Several Pop stars have found themselves in the spotlight recently for performing in service of a restrictive dictatorship … and we’re not even talking about Clear Channel! The New York Times recently highlighted a juicy tidbit from the infamous WikiLeaks cables about how celebrity performers like Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Usher and 50 Cent all accepted huge paychecks to entertain relatives of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, the one man stopping Charlie Sheen from claiming “Biggest Wacko on Earth” honors. Singer Nelly Furtado revealed that she will donate $1 million to charity to make up for accepting a check for that amount from Gadhafi’s crew for a 45-minute concert in Italy. The other performers have yet to comment, probably because they need the million bucks to quickly laser-remove the humongous “Gadhafi 4 Evah” tattoos they all got on their backs.
While the recent Grammy awards show had plenty of unexpected winners, besides honoring the scoring work of a man who once sang, “I want to fuck you like an animal,” this year’s Oscars’ hat-tip to the music world was as predictable as ever.
When perennial Oscar fave Randy Newman (who must have photos of Academy members copulating with barnyard animals or something) was rolled out onto the stage for a laughably bad performance of his laughably bad song from Toy Story 3, his competition in the Best Original Song category probably all chuckled to themselves confidently. But, of course, Newman won, taking home a nice addition to his Oscar-trophy chess set. While Newman’s curmudgeonly acceptance speech was refreshing, his performance at the ceremony proved that he has officially turned into an even better parody of himself than the ones on TV shows like Family Guy, MAD TV and Saturday Night Live.
Running for Cover
In Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show’s early-’70s hit “The Cover of the Rolling Stone,” Shel Silverstein’s lyrics satirized the Rock & Roll biz and the fame game, with the narrator wondering just why he wasn’t on the cover of the pioneering music mag, despite possessing the very same bad habits other more famous Rock Stars were being celebrated for. Today, Rolling Stone covers are just the face of a magazine that has forsaken credibility in favor of jumping on the dumbed-down celebrity gossip bandwagon. Now, the cover is more likely to feature the cast of a teen vampire movie than an actual musician. How irrelevant have RS covers become? You can now win the “honor” in a contest, like a fruit basket at a county fair raffle. The magazine picked 16 “undiscovered acts” which will be whittled down mostly through online voting. Besides the cover and other prizes, the ultimate winner also gets a recording contract with Atlantic Records. Or they can cut to the chase and just be punched in the face repeatedly, then mailed a $500,000 bill from Atlantic for “recoupable expenses.”