Clay Aiken – The Ever-Changing Business of Popular Music

For over eight years, many Clay Aiken fans have been trying to learn all they can about the music business.  Because the fans want the best for their favorite singer, they read, discuss and try to find the experts that will help them understand the complicated field of professional music.

As someone who has spent almost all of her life as a professional musician, I am the first to admit that I know VERY LITTLE about the ever-changing business of popular music.  All that I can say with confidence is that it is a time of change and what was the right thing to do 5 years ago might not be correct today.  And, I admit…I am a “Pollyanna.”  I am excited when I read about some of the fantastic opportunities that are a part of the future of popular music.

One of the experts that I follow is Bob Lefstez.  Bob wrote a blog on June 14th about the sales results for Lady Gaga’s latest album.  I read the blog, but was excited about many of his statements.  I don’t care about Lady Gaga, but I do care about Clay Aiken and as I read, I thought about how much of what Bob said, “rang a bell” for me.

I have taken certain quotes out of Bob’s article…I hope they make you think and discuss.  I took the quotes out of the article without changing the spelling or grammar.  I also tried to keep them in order.

I hope you will read the entire article.  You can find it at Bob Lefsetz

Sales are only one piece of the puzzle.


Doesn’t matter how many Twitter followers you’ve got.  If Twitter was about talent, Ronnie the Limo Driver would be bubbling up, hell, he’s got over 100,000 followers!

Twitter followers and Facebook friends are like MySpace friends.  A number that’s got nothing to do with talent and has everything to do with self-promotion.

It’s hard to create great music.

But when you do, the public rallies around you, especially when you’re coming off a fresh round of success.

Yes, this is what’s wrong with big time fame today.  It’s about marketing more than music.  Play to the middlemen, the ignoramuses at the newspaper, which are run by Luddites and are on the verge of going out of business.

A hit touches people’s hearts.  Doesn’t matter if you tour, doesn’t even matter if it sounds like anything else.  You hear it and want to play it again.  Others hear it and ask what it is.

Great music sells itself.

What makes an artist different is the talent, the creation.

A musical star is nothing without the music.



Make music your calling card.  No amount of talking about music, whether it be in e-mail or on Facebook or Twitter, is going to make a good song a hit.

Music is the one art form that goes straight to the heart, that can resonate with a person more than any other.

Respect the music.  Make greatness your goal.

Nothing triumphs like great music.  Ticketmaster fees are irrelevant when the act’s hot.  People don’t care about cost, they just want to get closer.

That’s music’s power.

“Luddite” is a term describing those opposed to industrialization, computerization,  or new technologies.


What do you think of these quote?

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8 thoughts on “Clay Aiken – The Ever-Changing Business of Popular Music

  1. I agree with most of the quotes. Sadly I think he discounts marketing too much. Yes it is about the music but I know of far too many talented artists who make amazing music who are having a rough time breaking through. There is something to be said for momentum. I can't wait to see what the next step is for Clay. 🙂

  2. Great article. I also agree that it's all in the marketing. There are some singers (I use that term lightly) that are all hype. They have records on the radio..but in person…are terrible. Some even have to lip-sync their concert. I can't imagine paying to see someone in concert that can't sing.. Now, you have someone like Clay, that sings live, and to me, always is better live…His voice always fantastic, his humour. He is just meant to be on stage…Great showman. And yet, you won't hear him on the matter what. One of these days, Clay will have "A SONG" that will be the one to bring him to the attention of all music lovers… Of that I have no doubt. Clay just has too much talent to go unnoticed.

  3. A lot of this article resonated for me, but I gotta agree with kta. RCA could have marketed him better; Clay could have made better career choices. I think both RCA and Clay dropped the ball while the momentum was hot. Nothing positive was done to counteract the effect of the know-it-alls in the media, or the comics who only know how to insult and no idea how to be truly funny.

  4. It's great to read an expert's remarks about the value of great music. The one statement that really stuck out to me is ….. Music is the one art form that goes straight to the heart, that can resonate with a person more than any other…… Point taken. I can't count the numerous times that I've read remarks from Clay's fans about how his singing/music touched their hearts and reached/soothed their very souls. Yes indeed, that statement certainly rings true to the core for me, and it appears for others also.
    musicfan123 – Thanks for the interesting and informative blog. You somehow magically continue to dispense great content.

  5. Of course it's about marketing – it always has been. It's a product, just like anything else. Unfortunately, the general public are sheep and will buy what they are told to buy and listen to what they're told to listen to – just like any other product out there.

    I do think RCA dropped the ball because I don't believe they had a clue what to do with Clay. As far as Clay dropping the ball, I'm not so sure exactly what he could have done to stop the media. For a long time he was everywhere, he did so much for kids and charities – all went unnoticed. The only thing that may have stemmed it was if he had come out sooner – but if he had to make a choice between potentially hurting his relationship with his family and damage to his career? I think he made the right choice. The press just needs to back the hell off – period (and not just Clay)

  6. "Great music sells itself" stood out to me. If more people were exposed to Clay's great music, he would be an international superstar. I'll add a quote of my own. Great music needs to be heard. It's such a shame that Clay's music isn't being heard by the masses.

  7. I so agree with you Magical Music – Clay is "Great Music" and so needs to be heard. He really,
    really needs to be heard and known. There is so much to him that isn't known and it's a shame
    because he is so open and honest.

  8. If it is like they say in the article…"It's all in the music." then Clay should be right up there with all the rest on the radio…and everywhere. Too bad RCA didn't promote him like they should have. Probably because of his law suit…but, I am sure he had a good reason. He is a great singer…a wonderful person and everyone should hear him. Suereu made a good point about the Media…they need to shut their traps….and the world would be a better place.

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