More 50+ Insights
Take a look at who’s making 70+ look amazing! AARP Media Solutions has been tracking the dramatic transformation of the 70+ audience over the past two years. This powerful demo has led the largest online migration of any single demo in U.S. history, ushering in new opportunities for marketers and advertisers.
Primetime Emmy Record Breaker
Alfre Woodard holds the record for the most awarded African American actress in Primetime Emmy history. Known for roles in 12 Years a Slave, Lion King, and Star Trek, Woodard, who turns 70 on November 8, grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She was a high school track star and cheerleader – today she’s cheering on causes close to her heart. Inspired by her role playing South African First Lady Winnie Mandela, Woodard founded Artists for a New South Africa – a nonprofit advocating for democracy and equality. In January, PBS announced Woodard will narrate Harriet Tubman: Visions of Freedom – part of a highly anticipated pair of Stanley Nelson documentaries premiering this fall.
Bruce Springsteen cemented his place in rock history with hits like Born to Run, which Rolling Stone named one of the greatest songs of all time. But the prolific songwriter didn’t keep his work to himself; he shared songs with fellow artists, writing Blinded by the Light for Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and Fire for the Pointer Sisters. Springsteen, who turns 73 on September 23, grew up admiring another rock legend, Elvis. In his 20s, he jumped over the barrier at Graceland to meet his hero but was stopped by security. Going on to achieve his own legendary status, Springsteen is recognized worldwide as “The Boss” – a nickname he earned during his band’s early days when he would collect and dole out payments to band mates after a gig.
A Force For Change
Samuel L. Jackson, known for iconic roles in Shaft, Pulp Fiction, and Do the Right Thing, got an unlikely start in acting. He discovered his talent after a speech therapist encouraged him to audition for a local play to help his speech impediment. Jackson, who turns 74 on December 21, was a student activist while attending Morehouse College and served as an usher at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral, before embarking on a career in acting. A passionate Star Wars fan, Jackson once said he’d love to work with director George Lucas. Lucas saw the interview and cast Jackson as Mace Windu in the Star Wars prequels. The prolific and award-winning actor is an avid golfer, and maintains a clause in his acting contracts that guarantees close proximity and access to local golf courses.
Rocketing to Fame
Born Reginald Dwight, it didn’t take long for legendary artist Elton John to find his passion. John, who turns 75 on March 25, taught himself to play the piano at three years old and received a Royal Academy of Music scholarship at 11. He went on to become #3 on Billboard’s list of greatest of all time hot 100 artists (behind only The Beatles and Madonna). Six decades into his career, John is showing no signs of slowing down, having recently collaborated with Dua Lipa on a new song, Cold Heart. Paying homage to fellow ”greats,” he names his pianos after female musicians like Aretha Franklin. In addition to being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his charitable endeavors, John proudly bears the distinction of being a godfather to the children of David Beckham, Elizabeth Hurley, and John Lennon.
Queen of Country
Having first appeared on radio and TV at age 10, and at the Grand Olde Opry by 13, Dolly Parton has been an unstoppable country music force for decades. Parton, who turned 76 on January 19, was born into a family of 14. She was inspired by her father, who never learned to read, to create the Imagination Library – a free book service for preschoolers. The program has mailed over 120 million books to children across the country. In addition to filming “Goodnight Dolly,” a series of free, virtual bedtime stories during the pandemic, Parton donated $1 million to vaccine research. Parton is making her own writing debut this year, teaming up with bestselling author James Patterson to write a novel and an accompanying album, Run, Rose, Run. This legendary EGOT (Emmy, GRAMMY, Oscar and Tony) winner is also the godmother to artist Miley Cyrus, and has performed with her. While fans may hope to get a glimpse of the star at her theme park, Dollywood, Parton famously suffers from motion sickness and doesn’t enjoy the rides. She does enjoy sweets though! In February, Parton announced a limited-edition line of “Dolly” branded cake mix flavors with Duncan Hines.
Music icon Diana Ross was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up down the street from singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson. Despite growing up in the birthplace of Motown, she originally dreamed of becoming a fashion designer. She studied design, pattern making, and costumes at a local technical high school, where she was also voted ”best dressed.” During this time she also worked at Hudson’s Department Store, and was the first Black woman to work on the floor. Ross, who turns 78 on March 26, went on to work as a secretary at Motown Records before the label signed her. She received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her legendary career as a solo artist, frontwoman of The Supremes, starring in The Wiz, and 27 singles on Billboard’s Top 40.
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart attributes many of her passions to her parents. Her mother taught her how to bake and sew at an early age, and she frequently gardened with her father. She also credits Julia Child as a big inspiration, having cooked all 524 recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. But before she became America’s first self-made female billionaire, Stewart worked as a model to pay her college tuition. Going on to become a celebrated businesswoman, she had the opportunity to meet and work with her childhood hero, Julia Child. Stewart, who turns 81 on August 3, is a notorious workaholic, sleeping less than four hours a night. This night owl still manages to make time for her famous bestie Snoop Dogg; the duo has collaborated on everything from game shows to cookbooks. Stewart recently launched Martha’s Chard, a new Chardonnay with the brand 19 Crimes, which also stocks Snoop Dogg’s Cali Red.
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