For many years Tabloids have built their reputation on “exclusives” and “scoops” involving celebrities’ private lives. Although celebrities complain about the press, they cannot exist without them.
The question is whether pop artists should be judged on their work, or on their behaviour and lifestyle.
Some think that artists should be judged based on their work alone, but it is almost possible for a celebrity to separate their work from their personal life. Whilst many artists are celebrated for the work they produce, for many artists it is the support act to their many personal dramas.
Michael Jackson once stated in an interview that, “becoming successful means that you become a prisoner.” And his death in 2009 opened up the discussion over how the pop star should be remembered. He was labelled as “Wacko Jacko” in the tabloids due to his erratic behaviour, extreme plastic surgery and accusations of child abuse and the newspapers never really focused on his extraordinary musical talent.
Even before social media, the public have always had an interest in the personal lives of celebrities. Marilyn Monroe’s life was ruined by the press; her career had been going downhill and it was being splattered all over the magazines. And despite her attempt to fix her public image by giving interviews to high profile publications up until the last day of her life, pressure from the paparazzi proved to be more than she could handle and her death was ruled a suicide.
Shingai Shoniwa from The Noisettes said, “the more problems you have, the more records you’re going to sell.” She added that the media “don’t seem to want artists to do the job of entertaining and emancipating people, but are more interested in making them suffer.”
But do we as humans have an interest in pop stars if they don’t have an interesting personality or background story? Many pop stars have their private story spread across the pages. Take Britney Spears for example, who was once under a 24-hour watch by the paparazzi and press which was in order to fill the bloated pages of internet gossip and celebrity magazines.
Ariana Grande’s life has been under the microscope since the Manchester attack and since then, she has released songs such as “Thank you, next” and “no more tears left to cry.” Not only are these great songs, but it’s also her giving an exclusive to the press about her personal life. Her personal story is accompanying her continued success.
Social media was created with the intention of bringing people together, to allow them to share life events, happenings and just about anything else with friends and family. For celebrities, it has become a way to connect with fans. They can advertise their albums and films. However, some can advertise bad role models for children, as they promote the use of drugs and alcohol on their social media accounts.
Beyoncé announced her pregnancy on Instagram and Kim Kardashian’s Snap showing that Taylor Swift allowed Kanye to rap about her in “Famous” were both were major pop culture moments that required fans to go to the apps to see firsthand.
As humans we are naturally interested in the lives of others and to read about and see what celebrities are doing is something very hard not to do. Whether it’s reading the newspaper or checking social media, it’s difficult not to keep updated.
Amy Louise Donohoe
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