What is a rockstar? Well I'd say it's someone who plays rock music. Someone who completely changes what pop music can be. Remember, being a rockstar means you have to be mainstream and commercial. You can't just be a star in the rock community. You have to permeate general society. The rock star isn't an accessory for fun with your friends. You go to see Robert Plant because he's that fricking good. So good that you'd go and watch him live by yourself for hundreds of dollars because their music is the main course, not chilling with the boys with music there too. When you go to see Weezer or Jimi Eat World you do it because you wanna chill with your friends with live music. Not really because they are rockstars.
It's not easy being a rockstar. By my count there are only 7 bona fide rock stars in history. Elvis, Lennon, McCartney, Morrison, Hendrix, Plant and Cobain.
It's not like they were common ever. Hell the whole 80s was about being a rockstar and there wasn't a single rock star. But you better believe it was easier for Cobain to be a rockstar when rock was still the most popular form of music. Today it is rap/pop. But honestly, there isn't a single music star in the whole world. Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey have been pop stars. Today there isn't a single unavoidable force in the music world that nationally is just transcendent.
I think this all started around 1996 in a transitional period when technology started taking the throne from music as the dominant force in youth culture. By 2003 I remember music was an afterthought to the new gadget. The transformation was complete.
Kids don't grow up bumping rock music anymore. Really the last truly great rock band was the Smashing Pumpkins who released the last truly great rock album in 1995. But Corgan wasn't a rockstar. Sure his band was huge, but he was never as big as the 7 rockstars I mentioned.
Today, prime Corgan would be the biggest rockstar by a mile and yet he wasn't even a bona fide rockstar.
I fear that not only are we never going to have another rockstar. I feel like there will never be another music star, no matter the genre.