Diamond life: will Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa and Drake still be going strong at 60?

Hold on to your conical bras – Madonna turns 60 next month! We explore how today’s pop stars might edge towards retirement

Liam Payne

With his penchant for oversized tracksuits and gold chains – and, apparently, no sense of embarrassment – Liam Payne aged 60 is either going to turn into Tim Westwood or Britain’s Got Talent novelty act DJ Talent.

Ed Sheeran

It’s going to go one of two ways for Ed. Either he becomes a much-adored elder statesman of pop who loves to collaborate, like Paul McCartney – who was apparently also quite popular when he was Ed’s age – or, after getting a taste for dominating the charts, Ed will become an obsessed megalomaniac, releasing a track every week to keep his stranglehold on the Top 10. Let’s hope it’s the former.

Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa.
Dua Lipa. Photograph: Publicity image

Picture the scene: 38 years in the future, Dua Lipa sits in the studio and asks: “Do I really have to do this again?” Yes, yes she must. Despite a long career churning out pop bangers and making videos in which she has exactly one facial expression – that of mild boredom – the record company will not stop asking for yet another sequel to New Rules. They must have more new rules to follow up the old new rules. She sighs. “Rule 102: don’t drive in the bus lane – they have cameras and they fine you. Rule 103: Red and green shall never be seen. Um, Rule 104: Something about drinking red wine with fish? Is that still a thing?” She is trapped here forever.

DJ Khaled

It’s 2036, and DJ Khaled has managed to have it written into law that he will turn up and shout his catchphrases over all music. “We the best!” he yells over the national anthem. “Major key!” he barks as you sing in the shower. “Anutha one!” he whispers as you hum a lullaby to your baby son. His own son, Asahd, 20 in 2036, has resigned as CEO of his dad’s company (a position that Khaled bestowed upon him when Asahd was just three months old) and has taken a vow of silence in a monastery high in the Tibetan mountains.

Katy Perry

To be honest, Katy has already cycled through her Christian music, cheesy pop, woke pop and big anthem phases, so if she’s going to still be switching it up at 60, she’d better slow down a bit. Or, like the original queen of reinvention, all she’ll have left at 60 is the “vaguely embarrassing mum on Instagram who is slightly behind every music trend” phase that Madonna is currently living through.

Selena Gomez

As the years have passed, Selena Gomez has been Benjamin Button-ing to look younger and younger, but her songs are getting increasingly suggestive, in the same way that most former Disney stars try to convince us that they’re adults now. But that means that, by the time she’s drawing her pension, Selena will look like an actual baby but will be sexy-whispering crude lyrics about pegging. Then again, Selena doesn’t turn 60 until 2052, so hopefully we’ll all be dead before then.

Shawn Mendes

He’ll be John Mayer. He basically already is. But age 60? He’ll have gone full Mayer.

Drake. Photograph: Publicity image


Being Drake at 60 is, honestly, a lot of work. He now employs an entire team just to keep track on who he’s feuding with and why. Has he fallen out with Meek Mill or are they mates again? Is he on or off with Rihanna? Who is currently winning the Pusha T row, which has now lasted longer than the second world war, Vietnam and the American civil war combined? It’s a huge drain on his resources: he now employs 30 full-time feud managers, which is twice the amount of ghostwriters he has on staff. (We are joking about the ghostwriters, Drake – please don’t start feuding with the Guide.)

Jack White

In the same way that if you eat too much of one food you’ll end up hating it, there’s every chance that future Jack White could just wake up one day and realise that, actually, records are just really inefficient, old-fashioned versions of CDs and, actually, wouldn’t it be nice to just get a Spotify account? After years of banging on about it, he’ll sell the vinyl pressing plant, sign up to Apple Music and burn all his precious LPs. He’s into trap now, he lives for a wifi connection to bang out the Rap Caviar playlist through super-expensive speakers, and he’s so futuristic he ONLY performs as a hologram. Sadly, he’s still incredibly pretentious. Just in a whole different way.


Issy Sampson

The GuardianTramp

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