Take a moment to think about it. Most successful Rock and Roll artists are in their late forties, such as most of the original line-up of Guns 'N' Roses, and some are well beyond that; Ozzy Osbourne, AD/DC, and the Rolling Stones are all in their sixties. From most angles it looks like Rock and Roll is in it's dying legs at least.
At the EMAs, Linkin Park were the only Rock band to take home an award; Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber might have taken the award, but the genre specific 'Best Rock Album' seemed to eliminate both from being nominated.
Take a look at the top ten singles of any given week. You're likely to find Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Adele, and a number of other pop oriented artists. At most you might find one or two Rock artists who might sneak in for a week or two, three if they're lucky. The glory days of Rock and Roll, as well as the spontaneity and youth, are far gone. Scroll through any Rock and Roll fans iPod, or have a look through their CD collection, and how many of those albums are new? How many were released in the last ten years? Realistically speaking, not many of them will be new.
Sure, Rock and Roll has a pretty loyal fanbase, but what are the fans going to do when the bands are too old to record an album and tour on the back of it? And how many songs in the bands setlist will be classics from the '80s? Guns 'N' Roses were in their prime in the late '80s and early '90s, AC/DC's popularity peaked with Highway To Hell, and Aerosmith seemed to disappear for most of the noughties.
Bieber-mania has taken over from Beatle-mania, Directioners are the new thing, and The X-Factor spurts out more and more short-sighted musicians every year (anybody remember who won it the first/second/third year?). The formula for success seems to be simple; get a song with a good hook, and get a good looking singer to put some vocals on it. More and more of these songs are coming out every year. It came about with Justin Bieber with Baby, then came Rebecca Black with Friday (thank you Google!), Carley Rae Jepsen with Call Me Maybe, and now it's Taylor Swift with We are Never Ever...
But back to the question of whether or not Rock and Roll is dead. Right now, I don't think so. Have a look at the highest grossing tours over the last couple of years. A vast number of them will be Rock and Roll musicians. In 2011, three of the top five grossing tours went to Rock and Roll musicians (U2, Bon Jovi and Roger Waters). They took a combined total of over half a billion euro. And who's at these concerts you may ask? Fans; both old and new. Take a look into the crowd and you'll see teenagers shoulder to shoulder with men and women in their 30s and 40s, each fan belting out the lyrics as hard as they can.
Sure, there may not be many true Rock and Roll bands still in their youth, but we have years ahead of us before some of the old Rock and Rollers hit the dirt; Slash just released his second solo album, former bandmate Steven Adler released an album, and ZZ Top came out with another album. They may not be in the spotlight at the moment, but the one genre that has outlasted the many of the others is Rock and Roll.