Interpersonal dynamics of fame: celebrity discourses in commercial music artist’s romantic relationships

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Commercial music artists seek celebrity capital, which has central value in the music industry and broader society. Previous literature suggests that besides advantages, fame is connected to interpersonal issues in close relationships. The marginalised celebrity discourses emerging from well-known artists’ close interpersonal relationships are examined to better understand the interpersonal dynamics of fame. Relational dialectics theory is applied to study celebrity discourses in the romantic relationships of 11 Finnish music artists. Contrapuntal analysis of the data indicates that fame emerges as competing celebrity discourses privileging separateness, closedness, asymmetry, publicity and inauthenticity. The discursive interplays illuminate the dominating celebrity persona, increased mistrust, social and emotional distance, and asymmetrical power dynamics in artists’ romantic relationships. These meaning-systems are linked to decreased self-disclosure and increased social distance, which are negatively connected to relationship formation and maintenance. The dominant perception of fame as harmful for relationships challenges the popular perceptions of fame as worth pursuing. Increased awareness of the interpersonal dynamics of fame can help individuals in managing the fame-related tensions in close interpersonal relationships, which are known as vital for well-being. The research adds to the understanding of the relational production of fame and introduces the interpersonal communication perspective on celebrity studies.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Celebrity discourses
  • contrapuntal analysis
  • fame
  • interpersonal communication
  • music industry
  • relational dialectics theory

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies


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