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Monday, February 13, 2012

Profiting financially from Whitney's death

Whitney Houston passed away a couple days ago- she was 48.

It was tragic and sad..  Even if you weren't a fan of her music.

And to most of the general public, and especially the world of music, Whitney was, to borrow the phrase, "out of sight, out of mind".   She hadn't had a successful song or album in a decade and a career comeback stalled when live performances to promote her album demonstrated she couldn't reach the same high notes as before her drug dependence.

And now she has passed on..

And when a famous person passes away, there's money to be made:

54th Annual Grammy Awards Pull Biggest Ratings For CBS Since 1984 (AP) --"What perhaps fueled people to tune in was the untimely death of six-time Grammy winner Whitney Houston. Her death cast a shadow over the awards show... Several stars paid tribute to Houston, including Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder and LL Cool J."

~ When Whitney's death was announced, CBS very hastily scraped together something to 'honor' Whitney for the telecast.  Obviously by the ratings, their efforts paid off...


Whitney Houston album price hike sparks controversy (Guardian UK) -- "Sony Music is under fire after cost of greatest hits set on iTunes rises by more than 60% (early Sunday morning) after singer's death...  Apple returned the album to its original price late on Sunday. Music fans described the move as a cynical attempt to capitalize on Houston's in-demand greatest hits records."

Nothing cynical about it.  To Sony, Whitney Houston is a cash machine.  Just as Amy Winehouse was to her record company when she OD'd.

I think Morrissey summed it up best how record companies think in the Smiths' song "Paint a Vulgar Picture" from the 1987 album, 'Strangeways, Here We Come":
from: 'Paint a Vulgar Picture'

At the record company meeting
On their hands - a dead star
And oh, the plans they weave
And oh, the sickening greed

At the record company party
On their hands - a dead star
The sycophantic slags all say :
"I knew him first, and I knew him well"

Re-issue ! Re-package ! Re-package !
Re-evaluate the songs
Double-pack with a photograph
Extra Track (and a tacky badge)

A-list, playlist
"Please them , please them !"
"Please them !"
(sadly, THIS was your life)

But you could have said no
If you'd wanted to
You could have said no
If you'd wanted to

BPI, MTV, BBC
"Please them ! Please them !"
(sadly this was your life)

But you could have said no
If you'd wanted to
You could have walked away
...Couldn't you ?

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