Gotta chime in on your "great looks required for popularity" thesis.

Having spent a LOT of years in the major music industry...on the publishing side, I can say that while "looks" generally don't hurt they are not now nor ever have been a "must have" feature for recording artists.

The examples are legion but I just put into evidence Momma Cass...Janis Joplin and even Striesand back in the day...or K.D Lange...or more recently Amy Weingarten or Adele (who MIGHT be a "classic beauty" minus 85 lbs but certainly not disrespect intended).

Raw talent has always in the past and always will in the future trump raw looks.

Pretty much the same for the men. Sammy Davis and Tony Bennett probably couldn't have gotten Prom dates if they couldn't sing so fantastically well...and Neil Sedaka probably never went to a Prom that he didn't play at!!!