Why Bridgerton uses so much modern music

Bridgerton may be a period drama, but it includes covers of songs by Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, and Taylor Swift for a very clever reason.

by Netflix Bridgerton combines the tropes and aesthetics of the likes of Pride and Prejudice, but with a more modern edge provided by Shondaland, including several covers of recent pop songs and a modern track. But why does the series include Regency versions of songs by Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, Taylor Swift and Maroon 5 among others? It’s about Bridgertonprogressive ideas.

Alongside exceptional and moving music by Kris Bowers, the first season of Bridgerton includes covers of “thank u, next” by Ariana Grande, “Girls Like You” by Maroon 5, “In My Blood” by Shawn Mendes, “bad guy” by Billie Eilish, “Strange” by Celeste and the pop song Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams”, most of which are covered by Vitamin String Quartet with the latter two by Bowers and Duomo. These are perfectly observed vintage covers and they add a great hook to set it apart from other vintage competitors. There’s also a track – “Love Yourself” – by Sufjan Stevens that completely loses historical relevance for a key moment. And Bridgerton’s Season 2 soundtrack also features pop floor-filler covers.

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Generally, you might expect a show like this to use the gimmick of modern covers throughout, or stick to a more traditional score, so why Bridgerton choose to go with both? The covers actually work as an easy indicator that the show isn’t traditional. Much like its consciously diverse cast, Netflix’s goal Bridgerton is that it defies the usual tropes of this type of show – it’s feminist, progressive, even provocative, and the use of modern music in the regency style is a clever nod to that.

Why Bridgerton uses modern music


Bridgerton Simon Daphne

Although it reinforces some dramatic Regency tropes, particularly in its romantic stories, Bridgerton is based on a matriarchal system with Queen Charlotte on the throne thanks to the illness of her husband King George III. Each of the most powerful figures in and around the ton are women: the Queen, Lady Danbury (whose even the Queen takes charge at one point) and Lady Whistledown are the real power players, while the key male figures tend to be presented as sometimes more emotional and even more hysterical. This inversion underlies the whole show, as does the diversity of the characters. At one point, this racial diversity is openly addressed when it is revealed that black characters gained their privileged positions in this regency society thanks to the king who fell in love with Queen Charlotte.


Every Modern Covered In Bridgerton Season 2


Simone Ashley and Jonathan Bailey in Bridgerton Season 2

There is an exciting list of modern artists who will premiere on the Bridgerton season 2 soundtrack, set to mark Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma’s upcoming romance. Bollywood fans will recognize Lata Mangeshkar’s “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham”, the title track from the film of the same name. And on top of that, there are a number of recognizable pop songs covered in Bridgerton season 2:

  • Madonna’s “Material Girl”
  • Rihanna’s “Diamonds”
  • “Stay Away” from Nirvana
  • “Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles
  • “You Should Know” by Alanis Morrisette
  • “Dancing Alone” door Robyn
  • “And Us” by P!nk
  • “How Deep Is Your Love” by Calvin Harris and the Disciples
  • “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus


The musical choices are reminiscent each time the audience watches a Regency story with modern feelings behind it. Shonda Rhimes’ production seeks to be tougher than generally expected with a strong feminist element at times. Ultimately, it ends up deferring to the generic type, but the flashes of modernity – especially in the massively stand-out Sufjan Stevens song – are there as Bridgerton‘s hook to the present and almost like a rebellion against the expectations of the era it covers.

Next: Bridgerton Cast & Character Guide: What Else The Cast Has Been In

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