There’s quite a dust-up in the country music world this week. Musician Eric Church recently gave an interview with Rolling Stone where he talks about, among other things, the reality show singing competitions. His full quotes are as follows:
It’s become ‘American Idol’ gone mad. Honestly, if Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green f****** turn around in a red chair, you got a deal? That’s crazy. I don’t know what would make an artist do that. You’re not an artist.
If I was concerned about my legacy, there’s no f****** way I would ever sit there [and judge a reality show]. Once your career becomes about something other than music, then that’s what it is. I’ll never make that mistake. I don’t care if I f****** starve.
“The Voice” judge and country artist Blake Shelton had the interview brought to his attention and tweeted a link to it, saying, “I wish I misunderstood this…” His wife Miranda Lambert, who was a finalist on “Nashville Star” years ago, also got in on the action, tweeting, “Thanks Eric Church for saying I’m not a real artist. Or @kelly_clarkson, @carrieunderwood & @KeithUrban. You’re welcome for the tour in 2010.” (Church opened for Lambert on tour in 2010).
Church then took to clarifying his comments in a statement released to The Boot:
The comment I made to Rolling Stone was part of a larger commentary on these types of reality television shows and the perception they create, not the artists involved with the shows themselves,” Eric clarifies. “The shows make it appear that artists can shortcut their way to success. There are a lot of artists due to their own perseverance that have gone on to be successful after appearing on these shows, but the real obstacles come after the cameras stop rolling. Every artist has to follow up television appearances with dedication towards their craft, but these shows tend to gloss over that part and make it seem like you can be ordained into stardom. I have a problem with those perceived shortcuts, not just in the music industry. Many people have come to think they can just wake up and have things handed to them.
“I have a lot of respect for what artists like Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, and my friend Miranda Lambert have gone on to accomplish. This piece was never intended to tear down any individual, and I apologize to anybody I offended in trying to shed light on this issue. I am grateful for all of the artists and fans that have supported me along my journey and certainly did not mean for my comments to undermine their talent and achievements.
What do you think, Pop2it readers? Does Church have a point? Was he out of line? Does it really matter how someone breaks into the music biz?