Untalented musicians getting famous is nothing new, so it's not these days. As for the endless parade of one-hit wonders, that's the fault of the internet.
I only pick on bands I like (too easy to pick on bands you hate), so let's take a look at two of the most (and least) successful and influential bands from the 1980's: Metallica and Motley Crue. 'Tallica pioneered the thrash sound and made it popular, while the Crue were the undisputed setters of Hollywood hair metal. And both of them made some very respected and successful albums.
But take a listen to their early demo tapes, even their first professional albums, and you'll quickly realize they weren't always that good. Both bands were downright horrible when they started out, in fact. It takes time and practice and more time and more practice to get good. Bands can't really do that for very long these days. If a band today manages to release three full length albums, they're considered legendary classic rock. Because the internet.
Back in the old days, there literally was no internet. Phones were big things that plugged into the wall, and data was found in big heavy drives called books. If you wanted to listen to music, you had three options: Buy an album, listen to the radio, or watch MTV / Much Music. People would wait in line at record stores for their band's latest album to hit the shelves, then they'd tune in to the radio or MTV and phone in their votes for the weekly Top Ten. And if your favourite band / single / album didn't top the charts this week, better luck next week or next album.
It doesn't work like that anymore. If Motley or Metallica were just hitting the scene today, nobody would even care. This is the smartphone age, where any idiot with a keyboard can crap out the next viral hit on YouTube today and be completely forgotten tomorrow. This is the age where a complete loser can become an immortal celebrity just by being born rich and having sex with people.
If you don't believe me, Kim Kardashian. Real Housewives. Teen Mom. Justin Beeber. Kanye West. Say all those names 20 years from now, and everyone will ask you what the hell you are talking about.