Sean Ross at Edison Media Research has written an interesting post about the infusion of former Top 40 artists, namely Bon Jovi, Jessica Simpson, Jewel and Darius Rucker, into the country format.
While I directly identify with a label’s desire to create a buzz and sell masses of product, especially in this current environment, I don’t think the deluge of crossover artists is good for our format in the long run. There will always be exceptions and artists that will make a seamless move into country, but most of these acts are not the answer to the questions that plague our industry. They may actually be exactly the wrong thing we need right now.
Mr. Ross nails it when he writes:
“As for the Country labels, the new transition artists are indeed providing a welcome infusion of energy. But you worry that former pop artists (or TV contestants) could be mistaken for a long-term A&R strategy. Ultimately, Country also needs its artists who look forward as well as back and sound like nothing we’ve ever heard on the radio.” (my own emphasis)
Check out the entire article HERE.