Word invented by Ingrid from New Jersey (U.S.A.) in the 1960's 1. calling herself "Ingrid Superstar" to convey the new, loosely defined show-biz role she sought. Friend of polyartist Andy Warhol, she became a seamstress in the 1970's, according to him. Picked up by the press and the trendy, the term and its concept caught on quickly. By 1969 it was in the title of a popular song, Groupie (Superstar)by Bonnie Bramlett (of Delaney, Bonnie and Friends) and Leon Russell, covered with great popular success by the Carpenters in 1971, Bette Midler in 1972.
Whereas stars were and are stars because of their stellar performance in a particular, clearly defined discipline or art form (i.e. "movie star", "TV star", "singing star", player on an "(All-Star]" sports team), "superstar" qualifies someone who is exceptional in a more general, non-specific way. . 2..
Consequently, the usage of this qualifier in the title "Jesus Christ Superstar" (1972) may be deemed appropriate by some; nevertheless, it is perceived as somewhat mocking and derisive by others, who consider it insufficient distinction for the incarnation of God. 3..
1. Some sources put the origin in the 1920's; the word may have had an ephemeral trendy existence, disappeared, and then been reinvented in the 1960's.
2. Some dictionaries would suggest superior stars, stars of a higher level of skill or achievement than mere stars, but that may be the product of overly hierarchical thinking of obsessively ontological minds which don't (or can't) accept non-categorical, dialectic or fuzzy classifications. How will they understand hyperstar, megastar, and metastar?
3. The debate as to the nature and divinity of Jesus Christ was a major issue in the first centuries of Christianity, opposing Arians and then, after their fall, Semi-Arians against those who held that Christ was entirely as divine as God. St. Anthony of Egypt, a noted ascetic, preached against Arianism toward the end of his life (circa 350 a.d.)
- Andy Warhol
- From A to B and Back Again, Picador, 1976
- Cover Songs Database
- Groupie (Superstar) (1969)