Your Grammys performance broke the Internet but it was so simple—no fireworks, just you on the stage.
Don’t you think that’s basically what a performer has always been doing? To me, it’s what I’ve done—I’ve used costumes, I’ve used lighting.
Why do you think the public reacted to it the way that they did?
I don’t know, I can’t tell you that. It’s like the Roman Empire: you get the thumbs up and everybody loves you. Everybody is a critic nowadays and if they feel like they don’t like you, they can steam into you with such abuse. So it’s a schizophrenic experience. I was surprised. I didn’t know until I went out to dinner that night that people were talking about it. So many people were saying, “You were exploding on Twitter.” And I was like, “Really?” I just did what I did and I never know how people are going to take it. Sometimes people love you, sometimes they hate you.
The online peanut gallery, even when it’s being praiseful, makes you nervous.
We really are in a divisive place with the Internet. I’m reticent to allow it to affect me because you start to feel like that’s the last thing you’ve done and then everything else is pitted against that last one. Thank you very much to everyone who seemed to appreciate it, I’m delighted, but I can’t live in that schizoid place where I get approval and disapproval.
Do you think it’s harder to be an artist now than when you first started out?
[With] female artists, it’s harder. You see you have to play the game; that’s what the system wants. So you have to make yourself available 24/7. And if someone takes your picture at a time when you really don’t want that picture taken, and you didn’t have any say as to whether you wanted that image taken of you, and that person just going to take it and they’re going to sell it and make a ton of money out of it, I find that really intrusive and really invasive. Some people welcome that, they want that — they want to live that lifestyle 24/7. I don’t understand that, I really don’t.
So for the young artist coming up, if they think that they just want to be famous, they have to live with that. They have to live with the responsibility of what that means. And it’s quite cannibalistic; it eats you up. You have no privacy. You are living in this goldfish bowl. If that’s what you want, fine, but once the genie’s out of the bottle, there’s no turning back. And I find that quite disturbing as a human phenomena… It’s here today, gone tomorrow. You can be famous like that and everybody in the world knows you for two seconds, and what happens after that? You crash, I can guarantee. You crash and burn, and where’s the sustainability in it? Where’s your real value as a human being?
So what advice do you have for new artists, particularly female artists, trying to establish a lasting and real career now?
It’s very challenging nowadays; the pool of music is over-subscribed and just so generic. You have so many talent shows with beautiful kids coming and singing, and they have this notion of fame and celebrity, and what that is — and really, it’s illusory. It’s completely illusory, and that concerns me, because it’s like this instantaneous notion.
The truth of it all is that, first of all, it’s exceedingly hard work. And maybe you want to do a lot of hard work, but it also can be a bit exploitative. And that’s the thing: You really got to have your wits about you. You have to be grounded, because if you’re not careful, somebody else is going to come and they’re going take your soul away. And you will be left with the shadow of the person that you really are. It’s dangerous.
The Eurythmics will reunite to honor the Beatles for a televised special commemorating the Fab Four’s legendary U.S. debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, the Recording Academy announced today.
The first performances for THE NIGHT THAT CHANGED AMERICA: A GRAMMY(R) SALUTE TO THE BEATLES were announced today, including four-time GRAMMY Award winner Annie Lennox and GRAMMY Award winner Dave Stewart, who will reunite as the Eurythmics for one night only; 14-time GRAMMY Award winner Alicia Keys and nine-time GRAMMY Award winner John Legend together in a special performance; and three-time GRAMMY Award-winning group Maroon 5; and seven-time GRAMMY Award winner John Mayer with four-time GRAMMY Award winner Keith Urban. The primetime entertainment special, presented by The Recording Academy(R), AEG Ehrlich Ventures and CBS, will celebrate the remarkable legacy of the seven-time GRAMMY Award-winning Beatles and their groundbreaking first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” The show will tape on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, the day after THE 56TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS(R), and will be broadcast exactly 50 years to the day, date and time of the original event, Sunday, Feb. 9 (8:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Annie Lennox has spoken out against the sexual imagery of music videos, saying many are now “pornographic”. Talking to BBC Radio 5 Live, the former Eurythmics singer said: “I’m all for freedom of expression, but this is clearly one step beyond, and it’s clearly into the realm of porn.”
Lennox then took to Facebook, when she posted a critique of the current style of pop videos.
I have to say that I’m disturbed and dismayed by the recent spate of overtly sexualised performances and videos. You know the ones I’m talking about. It seems obvious that certain record companies are peddling highly styled pornography with musical accompaniment. As if the tidal wave of sexualised imagery wasn’t already bombarding impressionable young girls enough..I believe in freedom of speech and expression, but the market forces don’t give a toss about the notion of boundaries. As long as there’s booty to make money out of, it will be bought and sold. It’s depressing to see how these performers are so eager to push this new level of low.Their assumption seems to be that misogyny- utilised and displayed through oneself is totally fine, as long as you are the one creating it. As if it’s all justified by how many millions of dollars and U tube hits you get from behaving like pimp and prostitute at the same time. It’s a glorified and monetized form of self harm.
She followed that with a clarification: “There is absolutely nothing ‘wrong’ about our sexuality or sensuality per se. But if a performing artist has an audience of impressionable young fans and they want to present a soft porn video or highly sexualised live performance, then it needs to qualify as such and be X-rated, for adults only. I’m talking from the perspective of the parents of those young fans. The whole thing is about their children’s protection … Boundaries need to be put in place so that young kids aren’t barraged by market forces exploiting the “normalisation” of explicit sex in underage entertainment.”