American Idol Judges Discuss The New Season in EW

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Yippie! The new Idol crew is on the cover of this week’s Entertainment Weekly!

While you’re waiting for the print edition, you can read an online preview of the “roundtable” EW conducted with Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Ryan Seacrest HERE.

Ryan Secrest tells EW, “I think the reason that Simon and I had that dynamic is that he was just so jealous of me. From day one, he was envious of my career at such a young age. So I tried to make it as fun as possible and as lighthearted as possible. It’s just something that happens in a live television show. But with all of us, we have very good senses of humor; we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We like to wind each other up.” Snap!

But Randy Jackson says, “He’s our friend for life. I don’t know if Steven knows him much, but Jennifer definitely knows him. We’ve all hung out together. So, listen, we definitely miss him, but it’s a different kind of vibe. It’s a different kind of energy now. And I think in season 10 the show actually really needed it.”

Also, Jennifer Lopez predicts Idol “may have the youngest winner ever.” And, Randy Jackson thinks “A girl is going to win the show.

Also,  Jennifer Lopez namechecks David Archuleta. She says, “I think it’s about exciting performances. One of my favorite moments ever on Idol was not a big-voice moment but a beautiful-song moment, which was David Archuleta singing “Imagine.” That was something I’ll never forget for the rest of my life, that little kid at that little age taking that classic song and singing it in such a way that it changed my everything, like Steven loves to say all the time. That’s what we need to focus on getting: not big voices, not singer-songwriters, just what makes us feel something. I think that is gonna be what makes people come back every week.”

On no one reaching the real superstar status of Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Chris Daughtry, Jennifer defends Idol’s track record, saying 3 superstars  from 9 seasons is a pretty good record.

Plus, Randy Jackson says that having the entire group go through the auditions together has allowed them to bond–something that did not happen last year when Ellen Degeneres didn’t join the group until Hollywood.

A few more tidbits from EW’s summary:

  • Ryan Seacrest on Simon Cowell’s absence, “It’s aged the show down a bit.”
  • Says Randy Jackson, “There are less clouds of smoke. We start earlier…“Look, it’s definitely been interesting. We definitely miss [Simon], but it’s a different kind of vibe. It’s a different kind of energy now. And I think in season 10 the show actually really needed it….It’s not about replacing him or any of the others: Paula, Ellen, Kara, anybody else. People have been saying to us, ‘Who’s mean?’ We’ve all traded off on that because I think you have to always give people the truth, no matter what.”
  • Jennifer Lopez says, “We’re more of a collaborative judging group…We’re always leaning over to each other and saying, ‘Oh my God, I think she’s good.’ ‘Oof, I don’t get it.’ ‘You don’t like it?’ I mean, not in a way where it becomes disrespectful to [the contestant’s] moment, but we discuss things. We just have a totally different style than any of the past judging tables.””
  • On this year’s talent, Steven Tyler says, Tyler made of all the talent he’s seen auditioning for the show? “It’s just astounding,” he says. “We throw the drift net out and look what comes up? Gold. [I’m] crying, honestly, from someone who hit the notes so sweetly and beautifully, not just that it’s the end of the day and thank God this motherf—er is the last one. Not that.””

Pick up Entertainment Weekly at your nearest newstand to read more!

Thanks Windmills

 
  • jpfan

    Oh wow. JLo identifies three Idol “superstars.” Can I cite her as a referrence the next time someone wants to know if Idol has produced a superstar?

    I love that she picked Archie’s Imagine as her fav moment. The show really is about moments like that.

  • windmills

    JLo didn’t ID the superstars, EW did in the question they asked. JLo just said 3 out of 9 is really good because being in the music industry, you know the success rate is 1% so 33% is actually really good by comparison. But I guess you could say she didn’t disagree that Kelly, Carrie, and Daughtry are superstars ;)

  • jpfan

    Okay so EW identified the three superstars and JLo agreed. Even better because EW is more outside the Idol bubble than she is. ;)

    Is it me or is the format changing?

  • tinawina

    I love that she picked Archie’s Imagine as her fav moment. The show really is about moments like that.

    ITA. I think she’s dead on about why people watch the show. Moments like that are one of the main reasons.

    And I think she’s right that having 3 people have huge albums from the show is a really good track record. When you add in the number of people who had good but not super huge albums, Idol has a better track record than most labels.

  • standtotheright

    And I think she’s right that having 3 people have huge albums from the show is a really good track record. When you add in the number of people who had good but not super huge albums, Idol has a better track record than most labels.

    I might just follow you around quoting all day. Heh.

    I would absolutely love it if someone did an analysis of the big A&R types, preferably with executive titles at their labels, and compared the percentage of signed acts who had similar degrees of success to AI contestants. I think the track record would show up really well.

  • Eileen99

    And I think she’s right that having 3 people have huge albums from the show is a really good track record. When you add in the number of people who had good but not super huge albums, Idol has a better track record than most labels.

    Wow, great point, tinawina.

    And, I agree about watching for “moments”. I hadn’t really thought about it that way, but yeah, that is one of the reasons I watch the show, and it has nothing to do with technical singing but everything to do with the emotion invoked by the artist & the way the performance makes me feel.

    Wow, JLo might be pretty darned insightful about Idol. I’m getting excited!

  • mmb

    ITA that idol has had an amazing track record. Three artists with truly huge smash albums ( not to mention all their hit singles and Grammy nominations- and you can throw clay into the mix ad having had a smash album), plus at least 9-10 others who have had solid success with their CDs, success in their respective genres, grammy nominations, big radio hits, or all of the above. If you assume idol is a label and ” developed” around 90 finalists that is a resounding success rate

  • tinawina

    I might just follow you around quoting all day. Heh.

    Nah, the coffee will wear off soon, and I’ll be back to typing gibberish again. Heh.

    I would absolutely love it if someone did an analysis of the big A&R types, preferably with executive titles at their labels, and compared the percentage of signed acts who had similar degrees of success to AI contestants. I think the track record would show up really well.

    Oh I would love to see something like that! I’m really curious how it would turn out. Everyone who got a deal after Idol vs the equivalent number of people signed by individual labels over the same time period. That would be fascinating.

    Like, Idol vs Interscope vs Columbia vs Whoever. Cool.

  • Kitwana

    And, I agree about watching for “moments”. I hadn’t really thought about it that way, but yeah, that is one of the reasons I watch the show, and it has nothing to do with technical singing but everything to do with the emotion invoked by the artist & the way the performance makes me feel.

    Yes, I agree that “moments” are what make the show. However, what kills the show and turns off viewers are transparently manufactured moments by manipulative producers. If you see an orchestra backing a singer and it is not the finale, you can be pretty sure that a “moment” is being manufactured.

  • mmb

    ^^ I disagree. You cannot manufacture a moment. You can have all the special lighting, orchestras, and bagpipes you want, but if the singing isn’t good, the song choice is bad and there is no spark or emotional connection then there isn’t a “moment”

    ( FYI this is not a dig at Lee. For some reason those bagpipes stick in my mind from last season. As does the didgeridoo ( sp?). I don’t think either enhanced the performances they were used in)

  • sma11ie

    I might just follow you around quoting all day. Heh.

    Hey, get in line! That’s my job! Haha, j/k. Do we need to start a tinawina fanclub ;). Seriously, Idol has a great track record. Can’t wait to read more of what JLo and Tyler has to say. I think/hope they “get” it, which is a good sign for this season…

    And yay, I subscribe to EW, so I’ll get to read the whole article. Wonder who wrote it– that’d maybe give us a hint of who’s inheriting Slezak’s position (the Popwatch piece says EW Staff). Speaking of Slezak… where is TVLine’s Idol coverage already? Season’s about to start! Tick tock, dude…

    Also, yes, reak Idol moments FTW, manufactured moments (bye, Simon!) FTL. Word.

  • bridgette12

    Kitwana:
    01/06/2011 at 10:22 am
    Yes, I agree that “moments” are what make the show. However, what kills the show and turns off viewers are transparently manufactured moments by manipulative producers. If you see an orchestra backing a singer and it is not the finale, you can be pretty sure that a “moment” is being manufactured.

    Your right moments are not manufactured. The greatest “moments” are the ones that are still talked about years after it happens. It’s Archuleta singing Imagine, Cook singing Billie Jean, Fantasia singing Summertime or Adam singing Mad World or ROF as a few examples. It’s those real moments that make you catch your breath.

  • tierbee

    I disagree. You cannot manufacture a moment. You can have all the special lighting, orchestras, and bagpipes you want, but if the singing isn’t good, the song choice is bad and there is no spark or emotional connection then there isn’t a “moment”

    Yeah, I agree with that… you can try to manufacture a moment, but it doesn’t work that way. It has to connect in some way, and it has to connect outside of just great singing. At least for me, a “moment” moves me. (That’s why I’m *still* listening to the “Fix You” performance from the Sing-Off, for example – it moves me, and qualifies as a “moment,” for me). The singing doesn’t even have to be perfect – it just has to connect.

  • Tess

    You cannot manufacture a moment.

    I totally agree. Sometimes moments have no band, are acoustic, are big ballads or rousing anthems, have a stage as a blank canvas, or are accentuated with great lighting. A “moment” belongs to the viewer…it is those few seconds when a viewer is enthralled and becomes one with the singer or the song. And everyone has their own “moment” memory…they aren’t neccessarily universal.

  • tierbee

    The greatest “moments” are the ones that are still talked about years after it happens.

    Or ones that I personally remember long after it happens. There are the big widely-agreed-on moments… and then there are the performances that move me, that make me cry, that give me goosebumps. Granted often that’s one and the same, but it’s what speaks to you, I think. I love performances that give me goosebumps.

  • tinawina

    Hey, get in line! That’s my job! Haha, j/k. Do we need to start a tinawina fanclub ;)

    Then you’d have to start one for yourself, since we always say the same thing anyway. LOL. Its just a matter of who gets there first.

    But the next time I say something monumentally stupid I am going to remind you two about this convo. That should be in about 20, 30 minutes. LOL. I can’t go too long without ass-talking. :D

    Yeah, I agree with that… you can try to manufacture a moment, but it doesn’t work that way.

    Ditto a thousand times! The producers always try too. And it might work short term – like for a day. But real moments just… happen. And people still talk about them years later.

  • ross

    I love that she picked Archie’s Imagine as her fav moment. The show really is about moments like that.

    Did anyone else put together the fact that she said Idol may have the youngest winner ever, to her citing Archie’s Imagine as one of the great moments? I mean, cynical me just thought she was trying to push the youth angle – since Archie was one of the youngest people she could name, who everyone would remember having such a moment on the show.

    Not to take away from Archie’s moment, that’s not my intention. But this show is so commercial and all they ever seem to be doing, if you read between the lines, is pushing some angle.

    There’s going to be a lot of pushing of the youth angle this year, so I’m prepared to be cynical about all such statements, I guess. And to see the judges as pushing the producers’ agenda, since I think that’s part of what they’re paid to do.

  • KathyH

    Those moments are why I watched. Those producer attempts at creating and attempting to sell me moments are part of why I stopped. Maybe I’ll give the show a chance again this year, see if big changes are actually that. Trying not to be cynical.

    Ross, I think she may have been genuine in what she said about David. I follow David news and he and JLo have met at events — she’s always been supportive enough of him to indicate that she really liked him on the show.

    I think every season has had moments for me, but some of them definitely stand the test of time better than others.

  • Trina

    I think that was one of the problems with season 9. There were some great performances but not one made me think it was the kind of mindblowing performance people will be talking about years to come. I remember Simon once described Billie Jean as a moment he would ‘never forget’ and he tried to explain why it made such an impression on him.

    I still think one of the ultimate, underrated moments was Bo doing In a Dream. Not only was it ballsy to go completely acapela but it was there was nothing there to even add to it, just him, a spotlight and his voice.

    ETA: for me Lee’s Hallelujah was the closest thing to a moment, I love the performance but he didn’t need all the added stuff which was clearly Simon pushing a moment and that sort of ruined the impact imo.

  • ross

    Ross, I think she may have been genuine in what she said about David. I follow David news and he and JLo have met at events — she’s always been supportive enough of him to indicate that she really liked him on the show.

    I think she was totally genuine in her opinion of David’s moment. But, at the same time, we all know the youth angle is what they’re pushing heavily this year, and she was the one who said they could have the “youngest winner ever.” So to mention a teen who almost won, in the same interview where she says there could be a teen winner – that may not be just a coincidence. It’s just my opinion that it’s a subtle way of pushing the teen angle.

  • Grammie Kari

    For me, the moment to remember is Siobhan’s “House of the Rising Sun.” I was mesmerized,, and yet I can’t forget “Paint It Black” as a rare professional performance. Yes, I would add Bo and David onto my list of ultimate moments.

    Already I am feeling they have picked out this 15 or 16 year-old girl to win the whole thing. I just hope they don’t push it as they have several in the past. Let things happen naturally, not manufactured.

    I think I would include Jennifer Hudson on that super star list.

  • jumpstart

    I think I would include Jennifer Hudson on that super star list.

    Ditto

  • standtotheright

    So to mention a teen who almost won, in the same interview where she says there could be a teen winner – that may not be just a coincidence. It’s just my opinion that it’s a subtle way of pushing the teen angle.

    I actually agree with this, but I think manipulating the media to get the message back out that “AI’s record of success is pretty good” is of value, so I cut her some slack.

    (I’m also cynical enough to believe that by spending so much time talking up the “really young,” they are leaving room for a 19-or-20 year old country or pop leaning female(?) to look mature and assured while the kids get picked off in the backlash.)

  • owanbe

    Oh wow. JLo identifies three Idol “superstars.” Can I cite her as a referrence the next time someone wants to know if Idol has produced a superstar?

    That is one out of how many credible publications?

    I could also argue that Idol stans use selective measurements. For example; when a story aligns with your belief for instance, it becomes authentic/real and the author is out of the bubble. Let the same publication run a story contrary to your stance, it becomes the author of the particular story happens to be a stan of one of the ones favourably written about.

    It always all boil down to being an opinion, isn’t it?

  • ross

    (I’m also cynical enough to believe that by spending so much time talking up the “really young,” they are leaving room for a 19-or-20 year old country or pop leaning female(?) to look mature and assured while the kids get picked off in the backlash.)

    Oh, yeah, I thought something like that, too. :)

    By the way, just because something is sincere doesn’t mean it isn’t hype. You can hype something with your sincere opinions. Sincerity and hype aren’t mutually exclusive.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Also, Jennifer Lopez predicts Idol “may have the youngest winner ever.” And, Randy Jackson thinks “A girl is going to win the show.

    A female Bieber?

    JLo didn’t ID the superstars, EW did in the question they asked. JLo just said 3 out of 9 is really good because being in the music industry, you know the success rate is 1% so 33% is actually really good by comparison. But I guess you could say she didn’t disagree that Kelly, Carrie, and Daughtry are superstars

    Nor did she add anybody. JHud is known mainly for her Oscar/stage work, and isn’t at the level of the other 3 in terms of recording career. I do think that Idol has a very good track record.

    “I think it’s about exciting performances. One of my favorite moments ever on Idol was not a big-voice moment but a beautiful-song moment, which was David Archuleta singing “Imagine.” That was something I’ll never forget for the rest of my life, that little kid at that little age taking that classic song and singing it in such a way that it changed my everything, like Steven loves to say all the time. That’s what we need to focus on getting: not big voices, not singer-songwriters, just what makes us feel something. I think that is gonna be what makes people come back every week.”

    This is the essence of Idol and it is what makes this show such a draw. I always wait for a “wow” moment every season, and people know it when it happens. Last year, there were good performances, but for me, no “wow” moments.

    I still think one of the ultimate, underrated moments was Bo doing In a Dream. Not only was it ballsy to go completely acapela but it was there was nothing there to even add to it, just him, a spotlight and his voice.

    I’m glad that you brought this up. That performance was definitely a “wow” moment for me too (still stands up well after all these years).

    It always all boil down to being an opinion, isn’t it?

    True, but when the same 3 Idols are always mentioned, multiple times, by different sources, in the context of the most successful, biggest “stars” from the show, and there is no disagreement about those 3 (and there are stats to support them), then I think that it’s safe to say that it’s not just “an opinion”, but substantially more than that. Do you have a different opinion?

    ETA: For the record, I think that the term “superstar” is highly overused, and lots of artists are referred to as “superstars” who aren’t.

  • bridgette12

    I think I would include Jennifer Hudson on that super star list.

    Sorry, but Jennifer Hudson is not a superstar. She’s famous, but when it comes to Superstars, she’s not one of them. Neither is Daughtry or Kelly. The Superstars in music today are people like Gaga and Eminem. Then you have the next level for people like Swifty, Beiber and Katy. You can throw in Carrie with that group, but she’s limited to the States and Canada.

    If your talking in terms of Superstars among the Idols, then Carrie, Kelly and Daughtry are “Superstars”.

  • owanbe

    True, but when the same 3 Idols are always mentioned, multiple times, by different sources, in the context of the most successful, biggest “stars” from the show, and there is no disagreement about those 3, then I think that it’s safe to say that it’s not just “an opinion”, but substantially more than that. Do you have a different opinion?

    You’ve read so from multiple sources which is fine enough. I have read mine mainly on Idol blogs. Still perspective.

    Take for instance someone namechecked JHud above. I bet there would be loads that would namecheck her before one or two of the 3 touted ones if some research were to be conducted.

  • sma11ie

    Neither is Daughtry or Kelly. The Superstars in music today are people like Gaga and Eminem.

    If Gaga is a superstar of today, then perhaps Kelly was a superstar of yesterday. Around Breakaway’s era (2004-2006), Kelly had as many pop hits and as much pop culture awareness as Gaga does now. She had the international hits (Kelly’s sold something like 24 million albums worldwide), critical acclaim, and I recall even rock bands saying in the media that they liked/respected her despite Idol. She was pretty damn ubiquitous. People who had no idea what Idol was or any desire to watch the show were aware of AI because of her. Then she had one “flop” album, and a “comeback” album wherein she had just three pop hits, so I guess she’s a has-been. And I guess we’ll have to see in 4-6 years, if Gaga only generates several more pop hits from her next couple albums, if she retains the “superstar” status.

    I mean, just because Gaga is everywhere at this moment, she’s a superstar? Then so is Taylor Swift, Bieber, Katy Perry. Not that long ago, Miley and the JoBros were inescapable… but now? Thankfully, not so much anymore. So do we have any more “superstars” here who’ve been around 10 years or more? Yeah, Eminem’s been around, but he’s disappeared for album cycles, etc. (remember when he got fat?). If we go by a stricter definition of superstar to include some amount of longevity, I guess Michael Jackson, Madonna were superstars. But Madonna isn’t really everywhere or coming out with big things anymore. Is she still a superstar? Or like Kelly, a has-been? Or does the label stick because she maintained a high level of stardom for really long prior to going away?

    With movie stars we have A-list, but in the music world, everything changes so often, and music is so cyclical– especially in pop so what does superstar of today even mean? I always go back to acts that have lasted for a long time, but still, the ones who’ve lasted have had moments of being away for a bit… This whole debate is so subjective, I feel like my comment’s getting silly, and I don’t even know what I’m arguing anymore.

    ETA: Agree with tinawina, not many people stay at Gaga levels for years and years or 5 albums. Thanks (again) for saying so succinctly what I was trying to in 1000 words =P.

  • tinawina

    ETA: For the record, I think that the term “superstar” is highly overused, and lots of artists are referred to as “superstars” who aren’t.

    Yeah, basically. ITA. “Superstar” is a very subjective term. So I get the disagreement over who is or isn’t a superstar. I don’t think there is a definitive answer there.

    I do think there is a general consensus on who the 3 biggest success stories out of Idol are, though. In real life, in the media, and on the boards… only 3 names consistently show up – in my experience anyway.

    If Gaga is a superstar of today, then perhaps Kelly was a superstar of yesterday.

    Yeah, I’d agree with that. And Daughtry. And Carrie. All 3 had HUGE albums, which is why they are constantly name checked.

    Only Carrie has come close to staying at that level of success. Kelly has held up well after a bit of a stumble, and has turned into an bankable, consistent international act. Daughtry is doing very well despite no longer being a cool kid.

    But as you allude people rarely stay Gaga level for long, so I think they’ve all done really well for themselves.

  • Keel

    I agree about JHud not bieng a superstar. She’s known for being a talented actress and singer, but it’s not as though she’s really known for moving product — whether movies or albums. So yeah, famous and deservedly lauded for her talents — but hardly a superstar.

    As for the triumvirate of supposed Idol superstardom, I would also qualify that only Carrie is a full-fledged superstar. Although she most definitely earned her fame/fortune in a non-pop genre, I think you’d be hard pressed to speak to any music critic/journalist (regardless of their favored genre) who would not consider her a superstar. As for Kelly, I’ve heard more than one DJ, and have read more than one article, that’s surmised that Kelly’s best days are behind her. So for me, Kelly was a superstar and is still currently a huge star, but no longer a superstar. (But with this next record, who knows?) As for Daughtry, it’s hard to say. His music sells and gets played on radio, and I do think he is very, very successful. But there’s just not that passion/affection for him that I tend to see for real superstars. He’s one of those acts who is well respected and well known, but superstars to me inspire more passion and loyalty from fans, and I don’t get the sense that Daughtry’s fanbase (or the media for that matter) is quite invested the way Gaga’s, Swift’s, Bieber’s or even Carrie’s and Kelly’s fanbases are or that the media is all that excited about him.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    You’ve read so from multiple sources which is fine enough. I have read mine mainly on Idol blogs. Still perspective.

    Idol blogs have a certain insular perspective and a lack of objectivity. I also read Idol blogs, and along with non-Idol sources, Kelly, Carrie and Daughtry are most often regarded as the biggest recording stars from Idol.

    Take for instance someone namechecked JHud above. I bet there would be loads that would namecheck her before one or two of the 3 touted ones if some research were to be conducted.

    Perhaps, but not in the category of recording artist, which is the goal of AI. JHud did not come to prominence until years after her season ended, and would probably not have acquired a major label recording contract were it not for her Oscar win for “Dreamgirls”. Although AI opened opportunities for JHud, I feel that she rose to fame without the direct and immediate boost from Idol that others have experienced.

  • SLR

    When you are talking about superstars who came from AI – you must include Jennifer Hudson. She’s more of a household name than Daughtrey will ever be.

  • Tess

    GaGa is the flavor of the month but she is, as yet, not a Superstar. She has one album and one ep..both which have sold very well but have not broken any records. She has one major tour behind her that has done great. GaGa is like many other performers: she is currently well-known and well-played and is a major celebrity but she doesn’t have longevity and multiple albums in her repertoire…things that would add to her legitimacy as a leader in the world of music.

    Personally, for me, GaGa is wearing disastrously thin…I enjoy her music but her persona is ever more grating. And I have heard a lot of the same reactions from others. I just don’t think she has Madonna staying power unless she reinvents herself and does it soon.

  • Tess

    When you are talking about superstars who came from AI – you must include Jennifer Hudson. She’s more of a household name than Daughtrey will ever be.

    This is also very debatable. Many people just aren’t into movies and could care less who wins a major award. She has yet to prove that she can carry a movie by herself and be “the” box office draw. Right now she seems to be more famous for the tragic loss of her family and for her weightloss commercials than she is for her acting ability or her music.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    If Gaga is a superstar of today, then perhaps Kelly was a superstar of yesterday. Around Breakaway’s era (2004-2006), Kelly had as many pop hits and as much pop culture awareness as Gaga does now. She had the international hits (Kelly’s sold something like 24 million albums worldwide), critical acclaim, and I recall even rock bands saying in the media that they liked/respected her despite Idol. She was pretty damn ubiquitous. People who had no idea what Idol was or any desire to watch the show were aware of AI because of her. Then she had one “flop” album, and a “comeback” album wherein she had just three pop hits, so I guess she’s a has-been. And I guess we’ll have to see in 4-6 years, if Gaga only generates several more pop hits from her next couple albums, if she retains the “superstar” status.

    For me, a true “superstar” must have massive global success. Kelly is hardly a “has-been”, but the level of her success has declined from her peak years (which is not to say that she can’t achieve a high level again). It will be interesting to see if Gaga’s global success lasts.

  • bridgette12

    Tess:
    01/06/2011 at 1:28 pm
    GaGa is the flavor of the month but she is, as yet, not a Superstar. She has one album and one ep..both which have sold very well but have not broken any records

    Gaga set two Guiness book of world records, by selling 15,000,000 albums and 51 million singles world wide. I would say she did pretty good.

  • Valentin432

    I don’t know how you can make a list of superstars without including Mariah Carey, U2 or the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

    Acts like Muse or Shakira are not massively successfull in the states but sell a lot in other parts of the world.

  • tinawina

    For me, a true “superstar” must have massive global success.

    The only reason I can’t go for that particular definition is that it would leave off people like, say, Garth Brooks, who was just massive for a long time. So that just seems wrong to me.

  • sma11ie

    I don’t know how you can make a list of superstars without including Mariah Carey, U2 or the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

    Wait, we’re making lists of superstars now? I just cited Madonna and MJ as examples, not trying to come up with any comprehensive list (though I like your three, I was actually trying to avoid that exercise). And the rest of the people I mentioned in my post, I did so more as examples of people who are big for a time but not in a lasting way– or in a lasting but cyclical way.

  • owanbe

    Idol blogs have a certain insular perspective and a lack of objectivity. I also read Idol blogs, and along with non-Idol sources, Kelly, Carrie and Daughtry are most often regarded as the biggest recording stars from Idol.

    Yeah! this is essentially true among Idol fans.

    I wouldn’t call someone I only got to know after discovering Idol blogs a superstar though i.e. Daughtry especially. Maybe becos IMO, a superstar is someone that is able to penetrate different cultures like MJ or Gaga etc. You asked for my opinion and this is it even though I own up to being no expert.

    Perhaps, but not in the category of recording artist, which is the goal of AI. JHud did not come to prominence until years after her season ended, and would probably not have acquired a major label recording contract were it not for her Oscar win for “Dreamgirls”. Although AI opened opportunities for JHud, I feel that she rose to fame without the direct and immediate boost from Idol that others have experienced.

    I also take an exception to this view because if that were so, then the Idol producers or owners wouldn’t flaunt her as one of their own. Or did I not read here, that they ran to her as fast as their legs could take them to attach themselves to her after her success story?

  • owanbe

    This is also very debatable. Many people just aren’t into movies and could care less who wins a major award. She has yet to prove that she can carry a movie by herself and be “the” box office draw. Right now she seems to be more famous for the tragic loss of her family and for her weightloss commercials than she is for her acting ability or her music

    But the term ‘superstar’ is not just designed for singers, so?

  • Incipit

    They used to be called “Water Cooler Moments” – performances people buzzed about the next day, and kept talking about – and I agree, they were each highlights of a season, and built anticipation that there could be more.

    A common complaint from last season was, “By this time in another year there had been”, followed by a short list of these water cooler moments from other seasons, and a wondering – ‘when are these contestants going to kick it in?’ When most of them never did, I think that anticipation dropped away, along with the viewers.

    TPTB trying to backwards engineer a ‘moment’ or artificially create one is transparent as all hell – and it doesn’t work…plus, the moments have come from all sorts of contestants, not just finalists. The cumulative belief that all of the contestants will be throwing down with the best they can bring every night is what keeps people’s attention, IMO.

    A list of ‘moments’ that stayed in memory may be different for each viewer, the important thing for the continued interest in the show is that they have one.

    JMO. Of Course.

  • tierbee

    Why are we making lists of superstars? I’m lost, lol.

  • Kitwana

    Yeah, the producers and the judges have pretty much shown their hand. They want a female teen winner. My guess is that they want a 15 year old Lolita who oozes sexuality, who can dance, who sings Pop and who will make Katy Perry, Gaga and Kesha look very old in comparison. She will be a Britney Spears for the 21st Century. She will be huge and she will bring Idol back to prominence before X Factor comes on air. Mark my words.

  • windmills

    Here’s my list of Superstars and I think it’ll settle this debate once and for all. As you can see out of all the Idols only Ruben Studdard makes the list.

    Luther Vandross
    Usher
    The Carpenters
    Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge
    Ruben Studdard
    Bette Midler
    Sonic Youth

    There’s an Idol moment in there too, see what I did there ;)

    Bo’s In A Dream is a great example of a moment. One of my favorite AI performances of all time.

  • Incipit

    Why are we making lists of superstars? I’m lost, lol.

    Heh. I have no idea, Tierbee. I don’t see the correlation either; it’s the difference between PR spin from the press conference for past winners, and the affect the show in progress may or may not have on viewers, based on the cast. Two different ends of the spectrum.

    IMO.

  • tinawina

    Why are we making lists of superstars? I’m lost, lol.

    Who knows? Boredom? LOL

    Tangents are fun. :D

  • Valentin432

    Wait, we’re making lists of superstars now? I just cited Madonna and MJ as examples, not trying to come up with any comprehensive list (though I like your three, I was actually trying to avoid that exercise). And the rest of the people I mentioned in my post, I did so more as examples of people who are big for a time but not in a lasting way– or in a lasting but cyclical way.

    Lol, no we aren’t (at least I wasn’t).
    I was more reacting to Bridgette list:

    The Superstars in music today are people like Gaga and Eminem. Then you have the next level for people like Swifty, Beiber and Katy. You can throw in Carrie with that group, but she’s limited to the States and Canada.

    To me this seems based on the last two years, which is really shortsighted, so I mentioned some artists that have been around for decades and still have selling power worldwide today.

  • MaryS-NJ

    Well, well… LOL! JLo’s already giving value to her employers to make up for that miserable negotiation. She’s very clever in genuinely praising Archie’s Imagine, while spinning the message the producers want to emphasize (youngest winner ever and 3 [superstars] out of 9 ain’t bad).

    A common complaint from last season was, “By this time in another year there had been”, followed by a short list of these water cooler moments from other seasons, and a wondering – ‘when are these contestants going to kick it in?’ When most of them never did, I think that anticipation dropped away, along with the viewers.

    Casey’s “Jealous Guy” and Crystal’s “Long as I Can See the Light” were a couple of Moments, for me at least. But yeah, I remember more Water Cooler Moments in the past. Season 5 was chock full of them and that was what sucked me into the show in a big fangirly way.

    Still, I like potential, growth and seeing previously unknown, hard-working musicians bring something fresh and different and blossom on the show as much as I like lots of big Moments.

    What I hope we don’t get this season is less diversity of talent in order to achieve a particular outcome. There are some talented youngsters whove been on the show but I usually prefer more seasoned voices…but then, I’m not the demographic the PTB care about so it wouldn’t surprise me if the talent pool caters to what the PTB think youngsters want to listen to.

  • Mark

    If Gaga is a superstar of today, then perhaps Kelly was a superstar of yesterday. Around Breakaway’s era (2004-2006), Kelly had as many pop hits and as much pop culture awareness as Gaga does now. She had the international hits (Kelly’s sold something like 24 million albums worldwide), critical acclaim, and I recall even rock bands saying in the media that they liked/respected her despite Idol. She was pretty damn ubiquitous. People who had no idea what Idol was or any desire to watch the show were aware of AI because of her. Then she had one “flop” album, and a “comeback” album wherein she had just three pop hits, so I guess she’s a has-been. And I guess we’ll have to see in 4-6 years, if Gaga only generates several more pop hits from her next couple albums, if she retains the “superstar” status.

    I love Kelly dearly but… not quite. She never had the meme inducing presence that Gaga has, and “Since U Been Gone” was almost oddly more famous than she was. Gaga’s someone you could identify as a cultural icon in the modern moment (if anyone can be). Kelly wasn’t that.

  • sma11ie

    I wouldn’t call someone I only got to know after discovering Idol blogs a superstar though i.e. Daughtry especially. Maybe becos IMO, a superstar is someone that is able to penetrate different cultures like MJ or Gaga etc.

    That’s why I gave that description of Kelly circa 2004-6. She penetrated pop culture and people who didn’t know or watch Idol (myself, my friends) knew who she was. And Daughtry may not be international, but I wasn’t watching Idol in 2006-7, and had no idea about Idol blogs when Daughtry started showing up all over the radio. I learned who he was because of radio, and found out he came from Idol after. If you paid attention to U.S. music that year his record came out, regardless of your exposure to Idol, you probably learned at least in passing who Daughtry was, even if you don’t like the music. The order was, I heard his songs and became aware of him, and then I learned he was an early/shock boot from Idol without even seeking out any Idol specific information on my own. That stuff was just out there in the media. They were the biggest selling rock band that year—biggest selling album that year, I think, so maybe you didn’t, but a lot of non-Idol folks learned of them, yes.

    Why are we making lists of superstars? I’m lost, lol.

    I’m hoping we’re not, lol. windmills, I <3 you.

    To me this seems based on the last two years, which is really shortsighted, so I mentioned some artists that have been around for decades and still have selling power worldwide today.

    Gotcha. Totally agree.

  • Mark

    Just read through the summary. I’m not an EW subscriber, so hopefully we can get filled in on anything interesting that comes in through the article later.

    The only thing that caught me was the note about judging more collectively. Good? Bad? One the one hand, it might actually make for a more interesting conversation about music. On the other hand, it might just increase the rampant groupthink. I don’t know.

    (Of course, like all pre-Idol stuff, it might just be bullshit that never comes to be)

  • JudyOhio

    Just off the top of my head, I think of a superstar being someone like Barbra Striesand, Elvis, Michael Jackson, even Dolly Parton. So far, I only see Carrie as one that “could” reach that status over years and years (maybe, lol). Time will tell. One thing is for sure, Idol has produced a large number of successful artists who have built very nice careers in their 9 years, AND they have given us many, many unmanufactured “moments” too. I managed to tolerate S9 and that’s about it, but I still love this show and look forward to the new, improved version this year! It appears to me that they really HAVE tried this year to revamp it in a good way.

  • owanbe

    That’s why I gave that description of Kelly circa 2004-6. She penetrated pop culture and people who didn’t know or watch Idol (myself, my friends) knew who she was. And Daughtry may not be international, but I wasn’t watching Idol in 2006-7, and had no idea about Idol blogs when Daughtry started showing up all over the radio. I learned who he was because of radio, and found out he came from Idol after. If you paid attention to U.S. music that year his record came out, regardless of your exposure to Idol, you probably learned at least in passing who Daughtry was, even if you don’t like the music. The order was, I heard his songs and became aware of him, and then I learned he was an early/shock boot from Idol without even seeking out any Idol specific information on my own. That stuff was just out there in the media. They were the biggest selling rock band that year—biggest selling album that year, I think, so maybe you didn’t, but a lot of non-Idol folks learned of them,

    This shouldn’t be the case. I don’t have to live and pay attention to US music to discover superstars. Gaga, Bierber, MJ, Madonna etc I knew without particularly researching about them on the net or paying attention to US radio. They penetrated into the culture of where I am living and I discovered them. They fit more into my own definition of superstars i.e. global cultural penetration. Not Daughty, whom I never heard of nor knew until I started visiting AI blogs.

    To further shock, I only knew Kelly of all the 3 touted on AI blogs. I was shocked to discover she was from AI when I started visiting AI blogs, as I never knew before then.

  • sma11ie

    She never had the meme inducing presence that Gaga has, and “Since U Been Gone” was almost oddly more famous than she was. Gaga’s someone you could identify as a cultural icon in the modern moment (if anyone can be).

    I disagree that SUBG was necessarily more famous than Kelly (I know ppl in various Asian and European countries who know Kelly), but that’s hard to argue. I do agree that Kelly was never an icon like Gaga, but I attribute that more to the fact that she never tried to be some quirky, freaky headline-grabbing meat-dress wearing “artist”. She just sang awesome pop songs with an awesome voice and let that speak for itself. If being or trying to be an icon’s a requirement to stardom, then I guess Kelly, Daughtry, Carrie don’t ever stand a chance even if they continue to sell massive albums with multiple hits for years to come.

    The only thing that caught me was the note about judging more collectively. Good? Bad?

    That caught my eye too! I really hope they don’t take that too far… say no to groupthink (looking at you, Randy!)

    ETA:

    This shouldn’t be the case. I don’t have to live and pay attention to US music to discover superstars.

    I actually never called Daughtry a superstar. I was just making the point that just because you only discovered Daughtry through an Idol blog, doesn’t mean that the other 5 million people who bought his first album did as well (Daughtry got some plaque for selling 5 million albums worldwide before his second album dropped- of course, 4 of those 5 were U.S.)

    To further shock, I only knew Kelly of all the 3 touted on AI blogs. I was shocked to discover she was from AI when I started visiting AI blogs, as I never knew before then.

    Soo… Kelly penetrated your culture and people learned of her not through Idol blogs…? What does that mean?!

  • tinawina

    This shouldn’t be the case. I don’t have to live and pay attention to US music to discover superstars. Gaga, Bierber, MJ, Madonna etc I knew without particularly researching about them on the net or paying attention to US radio. They penetrated into the culture of where I am living and I discovered them.

    You don’t live in the US? Well, that explains a lot. LOL

    I’m not going to argue with your definition of superstar only because I believe that is quite subjective.

    But that is a little like someone here saying “Well, Shakira is all right but she’s really a 4th tier singer” because she’s not a big big deal in the US. Meanwhile, she’s a huge star everywhere else.

    In the United States, some of the people you mention are not only known on “idol blogs”. My rap loving nephews knew who Daughtry was, and you couldn’t pay them to listen to pop radio or rock music. People’s grandmas that barely speak English know who Carrie is. Here, they are/were big freaking deals, at least for a time.

    I mean, you can certainly say that ONLY people who you can find out about where you are should be considered “superstars”, but I think you are certainly going to get a lot of legit resistance if that is the criteria you are using.

  • bridgette12

    JudyOhio:
    01/06/2011 at 2:40 pm
    Just off the top of my head, I think of a superstar being someone like Barbra Striesand, Elvis, Michael Jackson, even Dolly Parton

    I think people like Elvis, MJ, The Beatles and Sinatra for example are bigger than being a Superstar, they are icons. These are unique, one of kind performers. One in a generation Mega-stars, who all of the other Superstars look up to. Who knows when we will see another artist of their calibre.

  • jtgraffix

    I disagree that SUBG was necessarily more famous than Kelly (I know ppl in various Asian and European countries who know Kelly), but that’s hard to argue. I do agree that Kelly was never an icon like Gaga, but I attribute that more to the fact that she never tried to be some quirky, freaky headline-grabbing meat-dress wearing “artist”. She just sang awesome pop songs with an awesome voice and let that speak for itself. If being or trying to be an icon’s a requirement to stardom, then I guess Kelly, Daughtry, Carrie don’t ever stand a chance even if they continue to sell massive albums with multiple hits for years to come.

    agree wholeheartedly. kelly doesn’t need a schtick.
    anyway, i can’t wait for my copy to come in tomorrow!

  • http://www.twilightslo.com Mateja

    I would say that Kelly’s success during Breakaway era was similar to Lady GaGa’s, but she was just this normal, young girl, singing great pop/rock songs. But – she was huge. I would say “Because of You” and “Behind These Hazel Eyes” were her biggest hits here.

    Kelly was what- 18 years old when she won Idol. So, Breakaway era happened in her very early twenties and she was in great position to continue her great career with her third album. Sadly, Kelly believed that after one very successful album she could release less commercial music. I’m not saying that “My December” was bad. But it killed her momentum of an international superstar. She wasted her best years. I’m sure she will still have some hits, but we will never know what it could be.

  • owanbe

    I actually never called Daughtry a superstar. I was just responding to your claim that just because you only discovered Daughtry through an Idol blog, doesn’t mean that the other 5 million people who bought his first album did as well (Daughtry got some plaque for selling 5 million albums worldwide before his second album dropped- of course, 4 of those 5 were U.S.)

    But the topic of discussion is how Daughtry is among the 3 superstars Idol has discovered, which I am countering. He has had good album sales and tracking to be a reliable recording artist, definetly! but nothing in him seems superstar to me.

    Soo… Kelly penetrated your culture and people learned of her not through Idol blogs…? What does that mean?!

    Well, like I said yesterday, I LOVE her even though I don’t stan her. I guess, I kind of have a sentimental feeling going on with her because I discovered her and her music which I like before even discovering AI. So, if I am forced to pick a superstar of the 3, she fits more into it to me than the other 2, because she has had lots of recording successes too and she is more globally known and acknowledged than the other 2. In a way, she fits my own definition of a superstar more. This is what it means.

  • sma11ie

    But the topic of discussion is how Daughtry is among the 3 superstars Idol has discovered, which I am countering.

    I didn’t realize that was the topic of discussion, but rather interpreted it as one topic of discussion. Topics of discussion here on MJs frequently morph into other topics or tangents. I frequently argue on a point someone makes not necessarily because I’m arguing on the original topic, but because I wanted to argue that specific point only, if that makes any sense. In this case, I just felt the need to point out that Daughtry and Kelly are not only widely known in Idol blogs, because in making your point that they’re not superstars (which I’m not arguing), you made it sound like people only know of them through Idol blogs. Maybe you weren’t trying to say that, but I nonetheless felt the need to respond and offer my opinion to correct that perception, in case that perception was what was interpreted by other readers. Clear as mud? LOL, I need a break.

  • owanbe

    You don’t live in the US? Well, that explains a lot. LOL

    I’m not going to argue with your definition of superstar only because I believe that is quite subjective.

    But that is a little like someone here saying “Well, Shakira is all right but she’s really a 4th tier singer” because she’s not a big big deal in the US. Meanwhile, she’s a huge star everywhere else.

    In the United States, some of the people you mention are not only known on “idol blogs”. My rap loving nephews knew who Daughtry was, and you couldn’t pay them to listen to pop radio or rock music. People’s grandmas that barely speak English know who Carrie is. Here, they are/were big freaking deals, at least for a time.

    I mean, you can certainly say that ONLY people who you can find out about where you are should be considered “superstars”, but I think you are certainly going to get a lot of legit resistance if that is the criteria you are using.

    All these things shouldn’t affect who is a superstar. See, I have heard of all the US greats without visiting a blog. Sorry, if I have to visit some blogs to discover you, then you’ve already fallen short in comparison to all the global popular stars and not at the same level with them.
    The fact remains those of your family you mentioned still live in the US and in a way, still got exposed to Daughtry as an example listening to US radio. What I say is, if you are indeed a superstar, you should be able to penetrate cultures other than yours. I don’t have to live in your backyard to discover you.
    And your example of Shakira is not very grounded too as even though she is better known and successful all over the world than in the US, she has had smaches (sp) in the US too. A combination of those two successes overthrows someone that is only majorly successful in the US for instance eg Daughtry.

  • windmills

    There are Indian and Chinese singers whose record sales and relevance would make the sales of Bieber, Swift, Gaga, and the rest of them look like peanuts. I don’t know who they are, I just know they’re out there and they’re HUGE in their markets. I wouldn’t deny they’re superstars because they haven’t permeated my consciousness on their own but that’s just me. Then again the term “superstar” isn’t that important to me and I don’t really care whether it gets applied to my favorites or not.

    To get back to the article I thought JLo was relatively specific about what they’re looking to get out of this season and it seemed like she might’ve been trying to walk back the “superstar” premise a little and basically say they want somebody who’ll make a splash but not necessarily be pressured to be the biggest story in music in 2011-2012.

    A lot of the article is focused on this judges panel getting along better than last year’s. I think that’s one of their big talking points. The proof will be in live shows.

  • tinawina

    See, I have heard of all the US greats without visiting a blog.

    No, you haven’t. That’s my point actually.

    Sorry, if I have to visit some blogs to discover you, then you’ve already fallen short in comparison to all the global popular stars and not at the same level with them.

    I don’t care who you call a superstar or not, really. But the language you are using is implying that someone who sold a boatload of records primarily in the US is somehow not on the level of X person because YOU don’t know who they are. They are not “international”, so they can’t ever really be a big deal. So someone with half the accomplishments/sales/endorsements/US press BUT global name recognition would be on a higher level, to you.

    And that sounds illogical to me.

    I think the key to our discussion here lies in what sma11ie just said:

    because in making your point that they’re not superstars (which I’m not arguing), you made it sound like people only know of them through Idol blogs.

    So there is also the (unintentional?) implication that anyone you never heard of outside the US can’t be a real huge star and is only a big deal on Idol blogs. Which, huh? How does that make sense?

    I understand that your personal worldview is that only internationally known people can truly be superstars. But that is not the same as saying only internationally known people can be stars outside of idol blogs, and that if they were really that popular or huge you would have heard of them. People can be huge in the US but not very many places elsewhere (Carrie) or huge in the US and quite a few other places, but not in your corner of the world (Daughtry’s first album).

  • larc

    Kitwana:
    My guess is that they want a 15 year old Lolita who oozes sexuality, who can dance, who sings Pop and who will make Katy Perry, Gaga and Kesha look very old in comparison. She will be a Britney Spears for the 21st Century. She will be huge and she will bring Idol back to prominence before X Factor comes on air. Mark my words.

    Just because TPTB want it doesn’t mean they will get it. They tend to be too clumsy in their “engineering” to get what they usually seem to want. ;)

  • tinawina

    To get back to the article I thought JLo was relatively specific about what they’re looking to get out of this season and it seemed like she might’ve been trying to walk back the “superstar” premise a little and basically say they want somebody who’ll make a splash but not necessarily be pressured to be the biggest story in music in 2011-2012.

    I agree! J Lo played that one smart, it seems.

    They so want a young girl to win this year. Or just a girl period. I can’t say I blame them, but the early telegraphing hasn’t worked out in a long while, has it? If they really want that, they better start pimping “experienced” boys. Heh.

    ETA: Or, what larc just said. LOL

  • http://mjsbigblog.com/luvadamlamberts-american-idol-tour-2009-washington-dc-re-cap.htm luvadamlambert

    Haha this seems like it could be really cool
    Loved it all, except for ryan saying simon was just jealous-ryan, dont hate :P

  • owanbe

    No, you haven’t. That’s my point actually.

    Now, this is just funny!!! You wouldn’t know me more than me really except you have some supernatural powers of reading people’s minds. LOL! Oh, wait again!, you really mean, you know the popular US people that have been registered on my brain more than my own very self?

    I don’t care who you call a superstar or not, really. But the language you are using is implying that someone who sold a boatload of records primarily in the US is somehow not on the level of X person because YOU don’t know who they are. They are not “international”, so they can’t ever really be a big deal. So someone with half the accomplishments/sales/endorsements/US press BUT global name recognition would be on a higher level, to you.

    And that sounds illogical to me.

    Illogical to you, but logical to me nevertheless. I am allowed to have an opinion here which means, all that I have written are strictly IMO and still stand.

    So there is also the (unintentional?) implication that anyone you never heard of outside the US can’t be a real huge star and is only a big deal on Idol blogs. Which, huh? How does that make sense?

    I understand that your personal worldview is that only internationally known people can truly be superstars. But that is not the same as saying only internationally known people can be stars outside of idol blogs, and that if they were really that popular or huge you would have heard of them. People can be huge in the US but not very many places elsewhere (Carrie) or huge in the US and quite a few other places, but not in your corner of the world (Daughtry’s first album).

    To make myself clear again, I consider you a superstar if you’ve had global cultural penetration of some kind. I don’t see you as one if I have to visit an idol blog to discover you. And, I used this analogy particularly in reference to Daughtry. This also is my opinion and still stands.
    I decided not to respond to Smillie earlier on becos I thought I already made myself clear enough. Highlighting what I wrote about Kelly versus Daughtry already negated the point she tried to attribute to me because I stressed on the fact that I knew Kelly before visiting Idol blogs. How she concluded by saying, I implied, one could only know these people by only visiting Idol blogs was beyond me. I thought that would be glaring enough to people following the discussion, hence why I chose not to reply.
    And my corner of the world is not that tiny. I have lived like in 2 different continents and about 4 different countries in roughly 6 years, so I am not just hiding in one lonely little country to make some rants.

  • jpfan

    I accept the concept that people can be stars in one part of the world and unknown in another.

    Using the criteria of global penetration, I’d say no one from Idol is a superstar. I doubt the show has produced artists who are famous in India for example.

  • Keel

    Now, this is just funny!!! You wouldn’t know me more than me really except you have some supernatural powers of reading people’s minds. LOL! Oh, wait again!, you really mean, you know the popular US people that have been registered on my brain more than my own very self?

    I think what tinawina was saying, as an example, is the fact that you said you never heard of Daughtry until you went to an Idol blog, is actually proof that you don’t know who is popular in the U.S. Because in late 2006 to even mid 2008 period? The dude had at least one or two songs playing on the radio all the freaking time. He was kind of inescapable. I think he had five songs go #1 on HAC (according to Ryan Seacrest’s AT40 countdown) and based on a post here a few days ago, had two songs go Top 10 on BB100 — which is based on a combination of singles sold + airplay. I, myself, was kind of scratching my head when you initially said you never heard of Daughtry until you went to an Idol blog. I just thought you must have only listened to rap or polka radio . . . or lived under a rock or something.

  • tinawina

    Now, this is just funny!!! You wouldn’t know me more than me really except you have some supernatural powers of reading people’s minds. LOL! Oh, wait again!, you really mean, you know the popular US people that have been registered on my brain more than my own very self?

    What? That’s what you just said! You said “I only know so and so because of a blog, if I don’t know you can’t be really big”. How am I reading your mind? Maybe this is a language issue?

    To make myself clear again, I consider you a superstar if you’ve had global cultural penetration of some kind.

    I know! I said that to you. Why do you need to make yourself clear again? Clearly I understand your premise. All I did was lay out why I don’t agree.

    I am allowed to have an opinion here

    Of course you are! Is that up for debate?

    And my corner of the world is not that tiny. I have lived like in 2 different continents and about 4 different countries in roughly 6 years, so I am not just hiding in one lonely little country to make some rants.

    I never said it was tiny! I don’t even know what we’re arguing about anymore. LOL

    Are you upset that I am disagreeing with you???? What’s going on here? I’m lost.

    You know what? Nevermind. :D

  • owanbe

    I think what tinawina was saying, as an example, is the fact that you said you never heard of Daughtry until you went to an Idol blog, is actually proof that you don’t know who is popular in the U.S. Because in late 2006 to even mid 2008 period? The dude had at least one or two songs playing on the radio all the freaking time. He was kind of inescapable. I think he had five songs go #1 on HAC (according to Ryan Seacrest’s AT40 countdown) and based on a post here a few days ago, had two songs go Top 10 on BB100 — which is based on a combination of singles sold + airplay. I, myself, was kind of scratching my head when you initially said you never heard of Daughtry until you went to an Idol blog. I just thought you must have only listened to rap or polka radio . . . or lived under a rock or something.

    Yeah, in the US and not around the world. The truth is I never heard of him. But see, I heard of Beyonce, Kelly, Chris Brown, Gaga etc as soon as they hit it big ( the same level of popularity he probably had then), but I have never heard of him. That is the difference.

  • jpfan

    Chris Brown isn’t a superstar in the US anymore. ;)

  • owanbe

    Are you upset that I am disagreeing with you???? What’s going on here? I’m lost.

    You know what? Nevermind.

    I am actually enjoying the discussion or are you angry I have different opinions other than yours too?

  • tinawina

    I am actually enjoying the discussion or are you angry I have different opinions other than yours too?

    Mad? I am confused! I literally can’t follow your train of thought anymore. I am completely lost. LOL. So lost I’d rather just stop talking about it. My head hurts.

    I need an asprin or a nap. Or Burbon. LMAO

  • sma11ie

    Now, this is just funny!!! You wouldn’t know me more than me really except you have some supernatural powers of reading people’s minds. LOL! Oh, wait again!, you really mean, you know the popular US people that have been registered on my brain more than my own very self?

    I think another reason she said that is because your claim is really improbable– impossible really, regardless of who’s claiming it. If I had written that I have heard of ALL the US greats without visiting a blog, well, she could say the same thing—that no I haven’t. And she’d be right. And I live in the U.S. If I’d claimed that I know ALL the [fill in the blank], I’ll probably invite a lot of “no you don’ts” regardless of what’s in the blank. Which is why I tend to avoid superlatives in arguments. All’s, nothing’s, never’s are my enemy =P.

    I decided not to respond to Smillie earlier on becos I thought I already made myself clear enough. Highlighting what I wrote about Kelly versus Daughtry already negated the point she tried to attribute to me because I stressed on the fact that I knew Kelly before visiting Idol blogs.

    Wha? I was making separate points about Daughtry and Kelly. And using them as separate examples…? In your original post, you only mentioned that you didn’t consider Kelly and Daughtry as superstar like Gaga. I said, hey, Kelly used to be as ubiquitous IMO as Gaga is now, so time will tell. Point 1, done. Then separately, you comment that you don’t consider people to be superstars, “i.e. Daughtry especially” if you only found out about them on an Idol blog. So I make my point 2 that just because you may have found out about him on an Idol blog, he was pretty huge in the U.S. just a short while ago, so most people did not find out about him through an Idol blog. And then furthered as my Point 2b (corollary to Point 2) that Kelly and Daughtry are not just known through Idol blogs. I apologize that I included Kelly in 2b—I guess you had stated yesterday that Kelly didn’t belong in that category (I didn’t read yesterday’s comment—MJ’s threads are fairly independent of each other, and debates aren’t generally expected to carry over). But I don’t see how including Kelly in 2b (which I now retract, and retain as my point using just Daughtry as an example), negates point 1 and point 2– or point 2b-revised (sans Kelly)?

    Dammit, I thought I was taking a break. Oh, and I know it’s hard to read tones on blogs, but I’m not angry either, just debating! Glad to hear you aren’t.

  • kmd

    I agree with JLo’s comments in that article. I feel the same way she does about Archie. That was the moment I became a big fan of his and I still am. JLo has always been a huge fan of Archie’s. She is also right about idol having three superstars. I am sure she means Carrie, Daughtry, and Kelly. I think Carrie is the biggest star from idol at this point. I am liking JLo better now.

  • http://MJO judes

    *

    tinawina:
    01/06/2011 at 5:05 pm

    I am actually enjoying the discussion or are you angry I have different opinions other than yours too?

    Mad? I am confused! I literally can’t follow your train of thought anymore. I am completely lost. LOL. So lost I’d rather just stop talking about it. My head hurts.

    I need an asprin or a nap. Or Burbon. LMAO

    I can see where both of you are coming from & have enjoyed your conversation. As someone also not from the US – I can see what Owanbe is saying – however it is slightly different here in Australia as both Kelly & Daughtry have done well here – but we’ve had American Idol on our television & for those countries that don’t it might be harder for idols to be known there .
    All in all it really depends what your own definition of a “superstar”is & mine is more in keeping with Owanbes as I think it is overused . Maybe “star” would be more accurate.

  • ross

    Just off the top of my head, I think of a superstar being someone like Barbra Striesand, Elvis, Michael Jackson, even Dolly Parton.

    I agree. If you just stick to living people, I’d say people like Springsteen, Elton John, Bono, David Bowie. In my opinion you have to have longevity to be a superstar – or basically, you have to be someone who everyone in the world recognizes as a superstar. For example, everyone recognizes that Elton is a star, but I know plenty of people who never heard of Daughtry. Basically I think “superstar” is a way overused term.

  • Keel

    Yeah, in the US and not around the world. The truth is I never heard of him. But see, I heard of Beyonce, Kelly, Chris Brown, Gaga etc as soon as they hit it big ( the same level of popularity he probably had then), but I have never heard of him. That is the difference.

    Can we just say that because YOU have never heard of Daughtry that he is not a superstar in your particular world view? Because in judes’ world view (from Australia) he has indeed penetrated and therefore he is a superstar. Or, let’s just say big music star. I think, as tinawina pointed out, the term superstar itself is quite subjective in the first place.

    Also, one thing I was thinking before we got sidetracked on the whole inside/outside the U.S. business is that I thought that in the context of discussing Idols who may or may not be superstars, we were really thinking about them in terms of music first. So from my POV, I couldn’t understand why you would think JHud was a superstar but somehow the others weren’t. But it seems that YOUR definition of superstar would include people who are known not necessarily because they are music artists — but rather because they have permeated the pop culture landscape — which perhaps JHud has in your world view. Even in mine (here in the U.S.), she is well known due to her Oscar and Weight Watchers commercials and her family tragedy, but isn’t really known as a music star (talented though she may be) so I wasn’t including her in my list because (1) she’s well known but she’s not uber popular, (2) she’s not known for her own songs charting and crossing over into pop (as in it’s never happened) and (3) she’s never opened a big movie on her own or moved a lot of albums, so unsure how big/loyal her fanbase actually is (versus having lots of casual fans who have heard of her and are open to her music).

  • Keel

    ross, I think the reason “superstar” itself gets overused is because the term “star” gets even more overused. It’s like having a shortage of superlatives — so that the likes of Springsteen, Bono, etc. have to be called “icons” or “legends” or something so that they can be put another pedestal higher than superstar. It’s a lot like olives — when the sizing starts at “large,” you’ve got no place to go but to “extra large” and “jumbo.”

  • Tess

    how is “superstar” defined on the web:

    *someone who is dazzlingly skilled in any field

    •Superstar is a term used to refer to a celebrity who has great popular appeal and is widely-known, prominent or successful in some field.

    Definition of SUPERSTAR
    1: a star (as in sports or the movies) who is considered extremely talented, has great public appeal, and can usually command a high salary
    2: one that is very prominent or is a prime attraction

    1. a person, as a performer or athlete, who enjoys wide recognition, is esteemed for exceptional talent, and is eagerly sought after for his or her services.
    2. any very prominent or successful person or thing.

    So..if I am reading correctly a superstar is really someone whose talent is held in high esteem and he/she is sought after for their services. No where is length of time mentioned…no where is global prominence listed. Superstar is just someone who is “successful” in their field and “known” because of it. How simple.

  • karenc

    The thing about only 3 from AI reaching superstar status, there are at least two from more recent seasons that are at least as successful as Kelly Clarkson was on her first album. She really didn’t break through as a superstar until her second album. So there is a possibility that there can be more former contestants that could still reach the level of success that Kelly Clarkson has, if their second albums, and beyond that do well.

  • Keel

    The thing about only 3 from AI reaching superstar status, there are at least two from more recent seasons that are at least as successful as Kelly Clarkson was on her first album.

    Who?

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Yeah! this is essentially true among Idol fans.

    I wouldn’t call someone I only got to know after discovering Idol blogs a superstar though i.e. Daughtry especially. Maybe becos IMO, a superstar is someone that is able to penetrate different cultures like MJ or Gaga etc. You asked for my opinion and this is it even though I own up to being no expert.

    I agree with that assessment. I guess that I was simply referring to the consensus on the three major successful recording artists from Idol (because that is what the show is looking for), and it’s already been established that there isn’t a specific description for what constitutes a “superstar”.

    I also take an exception to this view because if that were so, then the Idol producers or owners wouldn’t flaunt her as one of their own. Or did I not read here, that they ran to her as fast as their legs could take them to attach themselves to her after her success story?

    Of course, Idol will embrace anyone from the show who becomes successful, even if they had little to do with that success post-AI. It’s PR for the “power” of the show, and not many people know the timeline or details to realize that JHud’s success was achieved by a very different path than Kelly, Carrie or Daughtry. Clive Davis (who was still closely involved with Idol during JHud’s season) passed on signing her initially, and only became interested in signing and promoting her after her success in “Dreamgirls”. ;)

    What I say is, if you are indeed a superstar, you should be able to penetrate cultures other than yours. I don’t have to live in your backyard to discover you.

    I believe that international success/popularity is a criteria for a bona-fide superstar, which means that there are very few artists in the category.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    The thing about only 3 from AI reaching superstar status, there are at least two from more recent seasons that are at least as successful as Kelly Clarkson was on her first album.

    As of Dec. 8, 2010, Kelly’s first album “Thankful” has sold 2.744 million units. No Idol since Daughtry in Season 5 has achieved this level of sales for their debut CD. Plus, Kelly has a top 10 hit on the BB Hot 100 with “Miss Independent” from that album (which sold platinum).

  • HR

    Leann Rimes was the “it” girl of the country and pop world a decade ago. Nelly Furtado was topping the charts five years ago. A year ago King of Leons was the “it” band. All would have been referred to as “superstars”. I suspect they aren’t the first most would rush to use as examples of “superstars” in 2011. The term isn’t used these days to describe acts that will dominate 40 years. It is used to describe people who have at one time experienced chart topping success. Kelly, Carrie and Chris qualify by that criteria even though I don’t personally like or use the term myself. When I do I reserve it for acts that have been around several decades. Five years from now there is no guarentee Gaga, Katy or Beiber will top the charts but they’ll probably still be described as superstars even if they aren’t.

    As far as Chris only being known through Idol blogs? No. There are at least 30 million people who watched American Idol weekly in 2006 that have some awareness of him. Since then he’s appeared at NYE specials, sport finals, political conventions, music award shows, had his music played on radio and used all over on tv. He’s toured for NB and Bon Jovi. He even guest stinted on CSI NY. I’d say he’s more popular outside of the Idol “bubble” then he is within it actually…

  • fuzzywuzzy

    ross, I think the reason “superstar” itself gets overused is because the term “star” gets even more overused. It’s like having a shortage of superlatives — so that the likes of Springsteen, Bono, etc. have to be called “icons” or “legends” or something so that they can be put another pedestal higher than superstar. It’s a lot like olives — when the sizing starts at “large,” you’ve got no place to go but to “extra large” and “jumbo.”

    So true. LOL!

  • Mark

    I disagree that SUBG was necessarily more famous than Kelly (I know ppl in various Asian and European countries who know Kelly), but that’s hard to argue.

    True. I meant it in the sense that Kelly as a persona didn’t really quite add up to the sheer reach of SUBG, which was pretty much everywhere and then some. As some have noted, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. (I’m all for people in mainstream pop who do well without gimmicks.)

    Oh, and I get everyone who tends to say that superstardom is only achieved by the MJ-caliber and a step below that. For me, I’m more willing to play loose with it, because anything that has the word “star” in it conjures some image of transiency. The more eternal artists (by pop standards, anywho) get a better word than that.

    Edited: Christ, I know I have a short attention spans, but could I cut it out with the Randy-like redundancies? Yeesh.

  • ross

    ross, I think the reason “superstar” itself gets overused is because the term “star” gets even more overused. It’s like having a shortage of superlatives — so that the likes of Springsteen, Bono, etc. have to be called “icons” or “legends” or something so that they can be put another pedestal higher than superstar. It’s a lot like olives — when the sizing starts at “large,” you’ve got no place to go but to “extra large” and “jumbo.”

    Haha, well put, Keel.

    I actually read something a few years ago about how the definitons of “star” and “superstar” have changed over the years. More and more frequently, people are called “superstars” who would once have only been called “stars.” Naturally, it helps to publicize people as “supertars” or “megastars”, which is one reason it has caught on.

  • Keel

    I believe that international success/popularity is a criteria for a bona-fide superstar, which means that there are very few artists in the category.

    But that would make superstardom for a Chinese or Hindi language singer pretty hard to achieve, no? Or people who are basically legends in their particular musical genres but maybe the genre is indigenous to a particular (but still very large) country. Seems to favor mostly pop, rock or rap artist whose music translates better internationally — regardless of whether the Chinese or Hindi language singer has moved a ton more albums and been a bigger concert draw.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    True. I meant it in the sense that Kelly as a persona didn’t really quite add up to the sheer reach of SUBG, which was pretty much everywhere and then some. As some have noted, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. (I’m all for people in mainstream pop who do well without gimmicks.)

    That’s a good point. Gaga is different in that she has an exotic, bigger-than-life persona and uses elaborate staging that goes along with her music and contributes to her mystique, whereas Kelly has maintained her approachable, relatable persona, without embellishments, while being a great artist. I can appreciate both. :)

  • girlygirl

    I roll my eyes every time I see someone referred to as a “superstar” — 99% of the time it’s nothing but pr hyperbole. There are very few superstars in the music business, and I don’t know if any of the ex Idols really qualify (MAYBE Carrie). Same thing with “hit song” — I’ve seen several recent press releases touting music as “hit songs” when those songs have neither sold well nor gotten any radio play — so exactly how would it be a “hit”?

  • Mark

    But that would make superstardom for a Chinese or Hindi language singer pretty hard to achieve, no? Or people who are basically legends in their particular musical genres but maybe the genre is indigenous to a particular (but still very large) country. Seems to favor mostly pop, rock or rap artist whose music translates better internationally — regardless of whether the Chinese or Hindi language singer has moved a ton more albums and been a bigger concert draw.

    Well, yeah, it’s western/U.S. biased… but isn’t most significant media? Colonization of culture and all. So I’m not sure how much that might be seen as impacting one’s ability to be a “superstar” or not, if being a star is about being seen everywhere in the entertainment industry. Which is what I had assumed to be what stardom was about.

    Of course, it’s pretty arbitrary. It can easily be argued that strong, highly localized success should count. And I’m not sure if I’d disagree.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    But that would make superstardom for a Chinese or Hindi language singer pretty hard to achieve, no? Or people who are basically legends in their particular musical genres but maybe the genre is indigenous to a particular (but still very large) country. Seems to favor mostly pop, rock or rap artist whose music translates better internationally — regardless of whether the Chinese or Hindi language singer has moved a ton more albums and been a bigger concert draw.

    Good point. It’s interesting though, that it appears that English-speaking pop artists have the ability to impact non-English speaking countries more than the reverse. I think that it’s genre as well, since classical music is often sung in a language other than English, and still finds popularity in English-speaking countries and internationally. Still, I do think that some measure of international success elevates certain artists to next level beyond “star”.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Same thing with “hit song” — I’ve seen several recent press releases touting music as “hit songs” when those songs have neither sold well nor gotten any radio play — so exactly how would it be a “hit”?

    I know. I see this kind of reference when artists are introduced, and it often just isn’t true. I always thought that a top 40 ranking on the BB Hot 100 was the measure of a “hit”, but now that I’m more informed about the different genres and radio formats, it’s not so cut and dried. I’ve noticed that some Idol fans tend to “move the goalposts” so that their favorites meet the standard of a “hit”. ;) In reality, I think that such detailed scorekeeping is really only interesting to keen fans.

  • karenc

    As of Dec. 8, 2010, Kelly’s first album “Thankful” has sold 2.744 million units. No Idol since Daughtry in Season 5 has achieved this level of sales for their debut CD. Plus, Kelly has a top 10 hit on the BB Hot 100 with “Miss Independent” from that album (which sold platinum).

    If you take into account decreases in album sales, I believe David Cook’s album was at least if not more successful than Kelly Clarkson’s first album. His album was #13 on the BB200 year end chart, and hers was #31. They both had 2 platinum hit singles, and now he has a gold single too. And his tour was extremely successful also, and is still has the most tour dates for any idol winner.

    The other that I think is Adam Lambert, his album being # 29 on the BB 200 year end chart and also had two hit singles, so far, one platinum and one gold, and I believe he is the first one from AI to have an international tour for their first album.

    The point I was trying to make is that there could be a more recent idol that could do what Kelly Clarkson did and have a really successful second album that could also reach the same level of success that she, Carrie and Daughtry have. Or even if they don’t, there are still some that are moderately successful. It’s just too soon to tell.

  • readon

    karenC

    Interesting fact based post. That was very brave.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    If you take into account decreases in album sales, I believe David Cook’s album was at least if not more successful than Kelly Clarkson’s first album. His album was #13 on the BB200 year end chart, and hers was #31.

    Not really a fair comparison, since BB200 year end charts go from November to November, and Thankful was released on April 15, so both Cook and Adam’s CDs (both released in November) had an extra 5 months of sales plus Christmas sales to contribute to their rankings.

    The point I was trying to make is that there could be a more recent idol that could do what Kelly Clarkson did and have a really successful second album that could also reach the same level of success that she, Carrie and Daughtry have. Or even if they don’t, there are still some that are moderately successful. It’s just too soon to tell.

    I agree, it really is too soon to predict which way either Cook or Adam will go. Especially for Idols, the sophomore CD is the watershed point that determines if an Idol has made the transition successfully from their Idol fanbase to the larger non-AI public. I’m hoping that both of these guys will be successful, but until their CDs are released (and/or singles released to radio) no one will know how it will go.

  • readon

    Not really a fair comparison, since BB200 year end charts go from November to November, and Thankful was released on April 15, so both Cook and Adam’s CDs (both released in November) had an extra 5 months of sales plus Christmas sales to contribute to their rankings.

    I think it is a reasonably fair comparison. Unless, Kelly’s albums sales followed a different sales trajectory than everyone else’s, the additional five months would have only been a period of stabilized sales with fairly low numbers. Christmas sales would have shown a 25-30% increase on numbers that would have been significantly lower than her sales from April through November.

    BB year end rankings is a least a reasonable relative market ranking. I believe it was stated in a different numbers thread that it would be fairly complicated to normalize all sales rankings to each album’s annuals release date.

  • Keel

    Not really a fair comparison, since BB200 year end charts go from November to November, and Thankful was released on April 15, so both Cook and Adam’s CDs (both released in November) had an extra 5 months of sales plus Christmas sales to contribute to their rankings.

    That’s a totally fair point, but at least it’s a lot closer to a fair comparison than one where you cite Kelly’s first album sales (2.7M) back in the early 2000s vs. Cook’s (1.3M) and Lambert’s (760K (?)) sales in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Because of the general decline in album sales, you really do have to look at the artist’s relative placement in the BB200 at the end of a particular chart year. So, would Kelly have leaped to say the Top 5 in her chart year if she got 5 additional months of sales? We don’t really know, but chances are she would have passed Adam and maybe, just maybe, Cook as well, but we just don’t know. But we, for sure, can’t say that she smoked them in sales as far as debut albums go. In any event, the original point was that both Cook and Adam created enough of a track record on their debut albums that there’s still a chance that they could perform well enough on their sophomore releases to possibly join Kelly, Carrie and Daughtry on the “superstars” list of Idols (with all the caveats relating to the definition of what constitutes a superstar in the first place).

  • https://twitter.com/pmhowden undercooked

    I think it is a reasonably fair comparison. Unless, Kelly’s albums sales followed a different sales trajectory than everyone else’s, the additional five months would have only been a period of stabilized sales with fairly low numbers.

    ITA. But don’t forget Kelly had that really awesome movie to help keep her in the public eye! :)

    I really like Kelly and think she has one of the best voices to come out of AI. But having said that, if Kelly were on S9 and won, I don’t think her debut album would have sales numbers anywhere close to what she had back in 2002. I do think, however, she probably would rank in the top 25 on the end of year BB chart.

  • sunchick

    Then again the term “superstar” isn’t that important to me

    LOL, apparently me too. The most interesting part of this superstar debate, for you for me, is that the parameters are apparently so murky and subjective that the argument just goes round and round… So I’m thinking I’m totally gonna ditch “superstar” and start classifying all AI-produced “stars” with the system astrophysicists use to label actual celestial stars to avoid confusion. You got your O, B, A, F, G, K, M….O class being the hottest star, M class being the coolest. So like, Carrie would be O class, also Kelly who, let’s face it, will always be the first American Idol and also the name one invokes when getting a painful wax job thanks to Steve Carrell in The 40 Year Old Virgin and thus will never lose honorary O class status, Daughtry and J Hud are like your typical B class stars, Cookie and Adam A class stars who could brighten or dim a class or two, Jordin and Tasia I guess would fall in F class, etc etc…and the truckload of people whose 15 ran out before their season even ended are below an M, which would be, um, I dunno, falling stars? And William Hung is a gaseous cloud that tried really hard to be a star but lacked the right big bang, big bang..o baby…. Oh, the void left by Simon’s departure is, of course, a black hole. Voila! Now it’s all crystal clear. The AI Universe and You.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. Blame the Big Bang Theory…it makes me extra geeky.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I think it is a reasonably fair comparison. Unless, Kelly’s albums sales followed a different sales trajectory than everyone else’s, the additional five months would have only been a period of stabilized sales with fairly low numbers. Christmas sales would have shown a 25-30% increase on numbers that would have been significantly lower than her sales from April through November.

    I haven’t looked up the stats, but the launch of Kelly post-AI cannot be compared with more recent artists like David and Adam. After Idol, instead of recording her CD and releasing it soon after the show ended, she was encumbered by shooting a movie, “From Justin to Kelly”, which was a big WTF moment for fans. I became a fan afterwards (I didn’t watch Season 1), so I’m not sure what happened, but this delay and the timing of her release could have affected the usual trajectory of Idol sales.

    In any event, the original point was that both Cook and Adam created enough of a track record on their debut albums that there’s still a chance that they could perform well enough on their sophomore releases to possibly join Kelly, Carrie and Daughtry on the “superstars” list of Idols (with all the caveats relating to the definition of what constitutes a superstar in the first place).

    Yes, I agree. If anything, Adam may be in a slightly stronger position to make this progression, largely because of having a stronger radio and international presence, and (potentially) releasing his CD with less of a time gap than Cook. Still, it’s a guessing game as to how either will do. Frankly, I’m surprised that Archie didn’t do better with his sophomore release, so it’s really hard to predict what will happen.

    ETA:

    ITA. But don’t forget Kelly had that really awesome movie to help keep her in the public eye! :)

    LOL! “Awesome” indeed! *rolls eyes*

    Carrie would be O class, also Kelly who, let’s face it, will always be the first American Idol and also the name one invokes when getting a painful wax job thanks to Steve Carrell in The 40 Year Old Virgin and thus will never lose honorary O class status,

    LOL! Very good! :)

  • readon

    So I’m thinking I’m totally gonna ditch “superstar” and start classifying all AI-produced “stars” with the system astrophysicists use to label actual celestial stars to avoid confusion.

    LOL! I was thinking along the same lines. Maybe the astronomers need to come up with a Hertzsprung – Russell Diagram to categorize all Hollywood and Music stars.

  • suenigma

    Excellent post KarenC. I’ve been a big Kelly fan since Season 1, and she was most defnitely not perceived to have been a huge success right out of the box. IMO she didn’t break out of the Idol Bubble and become a “Superstar” until Breakaway. What were the total sales of Thankful on it’s 1st year anniversary. Certainly some of the 2,700,000 sales took place once Breakaway broke out, and over the intervening half-dozen + years. Time has obscured or enhanced the facts, methinks.

    *Edited for Clarity

  • gangreen29

    Well, yes theoretically David C and Adam could have a Breakaway album. I mean, theoretically Kristy Lee Cook could have a breakaway album. I just don’t see it as very likely. Breakaway is one of those rare albums that doesn’t come along very often in a generation. Every song off that album was a huuugggee hit. Everyone loved Kelly. My indie music listening friends even loved her.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I’ve been a big Kelly fan since Season 1, and she was most defnitely not perceived to have been a huge success right out of the box.

    I agree.

    IMO she didn’t break out of the Idol Bubble and become a “Superstar” until Breakaway.

    I agree.

    What were the total sales of Thankful on it’s 1st year anniversary. Certainly some of the 2,700,000 sales took place once Breakaway broke out, and over the intervening half-dozen + years.

    If you have been a big fan since Season 1, then you would know where to find those stats.

    A little bit of revisionist history, methinks.

    That would infer that there was an intent to obscure facts and/or misrepresent them, which was not the case here. Interesting that enough paranoia still lurks in some fans’ minds to taint an otherwise interesting discussion.

  • suenigma

    I agree Gangreen, it is highly unlikely that either Adam or Cook will ever have a success on the level of Breakaway. That alubm was MASSIVE, and Kelly was EVERYWHERE that year. But that really wasn’t what the point was. KarenC was making the case that, taking into account declining sales, etc., Thankful was actually no more successful than Cook’s, or possibly even Adam’s first CDs.

  • sunchick

    Maybe the astronomers need to come up with a Hertzsprung – Russell Diagram to categorize all Hollywood and Music stars.

    Excellent idea! We should totally come up with a similar system plotting current luminosity vs. absolute magnitude and call it the sunchick-readon. ;)

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I too agree that another situation like Kelly’s with Breakaway is unlikely for either Adam or Cook, but neither of these guys need that kind of CD to successfully progress to more significant careers with their next CDs.

  • suenigma

    If you have been a big fan since Season 1, then you would know where to find those stats.

    So sorry, but I wasn’t scouring Idol Blogs and arguing stats at that time. Do I need to hand in my fan card now? Anybody who knows me knows that yes, I may be a Cooktard (he needs the cheerleading more than she does), but Kelly is my first and favorite Idol. If you knew how obsessed I was with Breakaway and My December (my favorite AI Alum album, by far) you wouldn’t imply otherwise. LOL.

    That would infer that there was an intent to obscure facts and/or misrepresent them, which was not the case here. Interesting that enough paranoia still lurks in some fans’ minds to taint an interesting discussion.

    I apologize. I wasn’t trying to infer that there was some sort of evil, CONSCIOUS attempt to misrepresent the facts or anything. I meant more that “time” obscures the facts, if you will. A kind of “back when I was a kid” kind of thing. It was bad wording on my part.

    I am sorry that you feel that I am “paranoid” and that I “tainted” the discussion.

  • readon

    Excellent idea! We should totally come up with a similar system plotting current luminosity vs. absolute magnitude and call it the sunchick-readon.

    If nothing else, it could be absolute popcorn fun. However, I don’t think I have the atro-cred to do this.

    But, yeah. I’m a geek……

  • windmills

    suenigma: What were the total sales of Thankful on it’s 1st year anniversary.

    I don’t have an exact total but it was around 1,968,000.

    Kelly ranked #20 for 2003′s top selling CDs with 1.84 million sold. Clay Aiken was #11 on the same list. He was probably pretty high on the BB year end list too.

    karenc: They both had 2 platinum hit singles, and now he has a gold single too.

    If you want to take into account the decrease in album sales since 2003 then you also have to take into account the explosion of the digital single sales market since 2003. The physical single sales market was dying out in 2003. Do you know how far ahead of the pack the AI coronation singles were as far as physical single sales? They were like the only physical singles selling anything!

    Miss Independent would’ve sold MUCH more as a digital single and a multi format hit (and CHR #1) had it been released in 2007/2008.

    Kelly also coheadlined a 2004 arena tour that ranked #58 on the Pollstar Top Tours List of 2004. Even adjusting for the decline in sales I think Kelly’s debut era was stronger than Cook’s and Adam’s.

  • jpfan

    Yes if Cook or Adam produce a sophomore album that becomes a huge seller and produces multiple #1 Pop hits they both can join Kelly in the pantheon of Idol successes. Of course that would go against the fact that every single Idol album released has sold considerably less than the previous album with one exception –Kelly Clarkson!

    That doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t happen of course. Hope springs eternal and anything is possible. The good news is we’ll know soon enough as both have follow up albums coming out in 2011.

  • ross

    The point I was trying to make is that there could be a more recent idol that could do what Kelly Clarkson did and have a really successful second album that could also reach the same level of success that she, Carrie and Daughtry have.

    Daughtry’s debut album was twice #1 on the Billboard Top 200, it sold 4x platinum, and was named the #1 selling album of 2007 by Billboard.

    “Their album is also the fastest-selling debut rock album in Soundscan history. The first single from the album, It’s Not Over, was the eighth most played song across all formats on U.S. radio in 2007, and their second single from the album, Home, was the tenth most played song in the U.S. of 2007.” – Wikipedia

    I’m sorry, but, frankly, I don’t see any recent Idol’s track record as indicative that they’re likely to be in that league any time soon. One platinum single and an album that has sold less than a million aren’t, to me, strong indicators that Adam will soon be joining Daughtry in the “Idol superstar” pantheon. Not saying it couldn’t happen, but right now it’s just wishful thinking, imho.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    No problem, suenigma. Although I’m a fan of Kelly’s, I’m really not an “intense” fan of hers’ (or anyone’s for that matter), so I really don’t have much more than a rather superficial knowledge about the details of things like sales and radio stats, etc., and I tend to make mistakes, but they aren’t intentional, more just ignorance. :)

  • jpfan

    Daughtry is the last #1 or album seller coming off Idol. I’d say it couldn’t be done but SuBo (that deranged cat lady) almost pulled it off last year so kareoke TV still packs a punch.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    karenc: They both had 2 platinum hit singles, and now he has a gold single too.
    —–
    If you want to take into account the decrease in album sales since 2003 then you also have to take into account the explosion of the digital single sales market since 2003. The physical single sales market was dying out in 2003. Do you know how far ahead of the pack the AI coronation singles were as far as physical single sales? They were like the only physical singles selling anything!

    Miss Independent would’ve sold MUCH more as a digital single and a multi format hit (and CHR #1) had it been released in 2007/2008.

    Kelly also coheadlined a 2004 arena tour that ranked #58 on the Pollstar Top Tours List of 2004. Even adjusting for the decline in sales I think Kelly’s debut era was stronger than Cook’s and Adam’s.

    Thanks for posting that information. :) Good point about the disparity of sales of physical singles vs. digital. I agree that if MI were released more recently, it would have sold far more than it did.

  • suenigma

    Thanks for the 1st year numbers for Kelly’s debut album Windmills, and that is an excellent point about the single sales.

    Also, just to reiterate, I was only ever comparing their 1st album sales. I have no delusions that anybody off of Idol will ever again achieve what Carrie and Daughtry did with their first albums, or what Kelly did with her second album. Kelly in particular acheived a kind of Perfect Storm with Breakaway – huge album sales, critical acclaim, enourmous singles, media buzz, industry respect. She was Lady Gaga. She was everywhere.

  • https://twitter.com/pmhowden undercooked

    Miss Independent would’ve sold MUCH more as a digital single and a multi format hit (and CHR #1) had it been released in 2007/2008.

    On the other hand, do you think the lack of availability of Miss Indepedent as a digital single helped Kelly’s album sales? I really don’t know one way or the other. But it seems there has been some discussion recently about how the album is dying because more people are apt to buy singles.

    By the way, I really liked Kelly’s video of MI.

  • cookcricket

    Really all I want to know is…was Ryan serious with his proclamation that he thought Simon was jealous of him? Just really curious about this. LOL.

  • readon

    I don’t think you can extrapolate sales in 2004 to sales in 2007/2008. In order to do that, you would have to assume that music preferences did not change in a 3-4 year period. IMO songs , especially pop songs, can only be rated against the market they competed against during the year they were released. Miss Independent may have have been the cherry on the sundae in 2003/4, but who is to say that the song would have even been relevant based on what was popular in later years. YMMV

  • windmills

    cookcricket: Really all I want to know is…was Ryan serious with his proclamation that he thought Simon was jealous of him? Just really curious about this. LOL.

    Ryan’s said stuff like that in TV interviews before and he’s been kidding. I don’t know why this would be any different.

    undercooked: On the other hand, do you think the lack of availability of Miss Indepedent as a digital single helped Kelly’s album sales?

    Probably but since Kelly’s album sales were already being discounted on account of 2003 being a better time for album sales, I thought it was important to point out that if you’re trying to even the playing field for albums you also have to even it out for singles.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Really all I want to know is…was Ryan serious with his proclamation that he thought Simon was jealous of him? Just really curious about this. LOL.

    LOL! I don’t know, but I don’t get the impression from that article that Ryan and Simon are such close buddies in real life.

  • suenigma

    Really all I want to know is…was Ryan serious with his proclamation that he thought Simon was jealous of him? Just really curious about this. LOL.

    No kidding, eh? I really hope that he was just taking the mick out of Simon, as per usual. But somehow it’s not as good-natured or funny when Simon isn’t there to roll his eyes or zing him back.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I don’t think you can extrapolate sales in 2004 to sales in 2007/2008. In order to do that, you would have to assume that music preferences did not change in a 3-4 year period. IMO songs , especially pop songs, can only be rated against the market they competed against during the year they were released. Miss Independent may have have been the cherry on the sundae in 2003/4, but who is to say that the song would have even been relevant based on what was popular in later years. YMMV

    windmill isn’t doing that. S/he was simply using the same argument in reverse that karenC had used to compare the level of CD sales from different eras. i.e. applying a “normalizing” factor to account for the difference in the way that singles are sold now (digital) vs. back in 2003 (physical single). Since singles back in 2003 cost about $4 each, MI would probably have sold a lot more if it had been available as a digital download back then.

  • windmills

    fuzzywuzzy: LOL! I don’t know, but I don’t get the impression from that article that Ryan and Simon are such close buddies in real life.

    They’ve been photographed vacationing together a few times. Not recently but the last couple of years. For whatever that’s worth.

    suenigma: But somehow it’s not as good-natured or funny when Simon isn’t there to roll his eyes or zing him back.

    I agree with that.

    But I also hadn’t enjoyed the Simon-Ryan “banter” on the show in a long while anyway. That’s something I def won’t miss on s10.

  • https://twitter.com/pmhowden undercooked

    Since singles back in 2003 cost about $4 each, MI would probably have sold a lot more if it had been available as a digital download back then.

    Yes, but we haven’t compared the economy in 2003 to 2008 yet :)

    ETA- my light hearted attempt at the numbers made no sense. LOL! So I got rid of them. But all kidding aside, people have less disposable income today then they did in 2003.

  • Mark

    If you have been a big fan since Season 1, then you would know where to find those stats.

    That would kick out a lot of very big fans.

    *signed, another big fan whose sense of industry numbers and their location is extremely limited*

  • readon

    Since singles back in 2003 cost about $4 each, MI would probably have sold a lot more if it had been available as a digital download back then.

    I understand the financial point that one is trying to make here, but everyone else in 2003 was competing against the same $4 single market. I don’t think you can make the argument that since single cost only $1, then every artist in latter years would have four times the sales. The market price is relative. If we used that analogy, then music sales should be way up instead of down.

  • Valentin432

    Of course track sales will be way up for MI and the singles from Breakaway.

    The explosion of track sales is roughly the same ot bigger (from a raw unit numbers standpoint) than the decline in album sales. And those number already account for the bad economy.

    Bad Day became the first track to sell over 2M digitally only 4 years ago, that’s in 2007, 4 years after MI and 2 years after Breakaway was launched.
    Nowadays big pop singles easily go over that.

    Since U Been Gone was 8 weeks at number 1 on top 40 and had great longetivity too, that kind of success on pop charts translate to what the biggest singles are doing nowadays, roughly over 4M.

    As for the argument about music styles being different and it wouldn’t sell as much today. I don’t see how those two are corrolated.
    Basically, the only difference would be a world where digital track sales were more widespread, I don’t see how this would have an impact on what people were listening to.
    So if we’re going to adjust sale numbers for albums, it has to be done for singles too.

  • Valentin432

    As for the comparisons with how Thankfull vs DCTR did, I think DCTR sold better in its first year in the US (if we adjust for declining sales), but it’s not because Thankfull did bad. It’s because DCTR is a very popular album that sold a lot. I think David was the most popular contestant ever coming out of AI, only maybee Clay had a bigger fanbase.
    Season 1 was not as big as the other seasons. It was an instant hit show and went from 8M viewers to 22M for the finale but it’s still way lower than later seasons did because at the beginning, it was a summer replacement show on a network that wasn’t anywhere near as important as it is today (thanks in great part to AI). The tour also was something the producers were still figuring out and far from the big arena tours that the top 10 contestants get this day that are another opportunity to win fans over.

  • HR

    If album sales are going to be adjusted down to the 2011 market then digital singles can be adjusted up from before its market exploded. Otherwise no adjustments should be made and just leave the numbers as they are.

    Kelly’s debut wasn’t just about her album sales. Kelly had a hit single from Thankful that spent weeks at #1 at Top40. That was what I think gave RCA cause to invest in her potential for the second album. I don’t like her first album, it was the typical album you would expect from Idol alums in the earlier years. That was the one current song from it that saved the project.

    Her early days are interesting because in some ways Clay was considered the bigger star during that time. Breakaway changed everything for her. I just wouldn’t bet that lightening will strike twice and the same will happen for someone else. It’s possible, but not likely. IMO Breakaway is one of the best albums made by anyone in the past 10 years and not just from Idol alums. It’s hard to replicate that.

  • http://myspace.com/girlgeek mj

    Season 10 anyone? That’s basically the topic of this thread. The “superstar” argument is one we’ve had many times. Many times.