I was really annoyed to read Usher’s comments about how American Idol is strangling creativity and killing music. The usual cry of a million-selling artist who probably doesn’t remember the days when they were struggling to get their music listened to.
Yes, the guy who unleashed Justin bloody Bieber on an unsuspecting world feels qualified to criticize shows like [[American Idol (TV Series)|American Idol]] for flooding the pop charts with creatively dead dirge. I call hypocrite. I also call hypocrite on the type of artist who gleefully used Idol as a platform to promote his new single and album.
He even dragged Bieber along to his performance on the Idol elimination show for a little added publicity. And then, just three weeks later, he slams American Idol for lying to the public:
The true art form of music is being lost because it seems so easy that everyone can do it, and that it can happen overnight.
Television is a lie. It can’t happen overnight. The artist who thinks that it can just comes and goes. The reason why great singers cannot exist in this time is maybe because they’re not properly managed, and maybe they don’t understand the full gamut of what being an entertainer is.
I had a similar problem when [[Queen]] did a mentoring session on [[The X Factor (UK TV Series)|X Factor]] in 2009. They’re on record as hating reality TV shows, and even released a single a couple of years ago called C-lebrity, which bemoaned the state of the new celebrity class. You may not have heard the song, because nobody’s bought a Queen single since Freddie died.
Having said that, I do agree with Usher a little bit. Management of artists coming out of reality TV shows is substandard. They’re not nurtured with a view to having a long-term career, and why should they be? With maybe 3 or 4 artists from each year scoring a record deal, and a new series every year, there’s a definite conveyor belt vibe going on in the industry.
Still, shows like Idol and X Factor are hugely entertaining, and they’re not going anywhere. They attract massive audiences that artists are keen to exploit to promote their records. What I say is that if Usher has a problem with the format and its impact on music, he should have walked away and performed his single somewhere else.
And I’ll be very interested to see how Usher proposes to manage his own roster of artists and if Justin Bieber will survive longer than it takes for his voice to break.