Today, a guest contribution by Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden (although he doesn't know it):
“I don’t understand these kids auditioning for X-Factor claiming they ‘just wanna make music’. Cut the crap!
“Let me introduce you to the kid teaching himself how to play guitar, the busker in the train station, the guys and girls recording their own demos and playing the small venues, the unpublished songwriter with countless books full of lyrics, the people who just want to be heard, who want to express themselves, their creativity and their artistic worth.
“They are the ones who just want to make music! They are the real artists! Anybody auditions for X-Factor it’s because they want to be famous. Period! Otherwise they’d already be out there ‘making music’”
I made a similar point myself in a post only 9 days ago: "singing is all they ever wanted to do, apparently, although until the chance to appear on TV arose, they hadn't actually done much to achieve their heart's desire. Clearly the dream was conditional upon the chance of fame and fortune." I think Bruce said it better. Bad-minded people might say "sour grapes" about me - the bitter and twisted will always be with us - but no such accusation could be hurled at the lead singer of one of the most successful heavy metal bands.
The consequence for pop music is we end up with an anodyne background wash with singers who are interchangeable, which is what happens when they've become just one replaceable component in a marketing package. There are some excellent artists out there, as I've said before, but for the most part they're not the ones getting the publicity and media spotlight. However, in view of the "build them up then shoot them down" mentality of celebrity obsessives, perhaps they're okay with that.