The darkside to child stardom

Ellen Fitzpatrick

The music industry is infamous for stars going “off the rails”. People wait for it to happen and anticipate the moment they lose it, so that they can have their say.

The music industry can be a destructive and damaging thing to be involved in, regardless of what age you are But just imagine how dark it feels for someone who isn’t even old enough to legally drink.

Musicians are entering the industry younger than ever. It seems like every time you turn on the radio, there’s a new teenage voice ringing through. These kids are being thrown in with no preparation for what life is like, when there’s a constant crowd of people following you, and nobody there brave enough to tell you ‘no.’

As 17-year-old Billie Eilish said in a Vanity Fair interview, which she was asked the same set of questions just one year apart, the industry is “dark”.

From the interview, it was clearly visible what kind of life she has been pushed into. Her skin had lost its glow and her eyes were sad, and that’s exactly how she explained the year since she’d done the last interview. Sad.

Eilish didn’t speak negatively about her life, but she didn’t have anything positive to say either. It was as if her childhood had been ripped from beneath her. Child stars, like this, are always seen this way and it only begs the question, why are huge record labels continuing to seek out children?

Eilish isn’t the first artist we’ve seen this happen to. Although she hasn’t lost her way, as of now, the signs are there.

Look at the likes of Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus. Each of these were in the spotlight from such a young age and the world saw the effects of it, but stood by and let it all unravel.

Michael Jackson was born into stardom, he was instantly famous from such a young age and grew up to be the ‘King of Pop’, adored by millions but constantly watched by an audience.

It is naïve to think that being that young and that famous doesn’t have any impact on your mental stability. Everyone saw how he was impacted by this, and the effects of the constant pressure.

Miley Cyrus was the same. She crumbled under the spotlight. For a few years, nobody knew what was going on with her, the world had said she lost her mind, but would you not too, if you were under a microscope?

And where do you even begin with Bieber? A teen heart-throb turned nightmare overnight. It is understandable though. Having a name to live up to when you’re only 16, you’re bound to rebel, that’s human.

The music industry creates a world that, from the outside, looks idyllic. A place where money is endless and the world praises you. That is evidently not the case at all.

We have seen it, too many times, destroy people and rip away their lives. Every single artist affected has said they lost their childhood to their career. They are sucked into a life they aren’t warned about and aren’t shown how to handle it.

Image Credit: Youtube

Ellen Fitzpatrick