Duran Duran at this year’s Billboard Music Awards was everything for fans of ’80s new wave

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It is no secret that Duran Duran, and to be honest, all of 1980s New Wave music, has been the punchline of one too many jokes. Critics have not always appreciated the brand of New Romantic New Wave that the Birmingham, England-based band has offered up. Still, this past Sunday when Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Roger Taylor and Nick Rhodes took the stage at the Billboard Music Awards, the fans appreciation for the group could be heard loud and clear.

The band played a medley of songs: “Rio,” “Invisible,” and “Notorious,” and “Hungry Like the Wolf” chief among them. The crowd screamed loudly. Though it is difficult to state for certain, and even more difficult when a person was not there, the screaming did not all seem to be from Ben-Xers looking to reclaim their youth.

Instead, it sounds as if Duran Duran has found yet another generation of fan base. Their latest album, their 15th, in case anyone is counting, is “Future Past.” Their performance on the Billboard show seems to prove that Duran Duran is a band who is in touch with both their future and the past. In addition to their terrific sound and spot-on rock attitude, the guys look as if they have aged well. Years ago, singer Le Bon was quoted as saying that Duran Duran would be the “…one you’ll be listening to when the bomb drops.”

And while no one wants any bombs to drop, more music from Duran Duran will do just fine. “Future Past” was supposed to come out in 2020, but COVID-19 changed all that. But it is out now. The album is a solid effort from a band with staying power. “Future Past” is the first album by Duran Duran on the BMG label. Duran Duran never ceases to surprise fans and critics alike.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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One response to “Duran Duran at this year’s Billboard Music Awards was everything for fans of ’80s new wave”

  1. I would never dissuade anyone of the notion that Duran Duran are under appreciated, but I’m pretty sure that the sounds of that crowd were added and the bad was playing to little to no audience due to lingering COVID restrictions.

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