Was reading this piece about how pop (which includes the Smiths and Manics, so let's just say non-niche acts) used to teach people about literature and theories http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/oct/08/school-of-pop
Does it still? I think this article makes quite a few old man sweeping generalisations. I know there were a lot of emo kids who read a lot of Chuck Palahniuk after Panic at the Disco's debut album came out (some may pick up some Hunter S Thompson off the back of the new one if it wasn't so terrible) and I know I got into Don Lellilo after Bright Eyes bigged him up. I can't even begin to think how many great below-the-radar movies I've seen because they were celebrated by albums and philosophical theories I've found myself looking up to better understand because they've been mentioned on records.
Feels like there are countless examples if you swerve away from chart-friendly music, so what are yours?