Source: Unsplash by Call me Fred

Musically, should we carry on listening to the damned? Are we betraying moral rights and considerations when we still consume the narrowly illegal, misbehaved and guilty people’s artistic ventures in music?

We see them – in fact, we probably hear them first – before we read about the chaos much later. That tune on a podcast, a DJ doing their thing, radio playing or a playlist randomly selecting the songs of past decades.

We end up battling the inevitable ear worm as we relish the hey-day when the songs were newer and at the top of the charts. It all brings forward memories as we reminisce.

However, whilst we are lost in boogie nights, proms, discos and awkward first dates, should we really be relishing in the artists music, with their heritage being so lean? Should we accept that there’s a bit more than music history going on – like bad history, bad places, and bad timings, with not so great decision-making.

Music has been marred by scandal before, and will more than likely be so in the future. Some stars have a dark past, with allegations of misconduct; some stars left us too early due to sickness, usually embedded in addiction to drugs and or alcohol.

Some of them have no less a reputation, good or bad, as they are undoubtedly labelled as a one hit-wonder in which they were around for their five minutes of fame, and yet, still managed to bring on some sort of media apocalypse. How can so much damage be achieved when such an artist, band, group, or solo artist has barely braced us with their presence for all but a flash in the pan because of a PR hiccup?

What’s more, is there an art to making a drama out of a single hit? More so, should there be an instruction manual as to ‘how not to mess it up’?

Number one’s and the associated songstresses and bands can sometimes give their agents and record labels hassle. With social media being prevalent in the last decade, the ability to speak one’s mind seems to mean the end of a potential second chance at show business. There’s a visual filter for a selfie or an Insta post, but sadly no filters for ‘don’t say that if you want to see another top ten hit’.

So, should we stop hitting the play button, burn the CD’s and delete the playlists of our music archives? Should we even consider listening to future hits from the damned, known bad boys or gals? In all honestly, we are in control of what we do and therefore censorship is exactly that: not to listen, not to engage.

Should we feel sorry for the comeback kids, some of them overcome their demons and move forward? Shouldn’t we always assume innocent until proven guilty? Let’s face it; everyone is known (thought maybe not publicly) to have made unwise decisions. Some things built into our culture aren’t healthy for us: alcohol, tobacco, sugars, and fats (shopping at Ikea). Skeletons in closets are easily found and aired for all on social media and press.

For all the historically proven diabolical actions of singer’s pasts, should their work be renounced? Should they be digitally deleted somehow and the creator barred from profiting off of their art?

Creative arts and its products for the public to consume shouldn’t be a reflection on the consumer – or should it? As the people invested in the music, what the music means for us makes us equally as turbulently fickle as the media representation of the pop stars, as we have our own whims, our own trends, and own favorites in the music industry. Maybe something, or someone, will change this – someday.

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