Every now and again, throughout history, a new artist rises from the ashes of creative genius and burns brightly across our entertainment skies. Often, these new artists are misunderstood and rejected by the masses. Misunderstood and rejected until the rest of the world finally catches up with their groundbreaking work that our society, sadly, just wasn’t prepared to accept when they first broke onto the scene. These artists and their under-appreciated (at the time) works are later touted as “visionaries” who were “ahead of their time”. In many cases, this praise is bestowed long after the artist has left the building. From Van Gogh to Mozart, the list goes on.
And now, dear reader, I humbly submit yet another artist that has fallen through the cracks. The passing of time has finally given us the proper perspective to view and appreciate their work… their art. I speak of the misunderstood genius that is Milli Vanilli.
It is only now, 20 years after their 1989 debut album Girl You Know It’s True and it’s 6x Platinum selling same-year-release All or Nothing: The U.S. Remix Album, that we can look back to where Milli Vanilli was then and, finally, to where we as a cultured society have arrived today.
It took an incredible amount of courage for Milli Vanilli to NOT sing any of the songs on these albums… albums that shot them to the top of the charts and garnered them a Grammy for Best New Artist 1990 (which they had to return) and three American Music Awards (they are actually from Germany). This simple, selfless act of NOT performing even a single task on these albums is one of the reasons that the petty, pre-requisite, walls of actually having talent and skill at what you do to help propel yourself into the realm of mega-stardom and celebrity in this world o’ ours have ultimately been smashed down.
That’s right. Artists like Hillary Duff, Brittany Spears, and the Queen of Zero-Fucking-Talent: Ashlee Simpson, can now basque in the glory of success, fame, and fortune with no fear of repercussions like public shame, artistic exile, or allegedly committing suicide as Rob Pilatus did on April 2, 1998. I say “allegedly” committing suicide because Rob Pilatus’ death was ultimately ruled “accidental” as a result of mixing a ridiculous amount of prescription drugs and alcohol. For the record, he did attempt suicide on more than one occasion between Milli Vanilli’s 1990 speed-of-light spiral of shame that completely destroyed their careers and his death in 1998. I personally prefer to think his death was the result of him finally, successfully, committing suicide… something he alone can take full credit for without having the honor stripped from him as the doctors who labeled his death “accidental” have done.
Yes, thanks to Milli Vanilli, the doors are now wide open for anyone without talent to soar into the ether of celebrity. I know, you can argue that Milli Vanilli did have some talent. After all, they did actually know how to dance and they gave a hell of a “live” show. But having actual talent is just a hurdle that the true non-performer need not hurdle in today’s world of entertainment.
Brittany is probably the closest offshoot to Milli Vanilli. She could really dance, at least, before she went bat-shit crazy. And the lovely Hillary Duff has superbly capitalized on her NO-TALENT voice, making a huge career, an actual empire, out of being paid to do something she can’t do. To be fair, she can physically perform the act of “singing”, but her real voice sounds like a turd in a vacuum compared to the tracks she lip-syncs to and the ones you hear on her CDs. And like Milli Vanilli, Hillary was also busted for lip-syncing. Where? At the 2004 MTV New Years show. But did she let that stop her? Nope. Her camp blamed the “technical difficulties” on Hillary’s background singers (the only ones onstage who COULD REALLY SING) and had them fired. STELLAR MOVE! Who needs real singers around when you’re making money as a singer who doesn’t really sing?
There’s also a special place in my heart for the one I referred to earlier as the Queen of Zero-Fucking-Talent: Ashlee Simpson. Why? Because, not only can she NOT-sing and NOT-dance, she has allowed herself to be completely stripped of anything resembling, well, herself, in the quest of becoming one of America’s most beloved and successful NOT-SNGERS MAKING A LIVING PRETENDING TO SING ever. I don’t even know if the Ashlee Simpson that shows up to not sing at events and TV shows today is even a real human being. She could be a cyborg. A cyborg who can’t sing, like the original not-singer she was based upon, but a cyborg nonetheless. Just look at these pics of the OG Ashlee Simpson and the new My sister had a huge career with her blond hair and smaller nose than me version. Where did that cute girl who didn’t look like a carbon copy of every other manufactured NOT-SINGER out there go? There was a human behind those eyes once… I’m sure of it… but, alas, she is no more.
Of course, all credit can’t be given solely to these NO-TALENT superstars. They do have managers, agents, and in many cases, fathers who act as all aforementioned. Without these guiding forces, they might have never realized the full potential hidden beneath their non-potential. So a shout out goes to all the guiding hands that help these wonder-duds along on the road to multi-million dollar careers. Yes, I’m talking to you, Frank Farian, the puppet master that created Milli Vanilli and helped water down the artistic standards of the paying public.
My, how the game has changed. The public has become much more sophisticated than they were back in the days of Milli Vanilli. And just look at how much better our world is today. J-lo, Paris Hilton, all those Disney Kids… we now have music and artists whose work will surely last an eternity. And why stop at singing? Please, invade our televisions and movie screens too. You earned it… by not being able to actually do anything you are paid the big bucks to do. Who wants to listen to music played by people who actually wrote the songs, or can sing the songs, or has even one single thing to do with the songs other than putting their names on them, when we have people who are this weak in spirit and devoid of any self-worth to listen to instead? I find it hard to respect any “artist” who is not willing to claim the efforts and talents of others as their own for personal gain and, ultimately, to aid in the demise of our culture.
To all the true artists out there who can really sing, dance, act, paint, or whatever… Try to suck a little more and get that nose job you’ve been waffling over for so long, and you might just be the next giant fucking pathetic shell of shit that’s draining the souls of people like you… and you’ll even get paid to pretend to do whatever it is you’re supposed to be able to do. The world is yours if you just market yourelf right.