I don’t think there are too many people who disagree with the assertion that Tamyra Gray should have won the first season of American Idol, rather than Kelly Clarkson. After a few acting gigs, the public started to see less and less of her, and people started wondering if she would ever get the chance to record an album. Nearly two years after she was voted off American Idol, she is finally coming out with an album. In comparison, it took William Hung (who admits he can’t sing a note in tune) less than four months to release his album.
Why is that?
I have read several articles in various publications that dared to postulate that the decline in CD sales over the past few years owes itself less to piracy (which is certainly a factor) than to the outright absence of real, genuine stars. Is Britney a star? Sure… everybody’s watching her Toxic video to see her singing ability. What about Enrique Iglesias? The guy has Anna Kournikova in his videos for a reason… people aren’t watching to see him. (I heard Anna plays tennis on occasion; is that true?) What about Ricky Martin? Please… name a major hit he had in the U.S. other than the infernal Livin’ La Vida Loca. Oh, right… She Bangs, but that was mostly after William Hung sang it. I suppose Norah Jones might be considered a star, but even she is more about musical talent than personality.
Seeing William Hung enjoy this kind of success, as well as the generally mediocre nature of the remaining contestants in American Idol, leads me to believe that this is the year that America has embraced mediocrity. We Americans are having a love affair with all things mediocre when it comes to music. How else do you explain the success of William Hung, as opposed to someone with real singing talent and a likeable personality? How else do you explain why Jon Peter Lewis, quite possibly the least talented of this year’s American Idol wildcard contestants, got the most votes from viewers?
It’s all very puzzling, but the music industry seems to be undergoing a revolution of sorts. I read an article recently that opined that William Hung may end up revitalizing the music industry. Although I would not put it that strongly, I do think that the music industry’s perception of what American music fans want is growing more and more inaccurate every day.
William Hung’s CD, Inspiration, is currently #3 on Amazon. I plan to buy it. That about says it all, doesn’t it?