Money makes the music go round
August 13, 2021

Essay: Fans can no longer avoid the ugly truth that pop stars don’t control their artistry

Pitchfork goes into the sensitive issue of music ownership: "The reality that behind every young, female pop star exists a team eager to exploit that stardom by any means necessary has not exactly been obscure throughout pop history. The shadow of the svengali producer and manager, long solidified in the work of men like Phil Spector, Porter Wagoner, and Kim Fowley, lingers in the edges of the modern industry... But 2021 feels like a breaking point for a public understanding of industry control that stretches far beyond singular producer-artist dynamics or bad contracts. As high-profile artists like Britney Spears and estates like Aaliyah’s battle for control and fight off their respective leeches, they illustrate the ways in which a musician can be dehumanized to function as a kind of corporation, one through which a staff of bad actors can rotate, or be sold off in parts to the highest bidder".