Idols and Grammys

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 8th 2006 2:14PM

fantasia barrinoThe Grammys airs tonight, but I won't be watching it. I have an annual ritual where instead of watching the awards show I turn off all the lights, stand in a box of broken glass, and spray Windex into my eyes for two hours. As much as I'd love to watch the music industry congratulate itself, this just seems like a better use of my time. However, there is something interesting about tonight's telecast, which is that if either Kelly Clarkson or Fantasia Barrino wins, it will be the first time a made-by-TV performer will have won the coveted award.

What does this mean, exactly? Well, the Mercury News thinks this marks a new era where TV has a greater influence on music. As one promoter states, "TV has created an entirely new audience, beyond the normal concert goers."

I don't think the "new audience" that has formed around American Idol could really be described as "music fans." I'm not making a blanket statement about all AI viewers, I'm saying that the show, despite what it claims to be, doesn't really cater to real music fans. It's about drama and record deals, and while the talent involved may be good (or great, or amazing) singers in their own right, they're merely part of the juggernaut. Television didn't just make people like Clay Aiken popular, it also made William Hung popular, too. It wasn't until some distance was put between Idol and the likes of Clarkson and Aiken that they began to garner a fanbase that wasn't just made up of people wondering what barbed witticism Simon Cowell was going to toss out next. American Idol has been a springboard for many, but ironically, it's those artists who have forged an identity separate from the show that have had the most staying power. Rather than American Idol ushering in some new era of music, I see it becoming less and less relevant.

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deb

Now, I have been around since Elvis, Beach Boys, etc.
I have been to many concerts to many to mention, but never did I feel what I felt when I went to Clay's concerts. I was impressed, the stage presence the humor, his fast reactions, and his voice, and the interaction of the audience.
What is sad is the music industry lost touch with reality, I for one am sick and tired of the cookie cutter crap they think we should listen to. The sad thing is they look pretty but they do not know how to sing without the help of computors to change there voices or add to there voices, this is sad, very sad. The music industry has really lost touch at what people want and they are missing a goldmine with some of the other folks, and finding something that all generations can enjoy. This is why Clay has become so popular, and to have 6 success tours, oh yeah and his last two were done without any new albums......how many artist can do concerts tours without having new albums to support them. That took guts and it paid off big time.
Some say these people don't pay there dues, well some of these people didn't just start singing yesterday, some have been singing and performing most of there lives.
As for me I will keep watching AI because that may be were the really talent is.
What's great is the older 30 to 60 years olds we love to listen to music, we have vacation time, and we have money to spend, on concerts and music, but the music industry has failed with a big F. So AI will get our money and they can take it to the bank. Kelly and Clay will be with us for a long time. And I hope Clay does another tour this year because I will be there.
I only wish that Neil Sedaka would write and produce a cd for Clay because when he was on AI he said he would have killed to produce his first.

February 13 2006 at 8:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
D.E.

Ditto--Every thing Martigyrl said just above.....
Clay and Kelly have really worked for where they are...and they know their stuff...
They have great talent...I'm waiting for more from Ruben --a new album this year is coming from each of them ....
Being a Claymate, I can hardly wait for Clay's new dual disc...!!!

February 11 2006 at 4:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
D.E.

Ditto--Every thing Martigyrl said just above.....
Clay and Kelly have really worked for where they are...and they know their stuff...
They have great talent...I'm waiting for more from Ruben --a new album this year is coming from each of them ....
Being a Claymate, I can hardly wait for Clay's new dual disc...!!!

February 11 2006 at 4:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Martigyrl

Thanks for the great article, and if you need some bandaids, let me know.lol
I think, like you, that the best thing Clay, and Kelly did, was to distance themselves from the stigma,of AI. Smart move on their part. They are out there, proving they have the talent to be a long term success, while many performers groomed from television shows like the Mickey Mouse Club, are lackluster, in 'True talent'.
Clay makes every song, his own, beautifully.He can sing ANYTHING, and sing it like it hasn't ever been herard before. His JBT proved that.
Kelly is good too, and the both of them are working extremely hard,paying their dues, and in my humble opinion,proving they have what it takes. The only thing I don't think is good, is that Kelly seems to have 'conformed'to what she has been marketed toward,and made her way to the top of the charts. It got her there, but is she being true to herself? I hope so.
This year, it will be Clays Day!! Looking foreward to his upcoming sophomore album shortly. Waiting with baited breath, I might add. He is going to rock our world with this one.
respectfully,
Martigyrl

February 11 2006 at 9:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Martigyrl

Thanks for the great article, and if you need some bandaids, let me know.lol
I think, like you, that the best thing Clay, and Kelly did, was to distance themselves from the stigma,of AI. Smart move on their part. They are out there, proving they have the talent to be a long term success, while many performers groomed from television shows like the Mickey Mouse Club, are lackluster, in 'True talent'.
Clay makes every song, his own, beautifully.He can sing ANYTHING, and sing it like it hasn't ever been herard before. His JBT proved that.
Kelly is good too, and the both of them are working extremely hard,paying their dues, and in my humble opinion,proving they have what it takes. The only thing I don't think is good, is that Kelly seems to have 'conformed'to what she has been marketed toward,and made her way to the top of the charts. It got her there, but is she being true to herself? I hope so.
This year, it will be Clays Day!! Looking foreward to his upcoming sophomore album shortly. Waiting with baited breath, I might add. He is going to rock our world with this one.
respectfully,
Martigyrl

February 11 2006 at 9:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
PB

Adam,


I appreciate your views, but please do not tell me I am not a "real music fan" because I happen to support real music talent like Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard!

I have been a music fan my whole life. I grew up with the British rock groups, folk music, and the best R&B yuou could ever here from Motown artists and groups, as well as many other pop stars and classical music. Just because I happen to think that a couple of talents from the AI franchise are good is not reason to brand me as not being a "real music fan"!

The fact is, Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken can sing circles around the majority of the phoney lip-sincing, butt shaking, cookie cutter hip-hop, rap and R&B artists out there!

When I go to a concert I want to hear real bonafide good singing! I don't need a bunch of pyrotechnics and voice over singing!

Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard are the real deal when it comes to having great voices today!

February 09 2006 at 4:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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