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Pop Music : Are ‘Vocalists’ On The Decline ?

Perhaps in response to the industry’s increasingly disposable nature, the question of talent remains ever present fueled by the head scratching ascent of many a contemporary act.

Unashamedly lacking any discernible gift or skill worthy of their notoriety, gone are the days where an artist did one or the other and if ‘the fan’ was lucky – both.

Instead, barring the likes of Alexandra Burke, Beyonce, Lady GaGa, Jessie J and Adele, it’s safe to say the actual ‘talent’ of most entertainers finds itself in disrepute, backed not by their skills but chart feats and in some cases…Twitter followers.

So now we ask:

Are vocalists – gifted singers – on the decline? Or are they just a little harder to find in the blur that is the Hot 100?


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Product Vs. Promotion: Ameriie

Underrated.  Just one of the many things often named with ‘1 Thing’ hitmaker Amerie Rogers.  Her humble beginnings may have found her lost in the shuffle of a new wave of early 2000s R&B belles, but the musical melting pot that was her debut album ‘All I Have’ quickly set her apart.  A melting pot, hinting at R&B, soul, pop, and hip hop, that seemed filled with almost as many diversities as the singer herself.

Led by the mid tempo ‘Why Don’t We Fall In Love’, fans quickly fell in love with this beauty’s varicolored vocal stylings, accented by layers of decorative harmonic arrangements.  A quality that would remain a distinct constant, yet misprized feature of her offerings.

However, it was the introduction of ‘1 Thing’, the lead single from the 2005 ‘Hitch’ soundtrack (Will Smith) and her sophomore album ‘Touch’ that saw R&B lovers really get in touch with her work…


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Hot Topic: Sales Vs Certifications

Yesterday evening, Pepsi darling Nicki Minaj celebrated the news that her sophomore LP ,’Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded‘, had been certified Platinum in the US.

However, as the love fest between she and her ‘Barbz’ went on on Twitter, the news came under intense scrutiny from the Rapper’s critics.

Critics, who did not understand how an LP which is yet to move 600,000 units in the US was able to be certified Platinum (1 million copies).

So, ever eager to address the issues you care most about, That Grape Juice dedicates today’s ‘Hot Topic’ to the system that is an RIAA certification.

Full explanation below…


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Hot Topic: Are Lasting Artists On The Decline?

In 2008, Tina Turner launched “Tina!:50th Anniversary Tour” in honor of five decades spent atop the music industry.

Four years after Turner graced 40 cities across the North America and Europe, Lionel Richie watched his 9th studio album ‘Tuskegee’ rocket to #1, 20 years after the release of his self titled debut album ‘Lionel Richie‘.

Both rare feats, their successes 10, 20, 30 years or more after their debut is both a testament to their talent and their ability to ‘hold on’ to audiences, against a number of industry induced odds.

The question is though, how many of today’s performers could follow in Lionel and Tina’s suit?

How many of them could bring in audiences long after their initial hype has died, respected enough to command major numbers in an industry with an ever growing age bias.

In short, we want to know?

Do today’s acts have what it takes to stand the test time of time?


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Hot Topic: What Makes An Icon?


A word thrown about fans up and down the blogosphere, recent years have seen a number of today’s acts awarded the title, accurately and inaccurately.

From Justin (both of them) to Rihanna, there are very few performers whose careers haven’t been billed as ‘potentially iconic’ if not already ‘legendary’.

But what does it mean? To be iconic?

One thing, an image or depiction, that represents something else of greater significance through literal or figurative meaning, usually associated with religious, cultural, political, or economic standing.

So, taking the above into consideration, we ask you…

What does it take to be an icon?

And which of today’s stars have it within them to be iconic?


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New Music Seminar : Label Execs Debate ‘Rise Of The Music Business’

Yesterday, New York’s Webstar Hall welcomed a group of the world’s leading record executives for the 2012 New Music Seminar.

Engaging a heated discussion centered around the ‘Rise Of The Music Industry’, their debate saw them outline the various ways the industry has altered its model to accommodate changing trends, ‘consumer laziness’ and their plans to regenerate sales.

Interesting read below…


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Twitter Trials: Everybody Hates Chris

Raz B.  Rihanna.  Miranda Lamberts.  Good Morning America (Robin Roberts).  Anderson Cooper. FOX News. Odd Future.  And now, Brian McKnight.

Besides at one time occupying some space on your television screens, the aforementioned entities all have had at least a taste of one other commonality – beef with R&B bad boy Chris Brown.

For, while his introduction saw him poised to follow in the steps of the legendary Michael Jackson (a la famed, talented child star whose star brightens into adulthood) and fill a space in R&B that had not been occupied since Usher, post-“the 2009 incident” has seen the ‘Run It’ singer’s public image run topsy turvy.

One minute loved and praised, the next minute reminded of that career-changing occurrence…


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