There is a big conflict and hypocrisy plaging the pop/rock/R&B music fans of the modern era and it has certainly gotten worse since the introduction of MTV. We certainly don't see it in Jazz, wouldn't think of it in Classical and even in the stylish gangsta world of Hip Hop, it's not as much of an issue. What is the "it" I'm talking about? Appearance......the way the artist looks.
Pop fans say the music is most important, but the second they find out that the person singing that great melody with that beautiful voice is also a big fat slob, the honeymoon ends and the artist is rejected. And the opposite is true as well. Case in point.........Sanjaya. This kid is so sweet and pretty, he's got every 13 year old girl, as well as, every alpha gay male creaming their you know what. Who cares if the kid can sing!
So what's the problem with these pop music fans? Two things....the first being a lack of ear talent, the second being pure narcasism. Because these people don't have the ear to understand and appreciate good music and good musical talent, the only thing that's left to appreciate is visual. The narcasism comes in to play because these fans are either imagining themselves on stage as that artist, receiving praise from the audience for the way they look and command the stage, or they imagine the artist being their boyfriend or girlfriend, etc. The music and singing become almost a prop or a gimmick for the artist. It only something that lends credibility to that hot looking singer. These fans can feel better about themselves by knowing that the focus of their visual attention actually has a legitmate talent. The only important thing about the music is whether or not it has a hook, not whether it's any good.
If we took away all visual access to today's most popular singers, songwriters and bands and had the public judge them by sound only against a group of unknown but similar artists hand-picked by top musicians, two things would happen. Record sales would plummet because you would remove the fan who mostly cares about the visual and most of the popular artists would fade away in favor of the better unknown talent.
Does anyone deny that Elliot would've won American Idol last year if he looked like Brad Pitt? I'm actually amazed he made it as fas as he did, looking the way he did.
I'll end my thoughts by being reasonable about this whole subject. The visual aspect and looks of an artist will always have an impact on all fans, it's when it starts becoming more important than the music itself that bothers me.
And no! Sanjaya will not hurt this big beast called American Idol! Again, most pop fans don't care that much about the music and singing.
So you go Lyle Lovitt, Meat Loaf, Biggy, Patty Austin, John Popper and the rest of you truly talented, but ugly artists!!! We need you more than ever!!