World stages…platforms of great influence

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So I was driving around with my 15-year-old nephew who insisted on being the dj for this 90min journey. To my absolute horror, what he chose to listen to (which kept him thoroughly entertained by the way) was “Shake them thunder thighs”.  I think that’s the title. If I could ever highlight transitional moments in my life, this would certainly be one of them. I became old in both his and my eyes.

After 15 minutes of listening to this mindless banter, I wasn’t sure if the writer was being discriminatory or assertive.  It got me thinking about music in a new way. Why we listen to what we listen to, and what writers think about when they create these songs that flood our airways?  If parents have control over what children are exposed to considering the accessibility of media through cell phones and the internet? I mean is there is an acknowledgement of the consequences of writing songs like the one mentioned?

Before the independent woman in me stands up to take on this battle, let me redirect your thoughts to something more positive.
Let’s take Alecia Keys’  hit, “Brand New Me”…she happens to be one of the singers that I actually like by the way.  And yes, if you thought that that was a loaded statement, it is!
This girl can really sing and she knows music. That’s clearly evident. Not just a pretty face selling her body like too many of the pop stars out there. Oops…did I say that out loud?  Still it’s the hard truth. Music is a massive industry that has in many ways lost its purity progressively over the years. That is of course a generalization but holds much truth nonetheless.
Alecia Keys is the package. Her consistency is to be admired. The multiple Grammy award winner has written hits like, Fallin, Empire state of mind, Superwoman, Put it in a love song, No One, and my recent favourites, Girl on fire and Brand new me.
Her image is sexy not cheap and she asserts such a positive image for young woman to aspire to. Something that is truly difficult to maintain especially when record companies and producers dictate so much of what an artist can actually sell. She get a thumbs up from me.

While I’m on the subject of the influence celebrities have, did you hear the allegations brought against Bono?  Usually I try not to pay attention too much to what people have to say about celebrities as that is all subjective, but since they’re calling him a fraud on a global scale like this, it got my attention.

Paul David Hewson, or as he is better known, Bono, is an Irish singer, musician, venture capitalist, businessman and activist. He is best recognized as the leader of rock band U2 whom I totally love by the way. Bono has one of the most influential “voices” in the world.  Few people have the presence that he has and yes, few can wear leather like he does 😉

I’ve always believed that as entertainers the platform we are given holds such responsibility and some just don’t care to acknowledge how massive that can be.  If you have never heard about the stance that Bono has taken to be involved in charity work, especially in Africa, from as early as 1979, then you should check it out. It is truly worth the google search. A few days ago he was accused of being a fraud and self-appointed spokesperson for Africa. In a nutshell people are saying that as a result of him taking on this title of spokeperson for Africa, the poor have lost their voice in these summits and can’t speak out for themselves.

When one looks at all the good that he has actually done not just for Africa but for the world, one has to ask if he has been targeted for the influence he has earned as a result of this, because of the wealth that naturally results from having such a powerful position in the world, or because someone just realized that by Bono doing something, it shows the majorities disinterest in wanting to help others. From the way I see it, albeit a somewhat ignorant outlook, he has helped and continues to help people. He has evolved from being a pop star to someone with such influence that he has successfully changed views of heads of states on world health issues causing them to allocate massive sums of money to his cause that might not have been considered previously.  People love celebrities and being around them validates their importance, so one has to wonder if the same results would have been achieved had a politician from the African countries appealed to these leaders themselves?

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