What do you think about pop stars that achieve overnight success thanks to YouTube? Singers like Justin Bieber, Esmee Denters, Arnel Pineda (who is now the lead singer of Journey), and Rebecca Black? A lot of people think it’s cool that YouTube offers a new outlet for talented people to get discovered. But not everyone thinks it’s fair. According to the Australian Daily Telegraph Miley Cyrus says, “It should be harder to be an artist.”
According to The Daily Telegraph, Miley Cyrus says, “You shouldn’t just be able to put a song on YouTube and go on tour.” Her comments were in response to a question about how she feels the overnight success about YouTube phenomenons like Justin Bieber and Rebecca Black. I should mention here that Rebecca Black may not be the best example, as she went viral primarily because people were calling her music video ‘Friday’ the worst song ever written (although personally, I don’t think she’s a terrible singer). But if an amazing singer uploads a really great song to YouTube, the song goes viral and they get a record deal and a tour out of it, shouldn’t that be okay?
Before I continue, I’d like to take a step back and look at things from Miley’s perspective. Perhaps her comments have simply been blown out of proportion by the people saying things like, “Cyrus slammed the overnight success of YouTube phenomenons” (The Daily Telegraph), and “Miley Cyrus Disses Justin Bieber” (Fox News). Perhaps she simply meant that she doesn’t think a singer like Rebecca Black should be able to upload a single song through a sketchy company like Ark Music Factory and have that be her claim to fame. And she certainly isn’t the only one that frowns upon Rebecca Black’s overnight success. But leaving Rebecca Black out of the picture, Miley’s comments still seem to blatantly disagree with YouTube’s status as a platform for discovering talent.
But should we be surprised? As someone who publicly despises social media, it might be hypocritical for Miley to embrace YouTube as an outlet for singers to get discovered. In an interview yesterday on The Kyle and Jackie O Show in Australia, Miley said, “I do not Tweet. I do not social network. I try to stay out of it. You know, for me it’s like, I complain enough about people knowing too much about my private life and to go out there and exploit myself would be silly, and it would be a little bit hypocritical…You should spend time doing what you’re doing, rather than writing about it.” Miley made headlines back in 2009 when she deleted her Twitter account after hitting 2M subscribers and made a rap video about it. It should also be noted that it has been over a year since Miley uploaded any new videos to her personal YouTube channel.
But just because Miley doesn’t believe in social media, does that mean that talented individuals shouldn’t be able to take advantage of YouTube, Twitter and other tools in order to be recognized and catapult themselves into successful careers? I say that if someone is able to upload a video of himself or herself singing a song, get recognition for that song and make a career out of it, all the more power to them! And a lot of the successful “overnight YouTube sensations” out there will tell you that it didn’t actually happen “overnight”. They have been honing their skills, practicing and playing music for years and were lucky enough to hit it big with a single YouTube hit. Not to mention the fact that not everyone is lucky enough to have Billie Ray Cyrus as a dad. They’ve got to find other channels to be discovered and work for their fame in their own ways.
What do you think? Is overnight YouTube stardom unfair or do sensations like Justin Bieber and Rebecca Black deserve their fame?
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.