Adult Contemporary

All You Need To Know About The Adult Contemporary Music


Adult Contemporary Music is a form of radio-played popular music in North-American Music, that ranges from genres from 1960s vocal and 1970s soft rock music to mostly ballad-heavy music of the current day scenario, with varying degrees of easy listening, pop, soul, rhythm and blues, quiet storm, and rock influence. 

Adult contemporary music is essentially considered to have a lush and melody to its tune, pleasing enough to grab the listener’s attention towards the soft and mellow tunes. The background music plays the most crucial part in Adult Contemporary music in a pleasing and non-offensive way. It is usually composed in a verse chore structure just like any other pop music.


Adult contemporary music is typically a continuation of the soft rock style that became popular in the early ’70s, with a few modifications and slight changes that reflected the evolution of pop-music production. The main division lies between soft rock and adult contemporary is that the latter common features synthesizers and other electronics, such as drum machines. Both as a style and a popular radio format, adult contemporary was heavy on romantic ballads, but there was also room for catchy music.

Adult contemporary’s visibility decreased just a bit in the ’90s, mainly because the rigid state of radio and the decline of Top programming during the decade meant that Adult contemporary music artists could not necessarily rely on as much hit-making exposure outside of their core adult audience. Continued to be on high demand for the kind of ambiance adult contemporary radio provided, and it remained a well-ingrained style into the new millennium environment. 


There are numerous formats in Adult Contemporary Music such as, 

  • Hot Adult Contemporary – The hot AC format leans towards hit music with wide appeal, with current usually reflecting familiar and youthful music that adults had grown up with.
  • Soft adult contemporary – Soft AC stations tend to be more selective in their music libraries than other adult contemporary stations, preferring proven songs over current hits
  • Urban adult contemporary – The Urban adult contemporary format focuses primarily on current and classic R&B and soul music. urban contemporary stations prefer hit-driven hip-hop songs, labels typically service R&B songs to the urban AC format only
  • Rhythmic  adult contemporary – The Rhythmic adult contemporary format generally focuses on a variety of current and classic dance music, such as dance-pophip-hop, and R&B (often resembling a blend of the classic hits and hot AC
  • Christian Adult contemporary -is a genre of modern popular music which is lyrically focused on matters concerned with the Christian faith.