用一系列管弦乐组。电吉他的声音通常微弱而高亢。 但是,最近成人时代音乐的音乐特色多为使用合成器(以及其他的电子乐器,如鼓机)。

AC radio may play mainstream music, but they will exclude hip hop, dance tracks, hard rock and some forms of teen pop, as they are less popular amongst the target demographic of these radio stations, which is intended for an adult audience. The AC Radio stations will often target the 25–44 age group, the demographic that has received the most attention from advertisers since the 1960s. Many adult contemporary stations play less newer music because they also give ample airtime to hits of the past, so the de-emphasis on new songs slows the progression of the AC chart.


Over the years, AC has spawned numerous subgenres: "hot AC", "soft AC" (also known as "lite AC"), "urban AC", "rhythmic AC", and "Christian AC" (i.e., a softer type of contemporary Christian music). Some radio stations play only "hot AC", "soft AC", or only one of the variety of subgenres. Therefore, it is not usually considered a specific genre of music; it is merely an assemblage of selected tracks from musicians of many different genres.

过去的几年,AC发展出了许多流派:“hot AC","soft AC"(也叫“lit AC"),"urban AC","rhythmic AC",和”Christian AC"(即当代基督教音乐的一种柔和的风格)。有一些广播电台只播放“hot AC"、”soft AC",或者是众多流派中的一种。因此,它并不常被看作一种特定的音乐类型,而是很多不同类型的音乐人中某些特定作品的融合。

1 History
1.1 1960s: Early roots; Easy listening and soft rock
1.2 1970s: Soft rock forms as a radio format
1.3 1980s: Adult contemporary succeeds as radio format
1.4 1990s: Subgenre formations/radio crossovers
1.5 2000–present: mainstream music goes AC
2 Adult contemporary formats
2.1 Soft adult contemporary
2.2 Hot adult contemporary
2.3 Urban and rhythmic adult contemporary
2.3.1 Adult contemporary R&B
2.4 Contemporary Christian music
3 Christmas music
4 Syndicated radio shows and networks carrying the adult contemporary format

1 历史
1.1 20世纪60年代:早期根源:轻音乐和软摇滚
1.2 20世纪70年代:软摇滚作为广播主流
1.3 20世纪80年代,成人时代成为广播主流
1.4 20世纪90年代:流派形成/多种音乐交叉融合
1.5 2000年--今:AC成为主流音乐
2 成人时代音乐格式
2.1 轻柔成人时代
2.2 流行 成人时代
2.3 都市成人时代 和韵律 成人时代
2.3.1 成人时代蓝调
2.4 当代基督教音乐
3 圣诞音乐
4 辛迪加广播节目与互联网时代的成人时代音乐形式



1960s: Early roots; Easy listening and soft rock 20世纪60年代:早期根源;轻音乐与轻柔摇滚

Johnny Mathis concentrated on romantic readings of jazz and pop standards for the adult contemporary audience of the 1960s and 1970s.
Johny Mathis 专注于对爵士乐和流行音乐的标准进行浪漫主义解读以迎合20世纪六七十年代成人时代的观众。

Adult contemporary traces its roots to the 1960s easy listening format, which adopted a 70-80% instrumental - 20-30% vocal mix. A few offered 90% instrumentals, and a handful were entirely instrumental. The easy listening format, as it was first known, was born of a desire by some radio stations in the late 1950s and early 1960s to continue playing current hit songs but distinguish themselves from being branded as "rock and roll" stations. Billboard first published the Easy Listening chart July 17, 1961, with 20 songs; the first number one was "Boll Weevil Song" by Brook Benton. The chart described itself as "not too far out in either direction".

成人时代可追溯至20世纪60年代的轻音乐,该音乐采用70%-80%的乐器和20%-30%的声乐混合形式。有一些90%采用的都是乐器演奏,还有的一些会完全采用乐器演奏。轻音乐,开始是起源于20世纪50年代和60年代早期的一些广播电台想要继续播放当下畅销歌曲,同时又希望免于被标上”摇滚乐“电台的标签的愿望。Billboard在1961年7月17日首次发布Easy Listening榜单的20首歌;第一名是Brook Benton的“Boll Weevil Song"。榜单的自我描述是“没有偏离每个方向”。

Initially, the vocalists consisted of artists such as Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Johnny Mathis, Connie Francis, Nat King Cole,Perry Como, and others. The custom recordings were usually instrumental versions of current or recent rock and roll or pop hit songs, a move intended to give the stations more mass appeal without selling out. Some stations would also occasionally play earlier big band-era recordings from the 1940s and early 1950s.

最初,声乐家由 Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Johnny Mathis, Connie Francis, Nat King Cole,Perry Como和其他艺术家组成。通常,所播的唱片是目前或最近的摇滚或者流行音乐的器乐版本,这是一种不用卖出所有的唱片就可以给予电台更多吸引力的举措。一些电台也会偶尔播放20世纪40年代和50年代早期大乐队时代的唱片。

After 1965, differences between the Hot 100 chart and the Easy Listening chart became more pronounced. Better reflecting what middle of the road stations were actually playing, the composition of the chart changed dramatically. As rock music continued to harden, there was much less crossover between the Hot 100 and Easy Listening chart than there had been in the early half of the 1960s. Roger Miller, Barbra Streisand and Bobby Vinton were among the chart's most popular performers.

1965年以后,热曲100排行榜和 Easy Listening榜单之间的区别越来越明显。为了更好的反映中间路线电台的播放情况,榜单戏剧性的改变了布局。由于摇滚乐依然坚守自己的硬风格,热曲100排行榜和 Easy Listening榜单之间的相同处和20世纪60年代相比越来越少。 Roger Miller, Barbra Streisand 和 Bobby Vinton 都位列榜单上最受欢迎的表演者的名单中。

One big impetus for the development of the AC radio format was that, when rock and roll music first became popular in the mid-1950s, many more conservative radio stations wanted to continue to play current hit songs while shying away from rock. These middle of the road (or "MOR") stations also frequently included older, pre-rock-era adult standards and big band titles to further appeal to adult listeners who had grown up with those songs.


Another big impetus for the evolution of the AC radio format was the popularity of easy listening or "beautiful music" stations, stations with music specifically designed to be purely ambient. Whereas most easy listening music was instrumental, created by relatively unknown artists, and rarely purchased, AC was an attempt to create a similar "lite" format by choosing certain tracks (both hit singles and album cuts) of popular artists.

AC电台节目演变的另一个强动力是播放easy listening 或称“beautiful music"电台的流行。这些电台故意把音乐做成背景音乐。这些音乐通常用乐器演奏,由一些并不知名的相关音乐家创作,很少发行,AC 致力于通过选择流行艺术家特定的路径(包括流行单曲和专辑),创造一种相似的“lite"风格。

In terms of record sales and career longevity, Barry Manilow is one of the most successful adult contemporary singers ever and the most best-selling of the 1970s.

说到唱片销售和职业寿命,Barry Manilow 是有史以来最成功的成人时代歌手之一和20世纪70年代唱片销量最好的歌手之一。

1970s: Soft rock forms as a radio format 20世纪70年代:软摇滚成为广播主流

Hard rock had been established as a mainstream genre by 1965. From the end of the 1960s, it became common to divide mainstream rock music into soft and hard rock, with both emerging as major radio formats in the US. Soft rock was often derived from folk rock, using acoustic instruments and putting more emphasis on melody and harmonies. Major artists included Carole King, Cat Stevens, James Taylor and Bread.

硬摇滚在1965年已经成为主流的音乐类型。从20世纪60年代末开始,将主流摇滚乐分成软摇滚和硬摇滚变得普遍,它们都是美国广播流行乐的主流。软摇滚常常采自民谣摇滚,用原声乐器演奏,更多的注重旋律及和声。主要的艺术家包括Carole King, Cat Stevens, James Taylor和Bread。
The Hot 100 and Easy Listening charts became more similar again toward the end of the 1960s and into the early and mid-1970s, when the texture of much of the music played on Top 40 radio once more began to soften. The adult contemporary format began evolving into the sound that later defined it, with rock-oriented acts as Chicago, The Eagles, and Elton John.

在20世纪60年代到20世纪70年代早期及中期,当榜单前40名的广播所播放的许多音乐织体都趋于柔和时,热曲100排行榜和Easy Listening榜单又开始变得更加相似。成人时代的音乐格式开始演变成后来人们所描述的那样,以摇滚动作为主导的有芝加哥乐队,老鹰乐队和埃尔顿•约翰。

Soft rock reached its commercial peak in the mid-to-late 1970s with acts such as Toto, England Dan & John Ford Coley, Air Supply,Seals and Crofts, America and the reformed Fleetwood Mac, whose Rumours (1977) was the best-selling album of the decade. By 1977, some radio stations, like New York's WTFM and NBC Owned WYNY, had switched to an all-soft rock format. By the 1980s, tastes had changed and radio formats reflected this change, including musical artists such as Journey. Walter Sabo and his team at NBC brought in major personalities from the AM Band to the FM Band taking the format from a background to a foreground listening experience. The addition of major radio stars such as Dan Daniel, Steve O'Brien, Dick Summers, Don Bleu and Tom Parker made it possible to fully monetize the format and provide the foundation for financial success enjoyed to this day

软摇滚在20世纪70年代中期达到商业的高峰期,如Toto, England Dan & John Ford Coley, Air Supply,Seals and Crofts, America 和重组后的Fleetwood Mac,它创作的Rumours (1977) 是在这十年中销售最好的专辑。在1977年,一些广播电台,如纽约的 WTFM和 美国国家广播公司旗下的 WYNY,转变成了纯软摇滚的音乐播放风格。在20世纪80年代,包括Journey在内的音乐艺术家音乐品味发生转变,并且广播电台也反映了这种变化。 Walter Sabo和他的NBC团队把AF波段的主要特征引入FM波段,把这种音乐风格从背景音乐体验转化到前景。而主要的电台明星的加入,如 Dan Daniel, Steve O'Brien, Dick Summers, Don Bleu 和Tom Parker ,使得把这种音乐风格转化为财富成为可能,并为延续至今的经济效益奠定了基础。

Radio stations played Top 40 hits regardless of genre; although, most were in the same genre until the mid-1970s when different forms of popular music started to target different demographic groups, such as disco vs. hard rock. This evolved into specialized radio stations that played specific genres of music, and generally followed the evolution of artists in those genres.


By the early 1970s, softer songs by artists like The Carpenters, Anne Murray, John Denver, Barry Manilow, and even Streisand, began to be played more often on "Top 40" radio and others were added to the mix on many AC stations. Also, some of these stations even played softer songs by Elvis Presley, Linda Ronstadt,Elton John, Rod Stewart, Billy Joel, and other rock-based artists.

在20世纪70年代早期,艺术家The Carpenters, Anne Murray, John Denver, Barry Manilow, 甚至是 Streisand创作的轻柔音乐,在“Top 40”电台播出得更加频繁,而其他歌曲被添加到许多AC电台的混合风格中播出。一些电台甚至会播出Elvis Presley, Linda Ronstadt,Elton John, Rod Stewart, Billy Joel和其他以摇滚为基础艺术家的轻柔音乐。

Much of the music recorded by singer-song writers such as Diana Ross, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Carole King and Janis Ian got as much, if not more, airplay on this format than on Top 40 stations. Easy Listening radio also began including songs by artists who had begun in other genres, such as rock and roll or R&B. In addition, several early disco songs, did well on the Adult Contemporary format.

许多唱作歌手,如 Diana Ross, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Carole King和Janis Ian 他们的唱片经常以这种形式播放,且播放频率不亚于Top 40电台。 Easy Listening电台也开始播放一些转向其他类型歌手的音乐,比如摇滚乐和R&B。此外,一些早期的迪斯科歌曲在成人时代风格方面也取得不错的发展。

1980s: Adult contemporary succeeds as radio format 20世纪80年代:成人时代成为广播主流音乐形式

Careless Whisper stayed at the #1 spot in the adult contemporary chart for 18 weeks. The song wasGeorge Michael's first solosingle.
歌曲Careless Whisper在成人时代榜单连续18周位于榜首。这首歌是George Michael的首支单曲。

On April 7, 1979, the Easy Listening chart officially became known as Adult Contemporary, and those two words have remained consistent in the name of the chart ever since. Adult contemporary music became one of the most popular radio formats of the 1980s. The growth of AC was a natural result of the generation that first listened to the more "specialized" music of the mid-late 1970s growing older and not being interested in the heavy metal and rap/hip-hop music that a new generation helped to dominate the Top 40 charts.

在1979年四月七日,Easy Listening 榜单正式成为成人时代,从此这两个词语被用作榜单的名字并一直沿用下来。成人时代成为20世纪80年代最为流行的广播形式。AC 的发展是一代人的自然产物。这代人起初听过20世纪70年代中后期比较“专业的“音乐,长大后并不对重金属和说唱/嘻哈音乐感兴趣,而这类音乐曾在另一代的帮助下主宰过乐坛前四十名。

Mainstream AC itself has evolved in a similar fashion over the years; traditional AC artists like Barbra Streisand, the Carpenters, Dionne Warwick, Barry Manilow, John Denver, and Olivia Newton-John found it harder to have major Top 40 hits as the 1980s wore on, and due to the influence of MTV, artists who were staples of the Contemporary Hit Radio format, such as Richard Marx, Michael Jackson, Bonnie Tyler, George Michael, Phil Collins and the late Laura Branigan began crossing over to the AC charts with greater frequency. Collins has been described by AllMusic as "one of the most successful pop and adult contemporary singers of the '80s and beyond." However, with the combination of MTV and AC radio, adult contemporary appeared harder to define as a genre, with established soft-rock artists of the past still charting pop hits and receiving airplay alongside mainstream radio fare from newer artists at the time.

这些年以来,主流的AC自身以一种相似的方式演变;传统的AC演绎者,如 Barbra Streisand, theCarpenters, Dionne Warwick, Barry Manilow, John Denver, 和 Olivia Newton-John发现随着20世纪80年代渐渐过去,他们的歌曲很难成为前40名的流行金曲,而且由于受到MTV的影响,现代流行广播形式的主打演绎者,如Richard Marx, Michael Jackson, Bonnie Tyler, George Michael, Phil Collins and 和已故的Laura Branigan,更加频繁的演绎AC形式的音乐风格。Collins被AllMusic称作”80年代以来最为成功的流行兼成人时代歌手之一”。但是,随着MTV和AC 电台的结合,成人时代很难被界定为一种音乐类型,因为这时,过去的轻柔摇滚艺术家仍然处在流行音乐榜单,并从当时新艺人那里接受唱片或播放主流电台的曲目。

The amount of crossover between the AC chart and the Hot 100 has varied based on how much the passing pop music trends of the times appealed to adult listeners. Not many disco or new wave songs were particularly successful on the AC chart during the late 1970s and early 1980s, and much of the hip-hop and harder rock music featured on CHR formats later in the decade would have been unacceptable on AC radio.


Although dance-oriented, electronic pop and rock dominated the 1980s, soft rock/AC songs enjoyed a mild success thanks to artists like Amy Grant, Lionel Richie, Christopher Cross, Dan Hill, Leo Sayer, Billy Ocean, Julio Iglesias, Bertie Higgins and Tommy Page. No song spent more than six weeks at #1 on this chart during the 1980s, with nine songs accomplishing that feat. Two of these were by Lionel Richie, "You Are" in 1983 and "Hello" in 1984, which also reached #1 on the Hot 100.

尽管舞曲流行音乐、电子流行音乐和摇滚是20世纪80年代的主导,受到Amy Grant,Lionel Richie,Christopher Cross, Dan Hill,Leo Sayer,Billy Ocean, Julio Iglesias, Bertie Higgins 和 Tommy Page等音乐家的影响,轻柔摇滚/AC歌曲还是在这一时期取得了一定的成功。20世纪80年代,没有一首歌能超过6周蝉联榜单第一,然而九首歌创造过这样的壮举。其中由 Lionel Richie创作的两首歌曲,1983年的“You Are",和1984年的"Hello",也登上了热曲100排行榜的榜首。

In 1989, Linda Ronstadt released Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind, described by critics as "the first true Adult Contemporary album of the decade", featuring American soul singer Aaron Neville on several of the twelve tracks. The album was certified Triple Platinum in the United States alone and became a major success throughout the globe. The Grammy Award-winning singles, "Don't Know Much" and "All My Life", were both long-running #1 Adult Contemporary hits. Several additional singles from the disc made the AC Top 10 as well. The album won over many critics in the need to define AC, and appeared to change the tolerance and acceptance of AC music into mainstream day to day radio play.

1989年,Linda Ronstadt 发布了Cry Like a Rainstorm,How I Like the Wind,被批评家称为”这十年里真正的成人时代专辑", 特色是在十二首歌中有几首是由美国黑人歌手Aaron Neville演唱。这张专辑在美国得到三白金认证,并且在全球获得了巨大的成功。获得格莱美单曲奖的”Don't Know Much"和“All My Life”都长期位列成人时代的流行音乐榜首。其他的一些迪斯科音乐也曾位居榜单前十。在定义AC的必要性这一问题上,这张专辑说服了许多批评家,把得到接受和包容的AC音乐变为日常广播电台中的主流音乐。

1990s: Subgenre formations/radio crossovers 20世纪90年代:流派形成/多种音乐交叉

Latin artist Marc Anthony's self-titled English-language album released in 1999 had singles that crossed over to the AC charts.
拉丁歌手Marc Anthony在1999年发行的英文同名专辑中包含的部分单曲可以划归到AC音乐榜单。

Unlike the majority of 1980s mainstream singers, the 1990s mainstream pop/R&B singers such as All-4-One, Boyz II Men, Rob Thomas, Christina Aguilera, Backstreet Boys and Savage Garden generally crossed over to the AC charts. Latin pop artists such as Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Selena, Enrique Iglesias and Luis Miguel have also enjoyed success in the AC charts.

与20世纪80年代的大多数主流歌手不同, 90年代的流行/蓝调主流歌手,如All-4-One, Boyz II Men, Rob Thomas, Christina Aguilera, Backstreet Boys 和 Savage Garden大都登过AC音乐榜。拉丁流行音乐家,如 Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Selena, Enrique Iglesias和 Luis Miguel 也曾在AC榜单上取得成功。

In addition to Celine Dion, who has had significant success on this chart, other artists with multiple #1s on the AC chart in the 1990s include Mariah Carey, Phil Collins, Michael Bolton, Whitney Houston and Shania Twain. Newer female singer-songwriters such as Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Merchant, Jewel, Melissa Etheridge and Sheryl Crow also broke through on the AC chart during this time.

除了在该榜单上大获成功的Celine Dion,其他在20世纪90年代多次荣登榜单首位的艺人还包括Mariah Carey, Phil Collins, Michael Bolton, Whitney Houston 和 Shania Twain。新兴女性唱作人,如 Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Merchant, Jewel, Melissa Etheridge 和Sheryl Crow 也在这一时期在该榜单上取得突破。

In 1996, Billboard created a new chart called Adult Top 40, which reflects programming on radio stations that exists somewhere between "adult contemporary" music and "pop" music. Although they are sometimes mistaken for each other, the Adult Contemporary chart and the Adult Top 40 chart are separate charts, and songs reaching one chart might not reach the other. In addition, hot AC is another subgenre of radio programming that is distinct from the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart as it exists today, despite the apparent similarity in name.

1996年,Billboard创造了一个名叫 Adult Top 40 的新排行榜,该榜单反映的是一种介于“成人时代”和“流行音乐”之间的广播节目。虽然二者之间常常会被混淆,但是成人时代排行榜和Adult Top 40 排行榜是两种不同的榜单,而且符合一种榜单的音乐未必符合另一种。此外,hot AC是另一种广播节目,不同于当今的成人时代流行曲目,虽然二者的名字有明显相似。

In response to the pressure on Hot AC, a new kind of AC format cropped up among American radio recently. The urban adult contemporary format (a term coined by Barry Mayo) usually attracts a large number of African Americans and sometimes Caucasian listeners through playing a great deal of R&B (without any form of rapping), gospel music, classic soul and dance music (including disco).

作为对HOT AC的回应,一种新的AC曲风近日出现在美国。城市成人时代风格(由Barry Mayo命名)通过大量演奏蓝调(没有任何形式的说唱)、福音音乐、经典灵魂乐和舞曲(包括迪斯科)来吸引大量非洲裔美国人 ,有时也会吸引一些高加索听众。

Another format, rhythmic AC, in addition to playing all the popular hot and soft AC music, past and present, places a heavy emphasis on disco as well as 1980s and 1990s dance hits, such as those by Amber, C&C Music Factory and Black Box, and includes dance remixes of pop songs, such as the Soul Solution mix of Toni Braxton's "Unbreak My Heart".

另一种风格,rhythmic AC,它不仅演奏过去和现在所有的流行乐和轻柔AC音乐,也十分重视迪斯科和20世纪80年代和90年代的流行舞曲,如 由Amber, C&C Music Factory 和 Black Box创作的歌曲, 也包括流行音乐的舞曲混音,如Toni Braxton的 "Unbreak My Heart"Soul Solution 混音

In its early years of existence, the smooth jazz format was considered to be a form of AC, although it was mainly instrumental, and related a stronger resemblance to the soft AC-styled music. For many years, artists like George Benson, Kenny G and Dave Koz had crossover hits that were played on both smooth jazz and soft AC stations.
在smooth jazz出现的早期,虽然它主要由乐器演奏,并且和soft AC 风格音乐相似,却常被认为是AC的一种形式。多年以来,如George Benson, Kenny G 和Dave Koz 等艺人将它们混合,在smooth jazz和soft AC电台同时播放。

2000–present: mainstream music goes AC 2000-至今:主流音乐指向AC

A notable pattern that developed during the 2000s and 2010s has been for certain pop songs to have lengthy runs on AC charts, even after the songs have fallen off the Hot 100. Adrian Moreira, senior vice president for adult music for RCA Music Group, said, "We've seen a fairly tidal shift in what AC will play". Rather than emphasizing older songs, adult contemporary was playing many of the same songs as top 40 and adult top 40, but only after the hits had become established. An article on MTV's website by Corey Moss describes this trend: "In other words, AC stations are where pop songs go to die a very long death. Or, to optimists, to get a second life."

21世纪前十几年中,为使特定流行歌曲可以长期留在AC排行榜,一种显著的曲风不断发展。尽管其中的一些歌曲已经淘汰出了热曲100排行榜。 Adrian Moreira,RCA音乐集团里成人音乐的高级副总裁说,“我们看到AC播放的内容发生了海啸般的变化。”成人时代不在强调老歌,演奏了很多和top 40和adult top 40榜相同的歌曲,但只有在这些流行歌曲已经获得广泛认可后,成人时代才会演奏这些歌曲。Corey Moss在MTV网站上发表了一篇文章描述这一趋势:“换句话说,AC电台是一个会让流行歌曲慢慢消亡的地方,或者,在乐观者的眼中,这是一个使流行歌曲重生的地方。”

With the mixture of radio friendly AC tunes with some rock and pop fare also landing on the pop charts, mainstream songs won over many critics in the need to define AC, and appeared to change the tolerance and acceptance of AC music into mainstream day to day radio play. Part of the reason why more and more hot AC stations are forced to change is that less and less new music fits their bill; most new rock is too alternative for mainstream radio and most new pop is now influenced heavily by dance-pop and electronic dance music.


A popular trend in this era was remixing dance music hits into adult contemporary ballads, especially in the US, (for example, the "Candlelight Mix" versions of "Heaven" by DJ Sammy, "Listen To Your Heart" by D.H.T., and "Everytime We Touch" by Cascada). Adult contemporary has long characterized itself as family-friendly, but edited versions of "Perfect" by P!nk and "Forget You" by Cee Lo Green showed up in the format in 2011.

当今时代的一种流行趋势就是将流行舞曲重新融入成人时代的民谣,尤其是美国,(例如,DJ Sammy创作的的"Candlelight Mix"版本的 "Heaven" -- , D.H.T.的"Listen To Your Heart" ,和 Cascada的 "Everytime We Touch" )成人时代长期以来以展现家庭友好为特色,2011年由P!nk改编的“Perfect”以及由Cee Lo Green改编的’Forget You”的曲风展现这一特色。
While most artists became established in other formats before moving to adult contemporary, Michael Bublé and Josh Groban started out as AC artists. Throughout this decade, artists such as Nick Lachey, James Blunt, John Mayer, Bruno Mars, Jason Mraz, Kelly Clarkson, Adele, Clay Aiken and Susan Boyle have become successful thanks to a ballad heavy sound. Much as some hot AC and modern rock artists have crossed over into each other, so too has soft AC crossed with country music in this decade. Country musicians such as Faith Hill, Shania Twain, LeAnn Rimes and Carrie Underwood have had success on both charts.

大部分的艺人以其他风格音乐功成名就后进入成人时代,而Michael Bublé和Josh Groban 出道时便是AC艺人。遍观这十年, Nick Lachey, James Blunt, John Mayer, Bruno Mars, Jason Mraz, Kelly Clarkson, Adele, Clay Aiken 和 Susan Boyle 等艺人的巨大成功要归功于民谣重音。这一时期,一些流行AC和现代摇滚有了多方面的融合,同时soft AC和乡村音乐也有交融。一些乡村音乐家,如 Faith Hill, Shania Twain, LeAnn Rimes 和 Carrie Underwood 曾在两类排行榜上都取得了成功。

Since the mid-2000s, the mainstreaming of bands like Wilco and Feist have pushed indie rock into the adult contemporary conversation. In the early 2010s, indie musicians like Imagine Dragons, Mumford & Sons, Of Monsters & Men, The Lumineers and Ed Sheeran also had indie songs that crossed over to the adult contemporary charts.

从21世纪中期起,主流乐队,如 Wilco和Feist 促成了独立摇滚和成人时代的交流。 在20世纪二十年代初,一些独立表演者,如 Imagine Dragons, Mumford & Sons, Of Monsters & Men, The Lumineers 和 Ed Sheeran 也有走入成人时代榜单的歌曲。

Adult contemporary formats


Soft adult contemporary


Termed "the acoustic equivalent to Prozac", soft AC, a more adult-oriented version of AC, was born in the late 1970s and grew in the early 1980s. WEEI-FM in Boston was the first station to use the term "soft rock", with ad slogans such as, "Fleetwood Mac ... without the yack" and "Joni ... without the baloney". The vast majority of music played on soft AC stations is mellow, more acoustic, and primarily solo vocalists.

被称为“与百忧解同等声效的”soft AC,一种更为成人化的AC版本,诞生于20世纪70年代晚期,并在20世纪80年代早期得到发展。波斯顿的WEEL-FM是第一个使用术语"轻柔摇滚“的电台,还有如“Fleetwood Mac••••••没有废话”和“Joni •••••不会胡扯”之类的广告口号。soft AC 电台上播放的大部分音乐是成熟的,更强调原声乐器,而且主要是独唱歌手。

Other popular names for the format include "Warm", "Sunny", "Bee" (or "B") and (particularly in Canada) "EZ Rock". The format can be seen as a more contemporary successor to and combination of the middle of the road (MOR), beautiful music, easy listening and soft rock formats. Many stations in the soft AC format capitalize on its appeal to office workers (many of them females aged 25–54, a key advertiser demographic), and brand themselves as stations "everyone at work can agree on" (KOST originated that phrase as a primary tagline, and other soft AC stations have followed suit).

这种风格的其他比较常见名称包括“"Warm", "Sunny”,“Bee”(或者“B”)和(尤其是在加拿大)“EZ Rock”。这种风格被看为一种更为当代的继承者,是集中间路线(MOR),beautiful music,轻音乐 和软摇滚为一体的融合形式。许多以 soft AC为风格的电台利用其对办公室工作人员(大部分是年龄在25-54的女性,她们是广播的主要对象)的吸引力,标榜自己“适合每一位正在工作的人”(KOST首先把这句话作为主要宣传口号,其他的soft AC 电台也紧随其后)。

A large portion of music played on this format are either considered oldies or recurrent. It often deals with modern romantic and sexual relationships (and sometimes other adult themes such as work, raising children, and family) in a thoughtful and complex way. Soft AC, which has never minded keeping songs in high rotation literally for years in some cases, does not appear necessarily to be facing similar pressures to expand its format. Soft AC includes a larger amount of older music, especially classic R&B, soul, and 1960s and 1970s music, than hot AC.

这类型音乐的很大一部分被视为陈旧,或被视为循环重复。它常常以一种缜密和复杂的方式描述现代社会的浪漫和性关系(而且有时会描述其他的成人话题,如工作、抚养孩子和家庭)。 在某些情况下从不介意歌曲循环往复长达几年时间的轻柔 AC,并没面临类似的扩展题材的压力。轻柔 AC 包括大量的老歌,特别是经典的蓝调、黑人乐及20世纪六七十年代的音乐而非流行AC。

The soft AC format may soon be facing the demographic pressures that the jazz and big band formats faced in the 1960s and 1970s and that the oldies format is starting to face today, with the result that one may hear soft AC less on over-the-air radio and more on satellite radio systems in coming years. Much of the music and artists that were traditionally played on soft AC stations have been relegated to the adult standards format, which is itself disappearing because of aging demographics. Some soft AC stations have found a niche by incorporating more oldies into their playlists and are more open to playing softer songs that fit the "traditional" definition of AC.

就如爵士乐和爵士乐团形式在20世纪60年代和70年代遇到人口压力那样,轻柔 AC有可能很快会遇到人口压力,而经典老歌风格现在正开始面对这种压力。结果就是,在不久的将来,播放轻柔 AC歌曲的无线电广播会越来越少,而播放这种歌曲的卫星广播会越来越多。许多音乐以及传统上在轻柔 AC电台演奏的艺人转变为的成人标准的风格,并随着人口老龄化影响渐渐消失。一些轻柔AC电台将更多的老歌编入它们的播放列表并且更加乐意播放符合“传统的”AC定义的柔和音乐,以此找到市场定位。

Artists contributing to this format include mainly soft rock/pop singers such as, Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis, Nana Mouskouri, Celine Dion, Julio Iglesias,Frank Sinatra, Barry Manilow, Engelbert Humperdinck, and Marc Anthony.

为这种风格做出贡献的艺人主要包括软摇滚/流行乐歌手,如 Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis, Nana Mouskouri, Celine Dion, Julio Iglesias,Frank Sinatra, Barry Manilow, Engelbert Humperdinck, 和 Marc Anthony。

Hot adult contemporary


Hot adult contemporary radio stations play a variety of classic hits and contemporary mainstream music aimed at an adult audience. Some Hot AC stations concentrate slightly more on mainstream pop music and alternative rock to target the Generation Y audience, though they exclude the more youth-oriented teen pop, urban and rhythmic dance tracks.

热门成人时代电台以成年观众为目标,播放许多不同种类的经典金曲和当代最为流行的主流音乐。一些HOT AC电台电台会更加的关注主流流行音乐和另类的摇滚乐,它们的目标群是Y一代的观众,虽然它们并不包括更为面向年轻一代的青年流行乐、城市和韵律舞曲。

This format often includes dance-pop (such as upbeat songs by Madonna, Cher, Gloria Estefan and Kylie Minogue), power pops (mainly by boybands such as Backstreet Boys and Westlife), and adult-oriented soft rock music that are ballad-driven (typically by Aerosmith[citation needed], The Eagles, Sting, Toto and The Moody Blues). Generally, Hot AC radio stations target their music output towards the 18-54 age group and a demographic audience of both men and women.

这种风格常常包括流行舞曲(如Madonna,Cher,Gloria Estefan 和Kylie Minogue的欢快歌曲),强力流行乐(主要是一些像后街男孩和西城男孩那样的男生组合),和民谣驱动的倾向成人观众的轻柔摇滚(尤其是 Aerosmith[需引证], Eagles, Sting, Toto和 Moody Blues)。热门 AC电台将它们的目标观众定位为18--54岁的男女群体。

Modern adult contemporary can be a variation of hot AC, and includes modern rock titles in its presentation. In 1997, Mike Marino of KMXB in Las Vegas described the format as reaching "an audience that has outgrown the edgier hip-hop or alternative music but hasn't gotten old and sappy enough for the soft ACs." The format's artists included Alanis Morissette, Counting Crows, Gin Blossoms, Bon Jovi, Train, No Doubt, The Script, The Cranberries, Lifehouse, Sarah McLachlan, Jewel and Carrie Underwood. Unlike modern rock, which went after 18-34 men, this format appealed to women.

现代成人时代可以被视为热门AC的一种变体,而且在它的演出中包括现代摇滚。1997年,拉斯维加斯KMXB的Mike Marino将这种风格描述为吸引了“已不再是听前卫嘻哈乐或者是另类音乐年纪的人群,但还没成熟老练到听轻柔AC”。这种乐风的艺人包括 Alanis Morissette, Counting Crows, Gin Blossoms, Bon Jovi, Train, No Doubt, The Script, The Cranberries, Lifehouse, Sarah McLachlan, Jewel 和Carrie Underwood。不同于追逐18-34岁的男性听众的现代摇滚,该种风格较为吸引女性。

Urban and rhythmic adult contemporary


Urban AC is a form of AC music geared towards adult African-American audiences, and therefore, the artists that are played on these stations are most often African-American, such as Des'ree, whose album I Ain't Movin' was massively popular amongst both African American audience as well as the wider national audience.

城市AC是一种面向非裔美国成年观众的AC音乐形式,因此,这些电台大部分播放的是非裔美国艺人的歌,如发行了在非裔美国人和全美更多地方都受到广泛欢迎的专辑I Ain't Movin的歌手Des'ree。
The urban AC stations resemble soft AC rather than hot AC; they play predominantly R&B and soul music with little hip-hop. This is reflected in many of the urban AC radio stations' taglines, such as "Today's R&B and classic soul", "The best variety of R&B hits and oldies" and "(City/Region)'s R&B leader". Urban AC's core artists include Luther Vandross, Trey Songz, Patti LaBelle, Toni Braxton, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Frank Ocean, Craig David and Mariah Carey.

城市 AC电台更像轻柔 AC而不是热门 AC;它们主要演奏节奏布鲁斯和伴随极少嘻哈特色的灵魂乐。这一点体现在很多 城市 AC 的电台标语中,如“当今的额节奏布鲁斯和经典灵魂乐”,“最佳节奏布鲁斯流行乐和老歌”,和“(城市/地方)的节奏布鲁斯引领者”。城市 AC的主要歌手有 Luther Vandross, Trey Songz, Patti LaBelle, Toni Braxton, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Frank Ocean, Craig David 和 Mariah Carey。

A more elaborate form of urban AC is the rhythmic oldies format, which focuses primarily on "old school" R&B and soul hits from the 1960s to the 1990s, including Motown and disco hits. The format includes soul or disco artists such as ABBA, The Village People, The Jackson 5, Donna Summer, Tina Charles, Gloria Gaynor and the Bee Gees. Rhythmic oldies stations still exist today, but target African-Americans as opposed to a mass audience.

一种更加复杂的城市AC曲风是节奏式老歌风格,它主要关注20世纪60年代和90年代的老式节奏布鲁斯和流行灵魂乐,包括摩城音乐和流行的迪斯科。这种风格包括黑人或者迪斯科音乐人,如 ABBA, The Village People, The Jackson 5, Donna Summer, Tina Charles, Gloria Gaynor 和 the Bee Gees。 节奏式老歌电台在当今仍然存在,但目标听众是非裔美国人,而不是大众。

A format called quiet storm is often included in urban adult contemporary, and is often played during the evening, blending the urban AC and soft AC styles of music. The music that is played is strictly ballads and slow jams, mostly but not limited to Black and Latino artists. Popular artists in the quiet storm format are Teena Marie, Freddie Jackson, Johnny Gill, Lalah Hathaway, Vanessa L. Williams, Toni Braxton, and En Vogue among others.

一种叫做“quiet storm”的风格通常包含在城市成人时代中,而且经常在夜晚演出,混合了城市AC和轻柔AC的音乐风格。从严格意义上讲,播放的音乐是民谣和慢摇的音乐,大部分是黑人和拉丁美洲艺人的作品,但又不局限于此。 quiet storm风格的流行歌手有Teena Marie, Freddie Jackson, Johnny Gill, Lalah Hathaway, Vanessa L. Williams, Toni Braxton, 和 En Vogue 等。

Anita Baker, Sade, Regina Belle, and Luther Vandross are other examples of artists who appeal to mainstream AC, urban AC and smooth jazz listeners. Some soft AC and urban AC stations like to play smooth jazz on the weekends. In recent years, the Smooth Jazz format has been renamed to Smooth AC, as an attempt to lure younger listeners.

Anita Baker, Sade, Regina Belle, 和Luther Vandross 是倡导主流AC,城市AC和轻柔爵士乐的艺术家的代表。一些轻柔AC和城市AC喜欢在周末演出轻柔爵士乐。在近几年,轻柔爵士乐风格被重命名为柔和AC,以此吸引年轻听众。

Adult contemporary R&B


Adult contemporary R&B may be played on both soft AC stations and urban AC. It is a form of neo soul R&B that places emphasis on songcraft and sophistication. As the use of drum machines, synthesizers, and sequencers dominates R&B-rooted music, adult contemporary R&B tends to take most of its cues from the more refined strains of 1970s soul, such as smooth soul, Philly soul and quiet storm. Classic songwriting touches and organic-leaning instrumentation, often featuring string arrangements and horn charts, were constants.

轻柔AC电台和城市 AC电台都可能会演奏成人时代节奏布鲁斯。成人时代节奏布鲁斯是一种强调歌曲创作方法和复杂性的新灵魂音乐形式。由于鼓器、合成器和音序器的使用主导了以节奏布鲁斯为基础的音乐,成人时代节奏布鲁斯趋向于从20世纪70年代更为精密的乐曲中寻找灵感,如柔顺的灵魂乐,费城灵魂和quiet storm。但是经典的作曲技术和倚靠人体的乐器,常常以弦乐和号角为特点,始终未变。

In the 1980s, lush jazz-R&B fusion (George Benson, Patti Austin, Al Jarreau) and stylish crossover R&B (Anita Baker and Luther Vandross, New Edition and Keith Sweat) were equally successful within the mainstream. In the 1990s and early 2000s (decade), artists as sonically contrasting as R. Kelly (mainly ballads) andJill Scott both fit the bill, provided the audience for the material was mature. By riding and contributing to nearly all of the trends, no one has exemplified the style more than Babyface, whose career thrived over 20 years as a member of the Deele (Two Occasions), a solo artist (Whip Appeal, When Can I See You), and a songwriter/producer (Toni Braxton's Breathe Again, Boyz II Men's I'll Make Love to You).

Contemporary Christian music 当代基督教音乐

19世纪80年代,爵士与蓝调高端融合,(代表人物有George Benson, Patti Austin, Al Jarreau),风格融合的蓝调(代表人物有(Anita Baker and Luther Vandross, New Edition and Keith Sweat)都是很成功的主流音乐。20世纪90年代和21世纪前十年,鉴于听众已比较成熟,即使是R. Kelly (主打为民谣) 和Jill Scott这样风格完全对立的艺人 ,他们的作品也能同时符合要求。最能代表这一风格的是Babyface,曾经在这一趋势出现的整个时期不断创作,作为Deele中的一员,他的事业长盛不衰达二十年之久,他还是一名独唱歌手(代表作品有Whip Appeal, When Can I See You),也是作曲家/制片人,(代表作品有Toni Braxton's Breathe Again, Boyz II Men's I'll Make Love to You)

Contemporary Christian music (CCM) has several subgenres, one being "Christian AC". Radio & Records, for instance, lists Christian AC among its format charts. There has been crossover to mainstream and hot AC formats by many of the core artists of the Christian AC genre, notably Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Kathy Troccoli, Steven Curtis Chapman, Plumb, and more recently, MercyMe.

当代基督教音乐(CCM)有几个分支,“ChristianAC”是其中之一。比如 Radio & Records将Christian AC列入了它的排行榜中。Christian AC的许多主要歌手与主流音乐和流行AC交流混合,这方面较为著名的是 Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Kathy Troccoli, Steven Curtis Chapman, Plumb包括现代歌手 MercyMe。
Christmas music

In recent years it has become common for many AC stations, particularly soft AC stations, to play primarily or exclusively Christmas music during the Christmas season in November and December. While these tend mostly to be contemporary seasonal recordings by the same few artists featured under the normal format, most stations will also air some vintage holiday tunes from older pop, MOR, and adult standards artists – such as Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, The Carpenters, Percy Faith, Johnny Mathis and Andy Williams – many of whom would never be played on these stations during the rest of the year.

近几年很多AC电台,尤其是soft AC电台,在11月12月的圣诞节主要或是专门播放圣诞音乐的现象很常见。而它们大都是少数几个固定的艺人按照规范的模式创作出的短暂季节性歌曲,大多数电台也会从过去流行音乐、MOR和成人标准的艺人歌曲中选取经典节日歌曲播放,比如 Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, The Carpenters, Percy Faith, Johnny Mathis 和 Andy Williams ---而在一年中的其他时间,这些歌手的歌并不会在电台播出。

These Christmas music marathons typically start during the week before Thanksgiving Day and end after Christmas Day, or sometimes extending to New Year's Day. Afterwards, the stations usually resume their normal music fare. Several stations begin the holiday format much earlier, at the beginning of November. The roots of this tradition can be traced back to the beautiful music and easy listening stations of the 1960s and 1970s.

这些圣诞音乐的马拉松通常始于感恩节前一周,在圣诞节结束后,有时也会持续到新年。后来,电台通常会恢复常态。有些电台会在11月初就早早的进入节日状态。这个传统可以追溯到20世纪60年代和70年代的beautiful 音乐和轻音乐电台。

Syndicated radio shows and networks carrying the adult contemporary format


Delilah – One of America's most popular radio shows, Delilah airs primarily in the evening.

John Tesh Radio Show – Hosted by John Tesh, this show also airs evenings and also on weekends.

American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest – One version of AT40 airs on hot AC stations, which is a little different from its Top-40/CHR counterpart.

Rick Dees Weekly Top 40/Weekly Top 30 – Began offering Hot AC versions of the popular countdown show in June 1996. These shows feature the top 20 Hot AC songs in the nation along with about 10 past hits from the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s (decade). A softer "AC" version was added in July 2009 to try to fill in the void left by Casey Kasem ending his AC countdown.

Backtrax USA with Kid Kelly – Weekend programs focusing on the '80s and '90s, targeted for hot AC stations.

ABC and Dial Global both offer AC 24-hour networks programming soft and hot AC.

Tom Joyner and Steve Harvey have popular morning shows that air on urban AC (and sometimes Hip-Hop) stations. Both shows are often heard on competing stations in the same

city, such as St. Louis, Philadelphia and Atlanta. Joyner's show is syndicated by ABC Radio, and Harvey's show by Premiere Radio Networks.

Retro Rewind with Dave Harris is weekend based radio show highlighting a massive playlist of songs from the '80s and '90s, interviews, spotlights and contests. The show is done LIVE across the nation on Saturday nights, taking audience requests. The show is targeted towards HOT AC and AC radio stations.

The EZ Rock network is a brand/network of soft AC heard in Canada.

Heart FM Network A radio network in the UK that grew throughout 2009 as more stations were rebranded as "Heart".

Smooth Radio – A UK-wide radio network that formed from six regional Smooth Radio stations.


John Tesh Radio Show--JohnTesh主播,该节目也会在夜晚和周末播放。

American Top 40 with Ryah Seacrest-在hot AC电台上播放的的一个AT40(美国歌曲排行榜前四十)版本,和 Top-40/CHR 副本有所不同。

Rick Dees Weekly Top 40/Weekly Top 30 -1996年六月开始提供HOT AC版本的广为流传的倒计时节目;这些节目播放全国HOT AC 前20名歌曲和20世纪80年代、20世纪90年代和21世纪早期的10首流行歌曲。为了弥补Casey Kasem结束他倒计时节目留下的空白,一种更为柔和的AC音乐在2009年的9月被加入了其中。

Backtrax USA with Kid Kelly-关注80年代和90年代歌曲的周末节目,针对hot AC电台。

ABC 和Dial Global都为AC提供24小时播放soft 和 hot AC的网络平台。

Tom Joyner和Steve Harvey拥有广受欢迎的早间节目,会在urban AC(有时也会在嘻哈电台)播出;它们都会常常在同一个城市里互相竞争的电台听到,如 St. Louis, Philadelphia 和Atlanta。Joyne的节目
由ABC电台组织播出,Harvey的节目由Premiere 电台网络组织播放。

Retro Rewind with Dave Harris是周末广播节目,常会播出大量的80年代和90年代的歌曲,采访节目、聚光灯下和辩论赛。这档节目采取观众建议,采取全国范围内的直播形式。该节目主要针对HOT AC 和 AC广播电台。

The EZ network是加拿大的Hot AC品牌/网络电台。

Heart FM Network,一个发展于2009年的一个英国电台网络,那时越来越多的电台重命名为“Heart"。

Smooth Radio --英国的电台网络,由六个 地区性Smooth电台组成。



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