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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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Music

Hot Topic: What Makes An Icon?

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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Music

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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Music

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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Music

Is Madonna’s ‘Born This Way/Express Yourself’ Mash Up For MDNA Tour Too Much?

As many a Madonna fan and Little Monster know, the Queen of Pop is set to use her ‘MDNA’ tour set to tribute pop diva Lady Gaga by performing a mashed-up version of the latter’s ‘Born This Way’ with her own ‘Express Yourself’.  Immediately coming under fire after its early 2011 release for sounding nearly identical to Madge’s 1989 hit, Gaga dismissed the claim of copying while her pop predecessor labeled it ‘reductive’.

Now, as audio has surfaced of Madonna’s intent to fuse the twin pop tunes on her latest live trek, we who thought the flame had cooled see it may be readying to reach higher heights.  Is this another case of Kim Vs. Nicki?

Take a listen below and you tell us:

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Music

The Music Video: Is Creativity In Decline?

For one reason or another, music videos- or at least their impact on Pop culture- just aren’t the same.

Perhaps down to the scarcity of cash in the industry, it’s fair to say that the music video has felt the full force of the business’ switch from shifting albums to selling singles.

Economically it makes sense with most of today’s act hardly bringing in enough to warrant budgets the likes of Michael Janet were afforded, but can you really put a price on creativity?

Are lack of finances to blame for videos which- quite frankly- are as generic as the singles they are in aid of?

How many of these will stand the test of time?

Peep a few memorable videos and weigh in after the jump…

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Music

Former Glory Vs. Future Gain: The Plight of the (Aging) Pop Queen

An array of awards line their shelves. Millions line their bank accounts and album sales statistics.  Adoring fans line concert venues, fan pages, and front stan wars in defense of them.  Yet, interestingly, even with all the aforementioned, stars like Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, and Madonna find themselves placed in quite the pop pickle.  For, in their hey day, they revisited, revamped, and, to then contemporary music fans, replaced the divas of old.  Putting the Chers, Diana Rosses, Aretha Franklins, Barbra Streisands, and co.s ‘out to pasture’ while they dominated the pop charts.

But, insert a 20 year fast forward, and they find themselves in (or approaching) somewhat of the same jam.

Redefining the standards of pop excellence, the latter 21st century divas (unlike those before them) used the music video medium to push their agenda.   Glossy visuals, accompanied by high octane choreography, cinematic quality themes, and live performances to match.  But, now the pop queens that paved the way for Britney Spears, Beyonce, Rihanna, and more are now finding themselves in their direct competition – sonically and visually.  Some will argue that no copy will ever trump the original, while others say they’ve had their day and should step aside.

We at TGJ want to know:  when one reaches a level of legendary status…what’s to gain from continuing?  You’ve paved the way, had the fame/fortune, and the adulation.  What’s next?  As Madonna’s 12th LP ‘MDNA’ landed on shelves this week, and Janet and Mariah (amongst others 40+ year old divas) are hard at work at their latest offerings,  sales dwindle and once universal praise turns into mock.

The inescapable age/gender bias leads us to ask:

Former Glory Vs. Future Gain:  Do stars who continue to push “pass their prime” ruin their legacies?  Is the gain – at the risk of ridicule, changing one’s sound for the sake of sounding “current”, or dressing/acting much too young – worth the gain of a new generation of followers?

Your thoughts?

 

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