The Band Perry Joins Bieber On His Upcoming Christmas Album.
It is an epidemic. I am honestly considering calling the CDC (Center for Disease Control). Okay, maybe I’m being just a tad over dramatic here, but country music fans, we have a problem. The Band Perry is collaborating with Justin Bieber on his upcoming Christmas album. Now, maybe if this was the first time this had happened, I would be a little less irritated (or maybe not…). However, I am beginning to notice a trend, and I do not like where it is headed.
We have not kept our opinions to ourselves on this topic, over here at the CMNB newsroom. I have discussed this whole Bieber and country music …thing… several times, and HaleighT sounded off on it in her video segment last week (check that out here.) Yet, we’ve really only talked about it in bits and pieces, so right now, I’m going to paint the big picture. So, let’s go over this one more time.
Rascal Flatts started this when they collaborated with Justin Bieber on his single “That Should Be Me” released in February of 2011 on his Never Say Never album. Then this summer at the 2011 CMT Music Awards, Justin Bieber won the very first award of the evening for this collaboration. I would like to point out two things. First, this award was won by Justin Bieber not Rascal Flatts. Second, this is not a country song. It isn’t even trying to pretend to be a country song. Actually, this song is so not country, it makes Rascal Flatts sound like they are not country. Yet, there we were at the 2011 Country Music Television Awards watching Justin Bieber win the first award of the evening…for not country music.
Then just a couple of weeks ago, Justin Bieber popped up at Taylor Swift‘s concert in L.A., and they performed a song together. Did they perform one of Taylor’s songs? No, they performed Justin’s “Baby“. (Sidenote, Bieber collaborated with Ludacris on that song. If you remember, Ludacris performed “Dirt Road Anthem” with Jason Aldean at the close of the 2011 CMT Awards. I’m just sayin’.).
Shortly after Taylor and Justin’s performance together, we got word that Taylor and Justin are actually recording an original song together. Now, Taylor is known for branching into other genres that are a little less than country oriented (Think The Story of Us, released as a single earlier this year, pretty much 100% Pop. You can kind of hear the banjo in the background, but only if you ignore the drums and electric guitar.) Also, it could be argued that Taylor and Justin already share a substantial fan base (i.e. 13 year-old girls). Still, did she really have to record with Justin Bieber? Are there no other options?
Now, The Band Perry is on the Bieber train. That’s three country artists/groups in just under a year. All three collaborating with a teenage pop sensation. My question is: Why? And when I think about it, I do not come up with answers that I like.
What it really comes down to is money and marketing. Rascal Flatts needed some dramatic exposure. Taylor Swift shares a fan base with Bieber. The Band Perry is experiencing a healthy amount of success, but they are still the new kid on the block and a little help from an already famous icon garners attention and exposure.
But what does this say about the state of Country Music? All of these artists are mainstream country, but what does it indicate when the mainstream artists start depending on pop stars for exposure and album sales? Are we losing our genre? I think, if we aren’t careful, we will start losing the things that make country music unique as it becomes engulfed by some uni-genre pop-country-rock-whatever hybrid. I don’t want this, do you?