Sinéad O'Connor Knows Who Murdered Music (But It's Not Miley Cyrus)

Nothing can take away these blues we have about Sinéad O'Connor. The singer sparked a war of words with Miley Cyrus this week in a series of open letters, which devolved from righteous to paternalistic to more or less unhinged in the course of 48 hours. Last night, however, she appeared on Ireland's The Late Late Show and said that her feud with Cyrus was done. "As far as I'm concerned, it's over. It's not something I really want to talk about," said O'Connor. So, what got her blood up in the first place? "It's about music being murdered. It's not actually about Miley." Oh, dear.
The singer went on: "I feel sorry for the murder of music and rock 'n' roll, which has happened because of the industry. Because of Simon Cowell [and] Louis Walsh," an Irish entertainment manager and judge on Britain's X Factor. "They've murdered music. I stand to say it on behalf of every musician in the world, and they'll agree with me. The industry has taken over so much, the money-making side of it, that the sexualizing of extremely young people making records, and all the worship with money and bling and diamonds, all the Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh — it all amounts to the murder of music and that's what concerns me."
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This kind of talk is not unexpected. O'Connor is a woman of passion. She once sang, "I'm not going to change my mind / Just because of what they said / The worm has laid eggs in their hearts / But not in my head." And, yes, many musicians would definitely agree that the big-label system has poisoned popular music. But, can we really blame Simon Cowell? Shouldn't we point to deeper, more systemic causes like, you know, capitalism? That privatizing creative expression through a handful of major corporations, which treat music like an industrial product, necessarily dilutes it? And that the cycle of sexualizing and shaming women is even more deeply ingrained in Western ideology?
Sure, Cowell might be emblematic of that system, but let's get down to brass tacks, call a spade a spade, etc. O'Connor is perhaps the highest profile person of late to call into question the complex soup of capital and consumption that produces Cyrus and her ilk. And whether you agree with her or not, it's an important question well worth discussion. Calling out one or two people in the industry, however, is not productive. (NME)
sineadnmePhoto: Via NME.
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