So, I saw this headline on PasteMagazine.com, and I was like, “WTF?! This guy is EVERYWHERE right now!”
The CW to Air Justin Timberlake’s Album Release Party
And then I read on, and, yeah, he’s EVERYWHERE right now!
Justin Timberlake, who recently hosted another highly rated SNL episode and is in the middle of his weeklong guest appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, is keeping the TV ball rolling.
According to Deadline, Target will present “The IHeartRadio Album Release Party With Justin Timberlake” on the CW.
The special will be an hour-long TV event including performances and interviews with Timberlake in an effort to promote his upcoming album, The 20/20 Experience.
Now, usually when I think about economic inequality I think of corporations and corporate executives as the overly-privileged 1%.
Yet, even though it’s always been the case that a relatively select few musical artists rise to the level of superstar, it didn’t really hit me until just now the extent to which the current state of the music business resembles the 1% vs. 99% economic inequality problem.
99% of musical artists either don’t make a living from the music they make, barely get by on the music they make, or struggle to sustain any ounce of success they do manage to achieve, often slipping back down the ladder or giving up on music entirely, and they all work their asses off!
Enter Justin Timberlake, who is already a mega-mega-megastar, many, many, many times over a millionaire, and when he comes out with a new album, he’s automatically gonna make many, many, many more millions by merely releasing the album on iTunes, Amazon, etc. and circulating a press release to announce its arrival.
But no, that’s not enough. He gets to appear on Saturday Night Live and has a week-long residency on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and an hour-long infomercial!
Meanwhile, a good friend of mine, like millions of other musicians, is straining his marriage and his family’s expenses to pull off a brief regional tour of tiny, tiny venues in order to promote his album, with absolutely no support from a record company. He will likely spend more money on transportation, lodging, food and other expenses than he’ll make at the gigs, all in the hope that people will like his music and maybe, just maybe, buy his album and spread his name around, and it breaks my heart that, in the vast, vast majority of cases, not even that will happen.
It’s ridiculously unfair and it pisses me off!
(Disclaimer: Yes, I know that this is also the case for the arts in general, and the same could be said for athletics as well, but since I’m a musician, this is what struck me today.)