But what or who is a singer communicating? Simon Frith summarizes the play of identities in pop performance as follows:

First, [pop singers] are involved in a process of double enactment: they enact both a star personality (their image) and a song personality, the role that each lyric requires, and the pop star’s art is to keep both acts in play at once … the performer is thus the singer and not-the-singer simultaneously. …

The second complication in the pop singer’s enactment of the pop star is that she … is also the site of desire – as a body, and as a person. … In performance, then, in the playing of the various song parts, instead of ‘forgetting who they are’, singers are continuously registering their presence.3