At last night’s VMAs, Miley Cyrus portrayed a character created and perceived by a publicity team. Her performance was the talk of the Internet today, so the publicity team did exactly what they set out to do. Lady Gaga is the weirdo, Taylor Swift is the good girl, Ke$ha is the party girl, and Katy Perry is Sesame Street on coke. Miley’s team has created the “trashy” character.
A good example of playing a character is Lady Gaga. She plays the weird character in a way that’s intriguing, albeit pushing limits. She’s played the same character since becoming well-known in pop music. Gaga’s talent not only comes from music, but from her savvy media-versed intellect, in which she develops aphorisms on popular music. Simply put: she knows how to work media and promote herself as a musician in the purest of art forms.
David Bowie is a classic character, not just with Ziggy Stardust or Aladdin Sane, but his career is based on a work of art. Like Gaga, Bowie has always controlled the media to his persona, which led to his infamous pop star status today.
Musical characters are indeed Warholian art forms. They intrigue us, entertain us, and importantly, get us to talk about them everyday.
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Back to Miley, here’s a point worth mentioning: What about Robin Thicke? He’s a 36-year old married man who dry-humped a 20-year old on stage. The consensus should have been: “Man, that Robin Thicke is a pervert!”