At this stage in our blog series, with 2 artists to go before we tackle the iconic and legendary artists who are on a whole other stratosphere (like Queen, The Beatles, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and others); I guess you could say that these next two artists, possibly would be arbitrary. Like I could pick any two artists, and they’d be valid. You may not agree with them, but they’d still be valid. And this is for many reasons. Obviously, there are thousands upon thousands of artists who have not made Jon’s and my list (for various reasons), inclusive of artists like Foo Fighters, Kesha, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, KJ-52, Pussycat Dolls, Snoop Dogg, Mumford & Sons, Guns’N’Roses, Daryl Braithwaite, and Kacey Chambers. Other artists whom I have not included in this blog series (and possibly also won’t feature in the list of 50 iconic legendary artists) are Mister Mister, INXS, Flyleaf, The Script, Marina Prior, James Arthur, Midnight Oil and Eskimo Joe. Maybe it’s because the scope of this blog series is maybe too broad (we’re including artists who are influential across time periods, genres as well as who we deem to be influential on a personal level!); and it is possibly because of the presence of CCM artists in this blog series, that many readers may indeed scratch their heads. Chris Tomlin, Hillsong (all facets), Delirious?, Newsboys, Rebecca St. James, dc Talk, Casting Crowns, Steven Curtis Chapman, for KING & COUNTRY, Andrew Peterson, Jason Gray, Lecrae, Tenth Avenue North, Michael W. Smith, Carman and Amy Grant… possibly wouldn’t make a ‘normal’ influential artist list if another person were compiling this list; while it would also be debatable if Switchfoot, Skillet or Needtobreathe would make this list too. While Jon and I both have our reasons for including Christian artists on our list (because we are believers, and these aforementioned artists have impacted our faith and our journey in life quite heavily!); this means that other noteworthy artists miss out. And that’s just the fact of life.
‘…it got to a critical point for me where I was just like, ‘I’m not sure I want to be doing this’. All I wanted to do was be on stage performing, and there was all this other BS, for want of a better word. I just think I got to the point where I was so frustrated trying to please everyone, then please the label, and then make choices I didn’t agree with, and it was time for me to focus on something other than myself. It’s also very insular. You are your product and that gets annoying too. I think as you get older as well, I’m not really obsessed with my career in the way that some people are. For me, I just want to enjoy my life and be happy. I want to get the balance of work and pleasure more on an even keel…’
‘…I think that’s always been there [ageism in music]. The entertainment industry in general – whether it’s male or female – is always considered a young person’s game. More so for women than men, but it’s one of those ongoing problems that has always been there. We go two steps forward and then ten steps back sometimes. You can choose to let that bother you, or not bother you. It’s not something I allow to really frustrate me by any stretch, but it’s certainly there. It’s a constant pressure on women in so many different ways to be… even at my age I’m considered to be far along the line for doing it. Then you look at Fleetwood Mac killing it on tour and making good music. There are a lot of artists who still have careers…’
I’ve realised a couple of things since I started this blog post series over a year ago. One: I am totally unprepared, in a general sense, for these blog posts, and I don’t pretend to know more than I do know at any one moment. I am but an amateur in terms of knowing about these artists, or these songs for that matter. I try and fumble through each and every week, sometimes I write more on one artist than another, sometimes I connect with an artist and their music more so than another, and I try and write my two cents. At the end of the day, hopefully I gain some kind of wisdom or appreciation for music that for me, is outside my comfort zone. For this blog post list is merely my own opinion, and various other artists outside the list, could easily, on any other given day, be inside. And that’s just life. Second: I am continuously amazed, impressed and inspired by the music I’ve heard over the last year or so, that I’ve noticed that lately, I am challenged and confronted, comforted and encouraged, and just plain reminded of how God can use anything and anyone, including music that I may not have listened to that much throughout my own life, or music that I may not initially enjoy, from artists that may not have been on my radar to begin with; to bring about my own good and His glory, as I learn more about myself, Himself, about love, life and the intricacies in between. For this week’s blog, I am embarking into the realms of Australian music once again- and with artists prior to this week that I’ve delved into that are Australian, from Delta Goodrem, Guy Sebastian, The McClymonts and the Newsboys, to for KING AND COUNTRY, Hillsong and Tina Arena; I have again put my hand into the proverbial hat of the plethora of Australian music artists at my disposal, and I’ve since pulled one out- Keith Urban.