I was chastised for comparing my current naughty, kick-ass heroine to a young Doris Day (physically although my character has an inner good girl wanting to come out) in my latest WIP.
Many readers weren't born when Doris sang and acted her way into our hearts. Does this mean we should dumb down to our larger audience? No. Keep it spar, of course. It's one thing to reference, but turning your contemporary novel into an historical treasure hunt puts the reader off focus and seeking Google or Bing if they continue to read at all.
Why are young men singing about a still lovely 57 year old actress?
Michelle is one of the most beautiful actresses to ever grace the silver screen and the idea of challenging your audience and/or paying homage to a striking woman seems obvious.
There are other theories.
Blog 97ZOK presents two:
"No person’s name has been mentioned this many times in music since Jason Derulo couldn’t stop saying his own in 2011.
RWR: Okay, interesting ideas, but after reviewing the two songs' videos and lyrics it's predominately obvious to me that the men idolize women and in particular, Michelle Pfeiffer.
Riptide by Vance Joy 2013 Pfeiffer's name drop at 2:12 evokes obsession: