Cher slammed Miley Cyrus’ VMAs performance in a recent interview, but not for the reason you’d think. This iconic crooner said ‘she didn’t care if she (Miley) had come onto the stage naked’. What she hated was the overall quality of her performance.
Cher’s comments highlight a generational gap in the entertainment world. Old school performers vs. new school ones – what they focus on is different and as a result, so is the final outcome of their work.
Ability to Sing
Let’s face facts. Somewhere along the line, the idea that a well-paid professional singer should be able to carry a tune went out the door. JLo, Janet Jackson and yes even Miley Cyrus all could benefit from the services of a vocal coach. During Aretha Franklin’s heyday, they would have never charted a top 40 song. However, these days, producers make non-singers sound good through technology. Fans never discover their inability to sing until they see them live.
What is the definition of stage presence? A few decades ago, it meant a person who was able to command the attention of an audience through his or her charisma or talent. Currently, stage presence has more to do with the ability to shock onlookers. What a performer wore – like a meat costume – makes headlines more so than his or her ability to speak, dance or sing. At the VMAs, Miley benefited from the new definition because viewers were outraged by her wardrobe and vile gestures making her the main focus of this awards show.
In the past, entertainers who couldn’t sing or dance made up for their shortcomings through showmanship. They put together performances that emphasized their other talents such as the ability to tell a well crafted joke. This point seems to be the crux of Cher’s observation of Miley Cyrus’ VMAs performance. What Miley did appeared unrehearsed and thought out as if she hadn’t even tried to produce a decent presentation.
In conclusion, Cher’s critique of Miley Cyrus’ VMAs performance merely highlights how much has changed in showbiz. The amount of energy old school performers spent on bringing high level entertainment to the public is fading away. New school performers focus on other factors that still sell records and maintain their popularity.