Usher: “Talent Shows Are Killing Music ‘Biz”

Published: Saturday 1st May 2010 by Sam

Despite giving a high-profile performance on American Idol a few weeks ago, R&B crooner Usher has hit out at the show and like-branded series’ for ‘killing the music industry’. The 31 year old’s comments were made during a recent interview with WENN. Check out the reason for his, somewhat, ironic statements below…

“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,” Usher said.

He added: “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.”

Usher also claimed that the music industry is “surely dying” because record companies are “mass-producing these versions of these people; versions of this broken art”. {Source}

While there are some truths in his comments, surely common logic – provided his words weren’t manipulated – would have told him that he’d look kinda daft after just appearing on such a show. I mean, come on now…

Your thoughts?

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  1. Last Boy on Earth May 1, 2010

    I’m starting to pity him but what can you expect from a woman beater?

  2. Last Boy on Earth May 1, 2010

    oh f***, my mistake, I was going to make this post on Fist Brown thread…

    Usher gave us Justin Bieber, he deserves to be buried alive and yes, I agree talent shows are destroying the music biz

  3. OJ May 1, 2010

    this dude is always talking s***. First thing i heard from him was some crap about younger artists killing the industry like hurricane chris and soulja boy , or some young rappers ( i think trey songz was listed but i remember that was a R.Kelly thing ).

    He needs to shut his mouth and keep his two cents. I like Usher n everything but dude … please shut the hell up.

  4. Ritardna May 1, 2010

    We all know his comment was directed at artists such as Ritardna.

  5. Ritardna May 1, 2010

    And Fakeyawnce

  6. ImYourStar702 May 1, 2010

    its true what hes saying..

  7. Dev May 1, 2010

    Usher doesn’t really have a point. We all know that winning a show doesn’t always mean a successful career, singing other peoples song well doesn’t mean that anyone will want to sing your songs. There has been many idol winners that have fallen by the wayside and for the other contestants being on the show can be the kiss of death.
    Anyway, Idol brought me Fantasia so he is wrong for that alone

  8. Last Boy on Earth May 1, 2010

    I laugh at this pseudo intelectual “artists” that throw shade at anything like they are some god given gift to the music industry, hey Usher you are all on the same boat, everyone making meaningless bubble gum pop songs especially talking about s**, you arent in a higher level then the others, sit please

  9. jonstrax May 1, 2010



  10. QUE May 1, 2010

    Talent shows are reality shows. People have got to understand that. And there have been great undiscovered artists that became successful because of it. Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Leona Lewis….

  11. OsoDeluxeEdition May 1, 2010

    His album wouldn’t sill as much as it did (when it sucked) if he wasn’t on the show the day it got released!

  12. Ghetto Fab May 1, 2010

    No Usher people like you co-signing little untalented mediocre suburban white boys like justin beiber is what’s killing the industry. Like there weren’t any talented African American boys he could go find. He has to find the most untalented average ass white boy to go sign. Usher can go suck on that. He needs to keep his trap shut!

  13. MellyMel May 1, 2010

    If my memory serves me correct…didn’t Usher get his start on Star Search!! Talking about a walking contradiction. He just sounds bitter 2 me…4 what idk being that his cd is selling somewhat. I don’t knock anyones hustle…if you achieve the success you want on a talent show kudos or if you have to work 5x’s as hard…hey, life at times is not fair. You make due!!

  14. stan May 1, 2010

    lmao, so why did you appear on idol? fkin HYPOCRITE. he’s just bitter that his time has passed. NEXT.

  15. ReichelleDC3 May 1, 2010

    Usher is rigth, I know a lot of underground artist that can’t shine like Dondria,

    please m*********** How the hell is gonna talk about The Queen, If a couple of weeks ago, he said, that the highlight moment of his career was perform with her in Puerto Rico,
    Shut the f*** up, and don’t bring the names of Bee and Rihanna, when he is clearly talking about the TALENT SHOWS, Don’t you know read?

    And I’m not a Stan of Rihanna, I’m not even a fan, but I don’t like Hate and this post have nothing to do with her, let the girl alone

  16. dyndyn May 1, 2010

    that is a pathetic thing to say…many of these ‘kids’ on AI and other shows have been trying to find ways into the music industry but of course, everyone can’t just be randomly discovered in mcdonald’s. Its calle being resourceful and taking a chance at something you really want to do. And who cares if it’s ‘over night success’ the point of the shot at fame is to give the opportunity to have a lasting career. The ones who are can’t handle it ((ahem taylor hicks) fade to the background while others (carrie underwood, jordin sparks, jHud) continue to promising careers. it’s about getting on…who cares how you get there? the point is can you STAY there?

    And one more thing ursh…we all know damn well kelly clarkson, carrie underwood, jordin, and jHud are a HELLUVALOT more talented than some folks who ‘struggled’ to get their record deals the traditional way. so…SUCK IT.

    **hops off soapbox, pushes it back under bed for later**

  17. Luv-Lee May 1, 2010

    Well, there may be some truth to what he was saying, but he needs to hush because I remember his vocal performance at the Grammy’s for his Michael Jacskon tribute singing Earth Song. I know for a fact that Jennifer Hudson (who was also there) and Fantasia can sang circles around Usher…both from “talen shows”.

  18. Nicky May 1, 2010

    Guys don’t you love how samantha has posted official sources for every post but rihannas……hahahahahaha

  19. Biasdude May 1, 2010

    I feel that usher is being a hypocrite. He had no problem appearing on a reality show to promote his new album, and correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t he appear on “Star Search?”

    I think these reality shows give these artists a chance to be seen because these record label heads are so stuck in the past or whats out now that they don’t want to take chances on new talent. Jennifer Hudson would be a nobody if it wasn’t for American Idol giving her a chance, and the same for Fantasia. People would not have gave them a second look if it wasn’t for these shows.

    He wants the music biz to be ran and controlled by more “experienced” artists when in fact if he takes a look at his NBA All Star performance, and all of his performances that he has to lip sing thru then he will see that shows like this force these performers to SING! So when they are released they will be prepared.

    Ex: I have never seen Fantasia lip a song since she’s been out. She has confidence in herself and her talent to use it.

    All in all Usher needs to shut up and go back to practicing before someone takes his spot. He’s already struggling.

  20. Empress May 1, 2010

    What he’s saying may be true, but don’t mentor people on American Idol use their stage and than release such a statement, its contradictory…

  21. Kenney May 1, 2010


  22. bbq May 1, 2010

    I completely agree with Usher. Talent shows don’t make entertainers, they birth singers. Entertainers…they sing, they dance, they write, they ooze stage pressence. No one that has won or come from American Idol or X Factor has had the entire package. No one.

    And can you blame Usher for performing on AI. That show brings in 20 million viewers a week. Smart move on he and his team’s part in my opinion.

    Shows like AI and X Factor, should make entertainers like Beyonce, Usher, Christina Aguilera and yes even Chris Brown work harder at their craft. Because they have all the things that make an entertainer.

    If anything they should be inspired that no one from those shows hold a candle to any of them.

  23. Maestro May 1, 2010

    Talent Shows killing the music industry? I think not. Manifactured Talent Outlets are killing the industry. Talent shows simular to the the like of discovery of such artist like The Supremes, The Temprations, The Jackson 5, Destiny’s Child, and Usher do exactly what they are supposed to do; find raw talent that has a voice that the world needs to hear. However once that talent gets into the hands of the music execs its no longer a talent, but a manufactured ability that they exploit until the next best thing comes along. Talent Show if anything can save the music business. Go out and find the natural raw talent that needs to be shown to the world. Everyone has the 1 friend who probably can sang their tails off but that friend probably doesnt have the ‘look’ that the music industry holds you to therefore they’ll talent may never see the light of day beyond their local roots. Greed is killing the music business… nothing more or less

  24. LEA May 1, 2010

    usher is an idiot. some of the best singer’s in the industry today came from talent show’s and American Idol has nothing to do with Jennifer Hudson’s success. Thank Bill Condon for giving her shot, she’s made it thus far, because of dedication and hard work. Nothing else. If you truly work hard you can accomplish anything.. These comments, reminded me of why I don’t like Usher in the first place.

  25. Jasmine May 1, 2010

    That is BS. He is just jealous of young artists. He should not hate but focus on touring.

    “Usher was discovered by L.A. Reid of LaFace Records after appearing on the television talent show Star Search, where he sang the Boyz II Men hit “End Of The Road.””

  26. kekeluvsu May 1, 2010

    Ppl in glass houses Usher #imjustsayin. You signed one of THE wackest artist out. And for you to say that these singing shows are killing the biz is just a damn LIE. What’s killing the music industry is these wack,i can’t sing live, out of breath when they perform b****** like Kesha, Justin Beiber,, Britney Spears etc. The only reason they get so much shine is because their white. Not because they are talented.

  27. Tru Voice May 1, 2010

    TOTALLY AGREE….. With those who say he’s an idiot. No Usher what’s killing the industry are these artist like you who talk a bout nothing but s** and hoping in the bed. Jennifer Hudson, Leona Lewis, Ruben Studdard, and Clay Aiken all sing songs with meaning and about love while many sing a bout “Little Freaks.” His just was just on American Idol to get promotion for his album, where was all this talk then???? oh, he was to busy talkin bout bootys n boobies n that OMG s*** with Will I am. Smh…. Watch what you say Usher, you’re not a legend yet like Whitney, Luther, and the rest of them, you can’t get away wit ish until you been in the game a lil longer and sing songs with substance and not follow trends. Hell, Usher only hangin by a thread anyway… He betta stop for Simon Cowell come for his ass.

  28. nothing but my opinion May 1, 2010

    wasnt he on talent shows himself?

  29. Kevin May 1, 2010

    uhm……You can’t perform an AUTOTUNED song (OMG) on a TALENT SHOW that’s watched by millions of people around the country…and then say they’re ruining the industry. It doesn’t work that way.

    Unless you’re saying that Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson are ‘ruining’ music. I’ve never liked Usher, and this is just making it worse.

  30. DaveW May 1, 2010

    I think Usher’s statement is a laugh after just having made money appearing on AI. Now had he been asked to appear on AI, and turned them down then maybe I’d pay attention to his words. Oh hell….who am I kidding. I don’t pay a damn bit of attention to anything that any celebrities have to say about anything but their own music or movies, artwork, etc.. All the rest of it is wasted time.

  31. k-n May 1, 2010

    Usher needs to be quiet. He will NEVER recreate Confessions plus his performance in the MJ Grammy Tribute was WHACK. I never liked Usher’s live vocals. His dancing is also getting tired. Unlike MJ, Usher, Fist Brown & Justin TimberFAKE are one trick ponies. He started on Star Search and was just on American Idol. Too bad he couldn’t have said this s*** to Simon Cowell. At least Sting had the courage to do so & he’s a legend.

  32. Ben May 1, 2010

    I kinda agree with him, but also contradict him as well. Talent shows offer instant fame for a split second, but it is up to the artist to keep the candle lit, or otherwise they will fall off. The only true successful artists from AI are Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia, Carrie Underwood, and Jordin Sparks. And you can also count non-winners Daughtry and Jennifer Hudson. Everybody else who either won, or who got popular to a certain extent on the show fed off the hype, banked on it till it ran dry, and now they have nothing left. Once you make it to the top 24, you already have the success of someone who has been working at least 5 years to get a shot on tv, but the talent is another story. It is kinda an unfair approach, but hey, this is a growing timezone.
    But at the same time, tone-deaf, JC Penny-looking-catalog kids saturating the industry isn’t helping either. Little Jerome who is the best singer in his church choir, may not have shinny Beatles hair and misty blue eyes, but can sing his heart out, gets overlooked for the next covermodel of Tiger Beat. Lets also talk about autotuning, damn, you could be some bum off the street who can’t sing a lyric, but if you got a synthesizer, you can have a number one single. Oh, and what about songs that talk about how much so & so is gonna say your name all night and popping bottles of Hennesy till there is none left, over and over and over again. Oh, and what about giving overhyped performances that involve mics that aren’t turned on using constant refurbished knockoffs of MJ’s choreography because one cannot come up with anything else. Take a look at the man in the mirror Usher.

  33. JonathanLGardner May 2, 2010

    WOW @ Ben! Better preach that good stuff now! Wow! Amen amen amen amen amen!!!

  34. Me Damnit!! May 2, 2010

    Well he has a point, but he also totally contradcted himself at the same! Let’s see…he just recently went on AI to promote his album, (wack performance by the way), he appeared on Star Seach and he is responsible for possibly one of the biggest gimmicks out right now Justin ‘annoying ass’ Bieber! Really Ush?? LMAO! You lost so many points on that one.

    Usher really should have though twice about what he was saying. He played himself.

    I love you Ush, but your last album wasn’t hitting on too much either.

  35. Suumi May 2, 2010

    i dont think these “talent shows” are killing the industry (who really pays that close attention to them now?). not everyone is going to make that big to start off from idol, i think idol is running low on gas anyways. i wonder if he has forgotten that his appearing on star search is what gave him that stepping stone to have him become to what he is today. and then he gives us beibr…bieber..wtfever, he gave us this kid who sounds like a female (got confused when i heard the single on the radio for the first time). certaintly there are older, mature, people out there waiting for their big break right?

  36. Karla May 2, 2010

    Usher is a total hypocrite. You appear on American Idol as a mentor and then perform the next day to promote your CD to millions of people and then you’re going to get your panties in a bunch and tear down the same platform that you were praising previously, whatever! Justin Bieber was found by Usher on YouTube which is basically a World Wide Talent Show. You didn’t build Justin Bieber up, he already had 1 million+ hits before you nabbed him up so essentially Usher, you did the same thing American Idol does. American Idol survives because the winners have a built-in audience, just like your Justin Bieber did, and those people go out and buy the CD’s or download it from Itunes. The entire music industry is running scared because the people who buy music aren’t being brainwashed by the music execs and being force fed a bunch of crap that YOU tell us is good music and that we should buy. With the internet, talent shows, Sirius and other avenues the general population now make and break music Artists, not the record labels. Maybe, Usher, if you went to the people about your music instead of relying on the old school way of music your CD’s would go Platinum, like Lady Gaga who actually has focus groups on her music to see what the people like!!! It’s called the music business for a reason and talent shows etc aren’t dumb they are adapting to the NEW music industry, which equals sales which equals money which equals good business.

  37. Tyler May 3, 2010

    He’s absolutely right.

  38. Dman May 11, 2010

    Usher is a bit$h he is just mad that now hes not so special and that in reality there are lots of people who really can sing! The fact is that in these reality shows the only people who make it far are the ones who have a really great voice and he hates that because they can sing better then he can…….

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