Skip to comments.Kelly Clarkson Won't Let american 'Idol' Use Her Songs
Posted on 01/18/2006 4:46:23 PM PST by freepatriot32
PASADENA, Calif. - Singer Kelly Clarkson, who vaulted to fame as the first "American Idol" winner in 2002, is not letting any of her songs be used by new contestants on the show.
A spokesman for Clarkson insisted it's nothing personal, but the stance prompted a public scolding from "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell.
"I think that by ignoring the show you're ignoring the audience who put you there," Cowell said Tuesday.
Clarkson has become a major star in the past year, with her hit "Since U Been Gone" earning both massive sales and critical respect, particularly from a rock community that has looked upon "American Idol" contestants warily. Her album "Breakaway" earned a Grammy nomination for best pop vocal album.
Yet it may have cost her a good relationship with the nation's most popular talent show.
"American Idol" must obtain permission from owners of song licenses before the music can be used on the show. While many love the exposure, some artists _ the Beatles, for one _ like to rigidly control use of their music.
Clarkson is not allowing any of her songs to be licensed for other uses, said Roger Widynowski, a spokesman for Sony BMG. "It has nothing to do with `Idol,' " he said.
The show's executive producer, Nigel Lythgoe, said he requested songs to be used on this year's show. He said he's not even sure Clarkson herself is aware of the situation.
Before "Breakaway," Clarkson fired Simon Fuller, the "American Idol" creator, as her manager, saying that although he is a "great guy," she needed someone who could give her career more attention. She teamed with Swedish hitmaker Max Martin on "Since U Been Gone."
It's the same delicate position faced by countless other musicians through show biz history, wanting to break away and show artistic independence without alienating those who gave them their start.
Cowell said he hoped Clarkson would let her music be used on "American Idol."
"No matter how talented Kelly Clarkson is, she would not be in the position she's in now without winning this show," he said. "And forget the way she feels about us or the producers or anybody else, or the terrible songwriters she alleges she was with which sold her millions of records.
"It's the public who bothered to pick up the phone to vote for her," he said. "If she refuses to give songs to be used on the show, it's like saying to every person who voted for you, `you know what? Thank you. I'm not interested in you anymore.'"
With the seemingly unquenchable public interest in "American Idol," it's not like the show really needs Clarkson. But she's plainly the best example producers can point to as proof that they can open the door to wish fulfillment.
Sony's Widynowski said he would not comment on Cowell's remarks.
Clarkson, in an interview with The Associated Press last year, said she knows she'll always be identified as an "American Idol," and she has no problems with that.
"That's where I got my start," she said. "They always talk about the big first thing that you did. I think the only thing that I do mind is I don't want people to only focus on that."
For his part, Cowell said, "I don't like this, when they walk away from the show and kind of forget."
I agree with Simon.
If she were a painter, or sculptor and her work won her national acclaim; would her work also be considered 'public domain'?
Just because you win something, doesn't mean that you 'owe' anyone anything. If I win a math contest; I don't owe you a homework assignment. If I win a programming contest, I don't forfeit my software I've written over the years. Why should she be blackmailed (and going national like this is nothing short of blackmail) into giving a very successful TV franchise rights to her personal property?
Not the same thing. Other artists allowed her to use their songs so she could sing them on AI and win.
Probably not. This appears to be a management decision. Nothing personal, it's just business.
On a related note, I saw Clarkson as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. IIRC, this was shortly after the Ashlee Simpson lip-synching fiasco. One thing was for certain, Clarkson was not lip-synching. She belted out a screaming version of "Since U Been Gone" and that girl has some pipes! Damn near gave me goosebumps!
I'm with you.
She probably paid songwriters big bucks for writing her recent hits. Or maybe she wrote them herself. Regardless, if she has copyrights to those songs, she (and her management) is entitled to make business decisions regarding their use.
She won by virtue of her voice and performance capabilties.
The music she used was used WITH PERMISSION from the artists who wrote them. From what little I have seen, this music is USUALLY about 10 or more years old. The artists have re-couped any investment they may have made in the music. "Heard it on the Grapevine" is one such example.
On the other hand, Kelly is just STARTING her career; with music she created. For Simon to claim that Kelly is somehow wrong to withhold her work until SHE can profit from it is disengenuous at best, blackmail at worst.
Why does she owe Simon (who has a personal vested interest in the profit of this show) the work she has done outside of the show? In what other field would this even be a question??
If she were a playwright, would her plays be open for Simon to use? If she were a plumber, would he demand she plumb his house for free? If she were an actor; would she have to perform for any show he wanted for free?
Winning a contest based on talent does not mean you are now subject to indentured servitude to the contest sponsor.
Techinically unless the singer ownes the song, she has no say so over it.
I almost broke a cardinal rule of Free Republic: "Thou shall not post replies on threads where the subject is a hot babe without posting photographs!"
I'll try a different one.
She writes a play that is a box-office success. The theatre where this happened now has the rights to stage productions of any future plays she happens to write. That seems fair.
I can see why she wouldn't want American Idol to use her songs. All the American Idol singers are virtualy interchangable, most of the contestants sound extremly similar. Therefore she's protecting what little she has at the moment while trying to squeeze a little more fame out of her career. From what I can tell the "winner" of American Idol makes little money after winning the "show"; Simon basicly owns them and their songs for a year or two so any profit is his. Kelly is just now probably making any real money, while Simon makes something like 30 million a year. Hard to take the side of a prick who make's that much cash off other's hard work.
Good for her. It's her music, her money.
That girls pants are fallin' off.
When it comes to the actual singers ...the recording artists .....they only get their money once all expenses are taken out. The only money they get upfront is the 'advance money,' and even that can be taken out of their pay (when they call it advance money they do not necessarily mean a signing bonus, although those do exist).
Oh, what about CD sales one might ask? After all, if the singer/rapper/countrystar sells a million CDs then they should make good money? Well, not really. Most artists only get 8% (yep, EIGHT %) of those sales .....and note that from that 8% various fees and charges are THEN taken out.
The first thing an artist should do when signed to a record label is to immediately get a financial adviser, and a good attorney. Another option is to go independent .....if good enough they can make serious money that way. And independent artist can sell 50,000 albums out of the trunk of his car (as several, particularly in the rap industry) have done ....and out of those copies (50,000 would get someone almost immediately dropped by a major label) they can make half a million easy. Sell 100,000 (something other 'out of the trunk' sellers have done) and that is a cool million. And it would be hard for the IRS to get a penny of that money. For a singer in a major label to make the same amount of money as an independent artist who sold 100,000, the singer would have to basically go several times platinum (sell several million CDs).
Now, there are advantages to go with a label. For instance promotion (although the company could refuse to invest the amount of money required to really promote an album ....ESPECIALLY if it is a new artist ....AND if they DO spend the money then guess who is paying for it? Yep, the artist ....any money made will first pay the label). It would have been hard for a person like Britney Spears to have sold the records she did, or made the money she did, as an independent. However, how many people out there are that fortunate (for that matter Britney is very fortunate since she came out at exactly the right time and got the right audience. Imagine Britney trying to audition for American Idol).
Anyways, it is important for artists to squeeze every single red cent that they can from their careers, because the companies that own them (yes, own) are doing exactly that to them.
Here is an interesting excerpt: And this is one of the good guys? In fact, record contracts tend to be onerous to everyone except the record companies, which generally give the artist only 8 percent of CD earnings; the artist must pay back their advance out of that 8 percent before they see any profit. So, often years after the label has recouped its expenses and is well into the black, the band is still trying to pay its advance back. In the 101 of rockonomics, this means that only 41 cents of each CD sold can go to paying the label back for the hundreds of thousands of dollars advanced for the producer, recording, independent promoters, tour support, living expenses, equipment, CD packaging, album artwork, videos. (Subtract 15 percent for the manager, 5 percent for an accountant, 5 percent for the lawyer and a spiffy sum to old Uncle Sam, and that hefty band advance we read about in Pollstar suddenly shrinks to below the living wage.) Worse, the goal post is movable: The more money the label spends, the further royalty earnings are pushed into the future. A band can sell a stellar 1 million records, grossing $4 million for the label, and against their $300,000 advance (plus another $200,000 advance spent on promotion), the band ends up still owing the label roughly $100,000. Not a penny in their pants, and if their next record does well, they may still have to pay off their old debt.
And I agree with Simon.
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