Category / General

Postcard from Copenhagen August 20, 2009 at 7:44 pm

It’s been an awesome trip but nonstop so I haven’t been online often. I came over for the Madonna concert thanks to Madonna’s publicist, Warner Bros. and Live Nation; as always Madonna puts on a sensational production and delivers powerful social messages, it was great to see her. I’ve been to many galleries and concerts (one highlight was a big event in the King’s garden that featured previews of upcoming artistic events, including West Side Story suite by the Royal Danish ballet, Giselle, and many opera pieces). There are a lot of business meetings as well and everything is going splendidly.

I’ll be back on the 26th of August and certainly will get into more detail about your posts which as always are great. I think that with respect to Adam’s sexiness, it happens with most stars that some fans overlook the artistry so that’s to be expected. As far as Adam’s performance style, as mentioned in the review post he only had a short period of time on stage, so I don’t think it will reflect what he does when everything is under his control. Because this is a one shot tour, I think it’s too early to think about whether he’s being too sexy or whatever; he continues to get tremendous media attention and from everything I’m hearing the new album is going to be sensational. I think we can be confident that Adam will continue to “push the envelope” and the music industry really needs that right now.

Suffice it to say that Denmark is hearing a lot of Adam Lambert :) and I hope this messages finds everyone happy and enjoying this last bits of Summer!

Best, Michael

Stacy Jenel Smith Answers Your Questions July 15, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Stacy Jenel Smith has answered your questions with the candor and industry perspective I’m so proud we have here, and she took the time to mention, “This was fun, and I have to say I’m impressed by the obvious intelligence and savvy of your readers.”

The Beck/Smith Hollywood website is always fascinating (http://becksmithhollywood.com) because of the archives and exclusive stories (they recently posted a 1976 interview with Farrah that’s really interesting. You’ll see Marilyn and Stacy’s columns throughout the world through Creators Syndicate in newspapers and at http://www.creators.com/lifestylefeatures/fashion-and-entertainment/hollywood-exclusive.html.

Hope you’ll join me in a warm round of thanks to Stacy for her insight and taking the time to provide thoughtful answers. The original question thread is now “Talk about Stacy Jenel Smith’s Answers to your Questions” for your thoughts and comments.

Best, Michael

Re: Ask Stacy Jenel Smith Your Questions through July 10!
Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:10 pm
by stellagirl

Thanks again Michael for giving us this opportunity!

Hello Stacy,

I have a few questions about Adam Lambert for you, so here goes:

It’s been suggested that Adam should be more careful about granting too many interviews, that there should be an “aura of mystery” about him to keep the public and the media intrigued and desperate for any bit of news we can get. What do you think of this?

In the same vein, there are those in the industry who are thrilled that Adam is open about being gay, and others that say he should not have talked about his sexuality, that it may hurt his career. What’s your take on this?

Many of Adam’s fans are females over 40 (myself included), and I’ve read a number of articles that wonder why this is so. (I think it’s because us older gals have incredibly good taste, and that due to our life experience we know a good thing when we see it!) What do you think is the reason for Adam’s popularity with older women?

And finally, given the kind of music that Adam performed on American Idol, and that he’s going for a multi-genre style with his first album, do you think he’s going to be a huge success no matter what he chooses to sing? Or should he be very careful to not be too over the top with his first CD, keep it somewhat toned down and give his style of music a chance to grow on us all?

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions, it’s really wonderful of you to do this just for us!

Sincerely, Stella

Hi, Stella – Thanks for the thoughtful questions. Certainly, he’s in a position now where he can and should be picky about who he grants interviews. It bespeaks his status. That said, one of the refreshing things about this young man is his openness and honesty. I like his cock of the walk attitude – a great trait for a rock/pop star. He gives off such a sense of knowing who he is – and that appears not to be one to try to create mystery for mystery’s sake. As far as talking about his sexuality, as I wrote in our column the other day, I was disappointed in Gene Simmons for saying Adam was wrecking his career by coming out as gay, that now everyone would forget about his music and focus on his sexuality. Sure, like that happened to Melissa Etheridge, Freddie Mercury and Elton John, right? I think that was Gene trying to get attention more than anything else. I don’t think it will hurt his career – especially considering how many advancements have been made by gay performers and the gay community in general in the last couple of decades.

Curious, this thing about older women being Adam fans. That is interesting. We appreciate someone who’s immensely talented and chock full of charisma, I guess. My mother, who is 79, and my daughter, who is 17, were actually on the Lambert bandwagon before I ever started paying attention. Mom said “Now there’s a force to be reckoned with” — and that he reminds her of Tyrone Power.

As far as the album, he says it’s going to be pop-rock with an electronic edge, and also says he wants it to be “something new.” I hope there is some room for that something new, although it would be surprising if he went very far out on a limb with this first one.

Posted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:29 am
by 80sMom

Hi. Thanks so much for agreeing to participate in Michael’s outstanding forum.

I am interested in your opinion of where the line should be drawn in terms of what should be appropriate coverage by ‘paparazzi’. I think much of what I see out there is appropriate as regards Adam, but there were two incidents where I felt a line was crossed where it should not have been.

One of these was a ‘chase’ of his limo, where the driver was clearly distressed and was forced to drive erratically while attempting to dodge photographers. The other was a ‘hidden camera’ episode that caught Adam at dinner with someone important to him. He was unaware of being on camera. I felt bad after watching that one. It was so intrusive to the ‘person’ of Adam Lambert. For me, it seems reasonable for the press to pursue a celeb during his ‘public’ hours, as long as he is aware of being photographed. The line is drawn when it becomes an intrusion into the ‘non-public’ hours of the celeb’s life, particularly when they are caught unawares (i.e. the old ‘peeking through the hedges at the swimming pool’ routine).

Things seem to have gotten out of control as it seems many in the media now believe we have a RIGHT to know every aspect of a star’s personal life, as opposed to being satisfied with covering the public life that the celeb wishes to project.

As a big fan, I feel somewhat responsible. Without us, there would be no reason for paparazzi to push the envelope all the time. Without us, there would be no market for this kind of intrusion of privacy. I try to be a responsible fan by not giving viewership to those media outlets that ‘go over the line’ (there are a few that come to mind that I personally will not patronize with viewership or clicks). But where do you think THEIR responsibility should begin? Where is the line drawn? I know this is a question that relates to all public personas, but it seems particularly apropos to the Adam situation right now.

Thanks.

I completely agree and very well said, 80s Mom. We’ve written extensively about this scourge, and I’m discouraged that so many efforts to curb such dangerous practices have done nothing to help – this, 12 years after Princess Diana died in a paparazzi pursuit automobile crash…and four years after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (himself a victim of overly-aggressive celebrity photographers) signed a “get tough” bill that tripled the amount of damages celebrities could seek from paparazzi if assaulted during a shoot. It also blocked photos from making profits from shots taken during altercations with the famed. But it continues…I applaud your integrity. It’s true that if there weren’t such demand for these pictures, they wouldn’t fetch the outlandish sums that perpetuate this insanity.

by pippy18

Hello Stacy - and thank you very much for appearing here!

I’ve been thinking lately about our celebrity obsessed culture and how that’s going to affect Adam’s ability to have a private life. Is it not the job of a publicist to sort of act as a screen between the client and the rest of the world? I actually don’t know what a publicist does and if you could shed some light on that I would appreciate it.

I read an offhand remark from Adam about his inability to “filter” himself. Being a very private person I cannot imagine giving up some of the info that Adam has (for instance the Kris/crush), but on the other hand, he’s probably just alot more open and well-adjusted than I am! However, I do feel that he could do himself a favor a learn to filter a little bit more. Any thoughts?

Personally, I love those unfiltered stars! They’re great interviews. Marilyn and I love to get them before they clam up – which they usually do after something they say gets someone angry or hurts a deal or scandalizes the public. Even better is when they continue to be unfiltered even after going through some backlashes and should know better. For some reason, Rod Stewart pops into my mind with his various zingers, like his comments about Sting (“…The sun shines out his arse…Mr. Serious who helps the Indians”). Bless them, I say. I live for that stuff. As far as celebrity publicists, they play a variety of roles, including gatekeeper — or screen as you put it — spin control point person, guide and image keeper. (One demonstration of their power: You may recall Tom Cruise famously went through his year of media meltdown after letting go his long-time publicist, Pat Kingsley.) I remember the late Christopher Reeve saying that it takes a year to adjust to fame. Adam is in the throes of that enormous adjustment. Having/creating/protecting his private life is something that’s going to be part of the learning process as he gets his feet under him in this new life as a star.

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Re: Ask Stacy Jenel Smith Your Questions through July 10!
Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:34 am
by Julie821

Pippy, what you just asked leads me to a question. (Thank you Ms. Smith for answering our questions!) But Adam never, at any time, ever said he had a crush on Kris. Ever. In fact when he was asked why the media blew it up from saying he thought Kris was attractive when he first met him, to suddenly saying he has a crush, Adam shook his head at it and said, that’s just what they do sometimes for viewer-/reader-ship. Why does that happen so much? (Not just with that, of course, but virtually anything with anyone). Why aren’t the articles factually written rather than with a slant added to it by choice by the writer and/or the editor? Why the, I don’t know, sensationalism, I guess? I know this has been going on for…well forever, but why is that?

Sometimes things are just twisted, like what Adam really said was twisted. Than other times, down right lies are written. Not just like in the Enquirer about being married to an alien and silliness like that, but what is considered a more “legit” mag or paper will say things that are completely false and they know it. I don’t understand why that happens, can you shed light on that?

Thank you!

It’s a meaner and more desperate and less conscientious world in the media than it was even ten years ago, Julie821. Recent times have seen colossal changes, as you know. Traditional print outlets are either out of business completely or cut back drastically. There’ve also been audience drops and cutbacks in network news. So you have a shrinking pool of entities governed by journalistic rules against misrepresentation of facts, distortion of quotes and so forth. With fewer reporters and resources, they’re unable to provide the kind of coverage they used to. At the same time, the number of new entities vying to get web traffic has increased exponentially — and there are a lot of them who don’t seem to know or care about the rules. And hey, there’s a big market for gotcha journalism, as evidenced by the success stories of Bonnie Fuller with Star and then Us Weekly, Harvey Levin with TMZ, and Perez Hilton with his hater website.

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Re: Ask Stacy Jenel Smith Your Questions through July 10!
Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:31 pm
by AdamBestEver
Stacy,

Thanks for coming on here to answer our questions, and thanks to NYMichael for setting this up.

I’m hearing from many non-Adam fans that Adam will fail as a recording artist because he is not current. Frankly, I disagree because even tho Adam likes 60s, 70s and even 80s music, he knows how to make it current. Also, the non-fans say that only Adam’s AI fans will buy his music, which encompasses a small percentage of the totality of the music buying public. With that said, what would happen if Adam’s debut CD has a mediocre response? What would his next game plan be?

Does anyone know yet if Adam may collaborate with either Lady Gaga or Madonna? I’m wondering if it is a clue that Adam brings up Madonna’s name in many of his interviews. There have been no leaks or rumors, so I’m thinking it’s more likely Adam wants it out there to get Madonna to think about it.

Thanks again for answering our questions.

ETA: Oops, was supposed ask question(s) from press/journalism perspective. Sorry.

There’s certainly a lot of talk about Adam teaming up with one or both of these ladies, but so far nothing concrete – beyond his working with Lady GaGa’s producer, RedOne. I don’t think he’ll need a fallback plan. He’s already logged hit singles, is The Star Everyone Wants on the tour, and has generated big time excitement in the music industry. They know.

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Re: Ask Stacy Jenel Smith Your Questions through July 10!
Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:25 am
by Kyuu
Hi Stacy,

Some of Adam’s detractors claim that Adam’s buzz is media-based only and does not actually exist among “the people” or consumers. Since he’s started working on his album and a number of impressive producers and writers have stepped up to work with him, we’ve seen that Adam’s industry-based interest is real. Can you give us an idea of idea of the grassroots-based interest in Adam? (And I don’t mean grassroots as in middle America , but as in everyday people who would just buy and enjoy his music.)

Similarly, these detractors claim that while Adam interest may be exist, it will not translate into CD sales and people are more fascinated with his personal life than his music. Do you agree with this opinion, or do you think Adam’s buzz is the demand for the Adam Lambert product as a whole, personal life included?

And on a topic that’s only tangentially related to Adam, he has gotten a lot of media-coverage since he’s been on Idol. In what way does a member of the media decide what is worthy of being covered? In other words, a chicken and the egg type of question - is coverage given to someone who “the people” are interested in or does the media deem someone newsworthy, report about them and thereby generate interest… or is it a gradient of something between the two? I know at least that MTV had a lot of Adam coverage because he generated a massive amount of hits to their website. I hope this isn’t veering too much into philosophical territory for you to answer.

Thanks for your time and expertise.

That’s an astute deduction – that there is a gradient between public and media interest driving coverage of any personality. It really does vary from personality to personality. But in the case of Adam Lambert, it’s the public clamor for coverage in the wake of his captivating performances on “AI” that’s accountable for all the media interest. He’s already delivered hits. The nay-sayers’ predictions really won’t matter if he comes through with an undeniable album, which I think he will.

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Re: Ask Stacy Jenel Smith Your Questions through July 10!
Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:48 am
by sdmama

I wonder about the value of not giving out too much information to maintain the mystique about the celebrity. When do you think things become over exposure and over sharing? What do you think is the most effective amount of access that somebody like Adam should give to journalist and media?

What do you think about the latest trend of Tweeting? It may be necessary to create an account so that poser won’t send out false information, but I do not think it is reasonable to expect a celebrity to be constantly broadcasting what they are up to.

To Tweet or not to Tweet? To me, it’s just fun. People don’t have to give up the details of their intimate lives, or even Tweet at all, obviously. Should we be surprised that Paris Hilton and Heidi Montag are Tweeting all the time – they who love to live in the spotlight 24/7? Many celebs are using as yet another promotional tool. Others just like to share people-places-things they enjoy. It’s probably a good thing for Adam that he’s in the controlled environment of the tour right now. His exposure is being handled by a crack team. There’s a tour press conference at L.A.’ s Staples Center tomorrow that he’ll be part of – that’s a great, effective setting for him at this time. But a lot of the media attention he’s getting is out of anyone’s control at the moment, since he is so hugely hot.

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Re: Ask Stacy Jenel Smith Your Questions through July 10!
Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 3:29 pm
by abbey260

Hello Stacy and thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.

I am sure you have read some reviews of the AI concerts so far. Apparently Adam is a big hit and getting the loudest and most positive reception to his set from the crowd.

He has also been receiving a lot of news and magazine coverage. There seems to be so much more interest in him all over the world than the other contestants (including the winner).

The question I am hoping you can answer involves the perception that the AI voting system needs to change. Do you think the media has the ability to help facilitate this change? Many of Adam’s fans believe Adam lost due to a flawed voting system. The press reported about this, but dropped the story after AI and AT&T issued their responses. Kris is a talented singer and a really nice person, but Adam definitely outshines him. Even though Adam will have a successful career and he is comfortable without the title I wish the media would stay on top of this story and help lobby American Idol to perhaps change the voting to 1 (or 5) calls per phone line, and limit the text messaging.

I have another question regarding his popularity with the media. My assumption is, he is being written about because there is a lot of interest in “all things Adam.” Is the media following or leading this interest, and is this attention helping him?

Thank you for your time (and thank you Michael for this opportunity).

Hi, there. I think I covered some of this already as far as what is driving media coverage of Adam. As far as the voting – of course you’re aware of the school of thought that Danny Gokey’s mainstream-loving followers went over to Kris – the fact that there are still so many complaints shows that they need to streamline the system. Again.

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Re: Ask Stacy Jenel Smith Your Questions through July 10!
Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 4:18 pm
by wink7619

Michael, thank you once again for this incredible opportunity.

Hi Stacy,

Thank you for taking the time to share your expertise with us on Michael’s forum.
I have two questions.

1. If you could sit down for a long thorough interview with any five singers in today’s “hot” music industry… who would they be? (And if you have time… why?)

I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing some of the current crop of hot names – the Jonas Bros., Kelly Clarkson, Pete Wentz (such a thoughtful and interesting person), Miley Cyrus, Hilary Duff and Joel Madden come to mind – and obviously, I’m looking forward to talking to Adam Lambert! Because I admire their music and am confounded by their troubled personal lives, I would really like to get the chance to interview Rihanna and Amy Winehouse.

2. If you were to interview Adam what would you explore that would differentiate your interview from others that have been done to date? What are some of the questions you would ask?

First, I’d ask the questions I think readers/fans would want answered. You know, the obvious newsy things such as whether he is actually going to work with Madonna. Have to. Then I might ask whether there was a particular person in his life, outside of his family, who helped him or impacted his life in a significant way, and to talk about that. I’d look for turning points and first times in his past that led to his being the person he is. I’d ask about what ticks him off and what turns him on. Has he experienced loss and disappointment and how that’s affected him and made him grow. I’d ask what he learned from his grandparents. Things like that might bring out a telling anecdote or point of view.

OK, one more question. (OK…”set” of questions. )

3. It seems the media/public interest in Adam is really intense, but I have to admit… I don’t have the best objectivity when it comes to anything Adam. From your perspective would you compare the media/public interest in Adam to any other previous Idol, or other rising star? And if so, whom?

I would not compare him to any other previous Idol or other current rising star. We just might have an original on our hands here, and that’s what makes him so exciting.

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The original message from Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:29 am:

Hi everybody!

I’m happy to let you know legendary award winning columnist Stacy Jenel Smith has kindly agreed to take your questions about the industry and answer them here at nymichael.com!

Stacy and Marilyn Beck’s website is at http://becksmithhollywood.com/ and you’ll find her biography below. You’ve all had many great questions about press, interviews and how celebrities are covered, and I thought Stacy would be a great guest because not only has she been covering entertainment for decades, but also she is an important part of the “pulse” of the media.

Another unique and impressive part of Stacy and Marilyn’s background is that they are respected journalists. With the rise of paparazzi and shock journalism, Beck/Smith is a platinum organization that does not sensationalize or gossip; their reports are fair, sourced and highly respected throughout the industry.

So please say hello to Stacy and if you have questions about the industry from the press/journalism perspective please post them (and please let your friends know). While Stacy may not be able to reply to every question I’m sure she’ll do her best and it’s a unique opportunity to have a behind the scenes look at the industry. Importantly, Stacy is visiting to discuss entertainment media and coverage so please don’t post specific interview questions for Adam, this Q&A is about entertainment reporting and journalism in the broader sense.

Best, Michael

Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith are among America ’s leading columnists. They’ve covered the Hollywood beat for decades — Elvis and “Easy Rider” through the Jonas Bros. and “The Dark Knight” and all the stars and their triumphs and scandals in-between. Their Creators Syndicate column, Beck/Smith Hollywood Exclusive, is a source of top celebrity interviews and entertainment news in newspapers across the country as well as online - with special reports and features exclusively for CompuServe/Netscape and AOL. Additionally, they write This Just In, their television column seen weekly in the New York Daily News’ VUE.

Stacy Jenel (pronounced “Janelle”) Smith has also authored the weekly, syndicated Ask Stacy column for more than two decades, in addition to writing for publications including the Los Angeles Times, Reader’s Digest, USA Today, TV Guide, People, and US magazines. She has appeared on numerous television and radio shows and as a guest lecturer for professionals’ groups and university classes. Stacy served as a regular correspondent on E! Entertainment Television’s “The Gossip Show” for five years, and for two years appeared daily on the Internet’s Alternative Entertainment Network (AENTV.com). Twice nominated for the prestigious ICG Publicists Guild Press Award, Stacy is a native Angelino, a graduate of the University of Redlands . She has partnered with Beck since 1990. Stacy resides in the San Fernando Valley with her daughter, Darcy, who was born in 1991. She’s a runner and recently completed the Pasadena Marathon.


Tom O’Neil Answers Your Questions June 24, 2009 at 9:09 am

Here are answers to your nymichael.com questions from Tom O’Neil; hope you find them interesting and informative. To make it simpler, here are questions and answers together. Tom mentioned he had lots of fun answering them and we’re planning more guests in the near future. I hope you’ll join me in saying thanks to Tom and visiting the Gold Derby website.

Best, Michael

Re: Tom O’Neil answers your questions!
Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:55 am

by poohclark

Michael, thank you for setting this up with Mr. O’Neil, it adds another asset to this great message board.

Mr. O’Neil

I would like to know your opinion on Adam cover on Rolling Stone. There have been some very positive writings from the press, what about from the entertainment business, like 19-E? And in general, what has been your observation from the industry on Adam?

How important and essential is it for Adam to keep news worthy all the time?

Thanks.

Luv the RS cover. That’s just the image he needs to project — the young edgy bohemian rocker — to offset the temptation to eye him as another gay Broadway wannabe bellowing power ballads. Industry regards Adam as a sky-high superstar right now. He should NOT remain news worthy all the time. Being aloof adds to one’s Cool Factor and mystique. The mistake Tom Cruise made in recent years is letting us get to know the real Tom Cruise. The biggest star in the film world today is Will Smith, largely because he’s cool and a bit elusive. Rarely does he grant interviews.

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Re: Tom O’Neil answers your questions!
Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:52 am

by pippy18

Hi Tom-
I would like to know what are the responsibilities off a manager and a publicist?
Will RCA “assign” one or both of these to Adam?
I know some artists forgo these two altogether and employ an attorney instead- what is your take on what is best for Adam?
Do you think he revealed too much in the RS interview? (I hate to see anything he said there used as ammo against him by the religious wackos and homophobes, but I fear that will happen).
Great to have you on board!
-pip

Adam needs to hire a manager and a publicist — on his own, not let anyone else do that because those people must have Adam as their allegiance, not “Idol.” Dunno what to think of Adam’s coming out. Theoretically — all recent showbiz history has shown us — that it’s a career killer for someone positioning himself as a romantic idol. Female fans can’t think he’s attainable in their fantasies. But how much of Adam’s appeal is romantic? How much is the fact that this dude is just oh-so-damn-kewl and a helluva talent? We’re about to find out.

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Re: Tom O’Neil answers your questions!
Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:06 pm

by 80sMom

I like to think that in a few years Adam will be on the big screen. Do you see this happening? If so, we know he wouldn’t be the character actor on the sidelines, but will instead be a leading man type. But is America ready for an openly gay leading man? There is no way this dude does not have at least some minimal acting abilities, based on what I’ve seen.

Any idiot can act. Talent has nothing to do with anything. On average filmmakers shoot about 60 to 80 takes of every scene so there are always a few cuts that are good, whoever’s doing the mugging. No, Adam’s not a leading-man film star. He’ll pop up in film and TV roles, but that’s not his place on the pop-culture stage. Look how hard it is for music artists to cross over. Madonna: Ouch. Britney: Ouch, ouch.

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Re: Tom O’Neil answers your questions!
Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:23 pm

by geulis09

Hi Tom,

Thank you for giving us some times of your busy schedule.

1. I want to add to poohclark questions i.e. Rolling Stone cover, from the industry perspective, do you think it’s wise for Adam to open himself up so soon to the world now. Will it cost him to do that? I mean he hasn’t launched his career yet, the album he wants to make is still on the drawing board. I read that when Elton John coming out years ago as bi-, it cost him lots of fans and his career pretty much. It’s 2009 now, but is it still the same for Adam from industry point of view?
2. I’m also still hearing that Adam’s career will end up in Broadway, because that’s where his nitch is. I know Broadway is not a bad thing and it could be a great thing, since we see lots of big movie stars are going there now. However, I think for me Broadway / theater is too small audience for Adam. Not many people watching or even interesting to come to theater and see a play, unlike music concert. So I would like to know what and how the entertainment industry sees Adam’s future.
3. I heard on YHA interview that Adam’s a free agent artist. I thought he’s under 19E Management, don’t know it’s the same thing or not. The free agent thing, is that a good thing or a bad thing for a young artist in the business. I meant he’s young and new in this real entertainment industry, doesn’t he need someone experience that knows about the tricks in the business? He’s like a small fish in a big pond full of sharks, barracudas, etc.

Thank you,
Ria

1.) Adam may be the first openly gay artist, currently hot on the pop scene, who can pull off having a lavender life on the side thanks to a growing belief in America (hallelujah) that being gay is actually cool. That wave is building fast and Adam will get to ride it. But how far? I have a hunch his sexual orientation is going to turn out to be a huge plus for his career. We’re all looking for role model — a place to put our cheers that the right-wing nuts are wrong on this issue. Besides, being gay is behind bohemian and that’s always been hot.

2.) Adam should stay as far away from Broadway as possible. His stage should be the concert stage and he must blaze a career as the star of the hottest music videos on the tube.

3.) Adam needs tough, seasoned management. This industry is a corrupt, incestuous biz and you benefit from that by being on the inside.

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Re: Tom O’Neil answers your questions!
Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:47 pm

by HeIsRemarkable

I’m not sure whether this is an area that you can address, but thought I’d give it a shot. I’m really curious how 19/RCA will handle Adam’s publicity over the next 6-12 months. I ask because of the comment from Brian May expressing that he is comfortable with Idol as a launching point for the careers of rock singers. Simon Fuller also comments that American Idol was the platform for the world to discover this brilliant young man. Is there any drawback from an industry perspective to have the American Idol association?


At first there was a drawback to being an “Idol” star — those first few years. Now many of the most-played music videos feature “Idol” finalists. This week’s VH1 Top 20 features several “Idol” stars like Jordan Sparks, Daughtry and Elliot Yamin

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Re: Tom O’Neil answers your questions!
Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:46 am

by wink7619

Michael, thank you for providing this wonderful opportunity for us to hear from another industry expert. You’re the best!

Mr. O’Neil,
I would love to see Adam involved in recording a song for a movie track… and potentially an Academy Award nominated song. Can you give a little insight as to whether you think this would be a good move for Adam, and how likely it would be? Do you think there will be (or is already) interest in having Adam attached to such a project?

Also, what would the timeframe be for something like this? If it is something you could see in his future…. could it be his NEAR future? Are artists for soundtracks selected so far in advance that it would be later rather than sooner that we might see/hear something?

Thanks so much for your time and expertise!

Anna

P.S. I’m a big goldderby fan!


Thanks for the goldderby shout-out, wink! I’m sure Disney and Dreamworks have Adam on spin-dial right now trying to hustle him to croon underscore for their next toon. They’d be fools not to. The problem that animated films have is that they often don’t seem hip. Adam, right now at least, is the Webster definition.

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Re: Tom O’Neil answers your questions!
Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:16 pm

by stellagirl

Thank you Michael for this wonderful opportunity, you’re the best!

Dear Mr. O’Neil, or do you prefer Tom?,

Thank you for being so gracious with your time to answer questions from us, and especially from a fantard like myself.

Adam has shown how versatile he is as a singer. In my opinion he can do whatever he sets his mind to, he just has an incredible voice and even more incredible ability to re-invent himself with different genres.

If my brain cells are not all dead like I often find they are, I think Adam has said that he wants to put out a CD that is a multi-genre album, calling it a “rock-pop-electronic-dance thing”. (OK, I cheated, I wikipediaed Adam to get what he said he would do with the first CD.) If he chooses to present this multi-genre version, is there a huge risk to losing the fans who love his “Mad World” and “Brigadoon” type of music? I realize you can’t please all of the people all of the time, but there are those who claim Adam is going to lose most of his fan base if he doesn’t give us more American Idol type music.

I’m cool with whatever he chooses to do, I love his voice and his charisma. He’s infinitely fascinating to me. But what do you think? If you were Adam, what direction would you take with that first all-important album? Or, rather, considering your expertise, what kind of album should Adam focus on to increase the likelihood of being nominated for and possibly winning a Grammy or two? Is it possible to have that as a goal when making an album? Do people in the entertainment business think like that when undertaking a film project or producing an album? Or is it always a huge, shocking, completely out-of-left-field surprise for the nominees/winners?

Thanks again,
Stella


Multi-genre disc is a great idea. This peacock needs flash all his colors. He’s about to strut himself, and define himself, on the world stage, positioning his career for future.

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Re: Tom O’Neil answers your questions!
Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:21 pm

by geulis09

Hi Tom,

I’m back.. with another questions..

The thought just came to me… do you think Adam get compensation from RS for his story? I mean you know all the celebrities they sell stories about their newborn babies for millions and millions of $$$$, I would think RS would at least compensate him something, since his story is so HOT and guarantee the Adam Lambert’s issue will be sold out in very short time. If he did get something I wonder if he have to split with 19E, since he’s still under contract with them, and the same thing with his interview with 20/20… I don’t know how the television work whether they also pay him for that special first television interview about his sexuality.

I read an article with this title “Adam Lambert: Will he collaborate with Bruce Springsteen?” in the examiner.com

I don’t know if it’s a good thing for Adam or not but reading some the comments, I got the feeling it’s not a good one. I mean all these great group bands from different generations than Adam they want to work with him. I bet they have to admit that they’re not current anymore. It’s almost like desperate (I said almost) for them to use Adam’s popularity and “Fresh Air” Star Power to be able to stay in. (I used fresh air star power, to stated that these great names have their star power but not current anymore). I have to admit, as much as I respect and love Brian May and Roger Taylor from Queen a lot, but they’re also from 2 decades ago and in a need of a great lead singer and could use Adam to get into his market segment. If this collaboration with Bruce is true:

Why do you think these great names wants to work with Adam?, and if this collaboration is just a rumors or not true, then
What does the people in the industry (producers, singers, group bands) actually see in Adam and
What do they think of him, his talent and his charisma?

Thank you Tom…

Ria

No, RS and other top mags don’t pay interviewees. The tabloids do sometimes. When the biggies pay a star is not for the interview, but, ahem, technically for photographs, which the star controls — like baby photos. Yeah, Adam needs to collaborate with the likes of Bruce and other music gods, showing us that he’s one of them by hanging with them. But he needs to pair off with rap hotties, too, not the thug type, but the Jay-Z ilk.
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Re: Tom O’Neil answers your questions!
Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:07 pm

by 24HRdreamer

Mr. O’Neil,

I had asked this similar question to Michael awhile back, but I am curious what your views are on this.

How much marketing is too much?….Like everywhere you see Adam’s face on everything from pillows to bubble gum packaging…lol I know its a huge money maker…think Hanah Montana products, and etc.

Or is it different for an artist that is older like Adam…where they are already past the “teeny bopper” stage, but still have those products out there for their younger fans. I wonder if some marketing can prevent an artist from being taken seriously….with the critics?

I personally think he is highly marketable. He has a very cool style that will suit many types of merchandise.
I know allot of money can be made off of anything he has his name or face on, but I remember a response from Joey Mc Intyre from New Kids On the Block say that things got a little weird, when they saw their faces on “marbles”…that the merch got bigger than them…as artists. I do know it is a great way to get more people to know them…by seeing their faces or names on products. I am not against this type of marketing…I just don’t want it to affect them getting taken seriously in the business.

I am hoping, because Adam is VERY vocally talented….that he will rightfully get recognition for his artist ability…no matter how things play out commercially in the marketing department.

Thanks!

Vickie

(just now realized days later…should have geared my questions to the Grammy’s…etc.that was mentioned)

Mass marketing is great — more the better. But Adam shouldn’t do too many interviews. We can’t get to know him personally too well. Familiarity breeds contempt. The biggest winner of Academy Awards was once Hollywood’s biggest star: Katharine Hepburn. And it’s second biggest winners — with three awards — were the reclusive Ingrid Bergman and Jack Nicholson. That’s not a coincidence.

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Re: Tom O’Neil answers your questions!
Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:30 am

by PANDORA 60

Tom:
Your thoughts on the Rolling Stone article. This amazing young man had allot to get off his chest. He has been to hell and back, seeking his identity since HS. Do you think skirting the gay issue was wise during the competition? Adam needed to pick his time and place to express his true feelings. Do you feel his take charge personality, apparent in his vocals, stage presence, lighting and costuming on AI, also drew fans to the RS article?
Months ago I saw both sides of Adam on U-tube. I understood why he always said he had nothing to hide. He has always been out. The gay Adam is the creative force that propels the performances, and leaves straight women panting. Tom, now that this extra baggage is unpacked, can Adam get on with his career as a singer, (a great one at that)? The man just wants to sing, and we all want to hear his phenom voice. Did he do the right thing for his career? I can not remember watching Simon Cowell so enamored with a contestant, proclaiming him an international star. I am a sixty year old cougar, left wondering why I care so much about Adam the person. The RS article cemented my respect for him.

Good word, “respect.” Adam handled that interview so well that he generated enormous respect as a result. Now, shut up, Adam. Be the grand marshall of the gay parade on Pride Day, that’s OK, just don’t go all queeny on us blah-blah-blahing to all media. I can’t stress enough how important it is for him to be tough to get to for interviews. That’ll drive the media nuts, making them chase him all the more.

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Re: Tom O’Neil answers your questions!
Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:25 pm

by Glamberteena

Hello Tom,

Adam has shown the ability to perform visually during AI — his music videos are top sellers on iTunes — not only can he sing, but he can literally take on a new persona with his acting ability, his makeup, and his costumes that is appropriate to the mood/genre of the song he happens to be performing. As he mentioned in the Rolling Stone article, AI gave him the opportunity to show that his range is from the guy in the suit all the way to the guy in the glitter wings and leather.

But so far, with the possible exception of his television appearances on AI, Adam’s acting experience has been solely in the musical theater area — if he does wish to eventually pursue an acting career in film and/or television, what sort of preparation will he need to reach this goal? Right now, he is obviously concentrating on writing/recording his debut album — but if he does wish to expand beyond the music industry into film/television, are there things he should be thinking about doing in the near future in order to make this goal a possibility?

And 80smom asked a question above: is America ready for an openly gay leading man? If Adam does eventually wish to pursue an acting career, in television and/or film, do you think that America is ready to accept an openly gay man playing a straight man, for instance? (Sean Penn, a straight man, just won the Oscar for portraying a gay man — wondering if the reverse could happen? BTW: I really enjoyed your conversation with Michael Musto!)

Although the media has portrayed Kris Allen’s win over Adam as being representative of America not being ready for an openly gay American Idol, I reject that proposition for many reasons which I won’t go into here. Basically, I would be interested in knowing your opinion as to whether Adam has a possible future in the film/television industry as an actor, and not just as a singer/songwriter?

I don’t think America is ready for an openly gay leading man in film. For some kooky reason, that’s different from all other media. Music and TV are different. Kris beat Adam because more voters wanted to pork him. You’re right, he won because he’s straight and Adam lost because he’s gay. But Adam got to the runner-up spot, with millions of devotees — passionate devotees who’ll carry him forward. Kris is screwed over the long haul ahead. He’s not COOL, hip, trend-setting. Adam is — he’s a leader like that and people will follow. Don’t worry.

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Re: Tom O’Neil answers your questions!
Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:38 pm

by poohclark

Mr. O’neil

Mr. Michael has indicated your specialization is in Grammy’s, Emmy’s, award shows and the integration of the industries. I have a few questions on the subject:

1. What is the practical difference on Grammy and Emmy? I heard someone mentioned that the Grammys can win Emmys, but not vice versa.

2. Do you think the “gay” thing will work for or against Adam in the industry? or truly a null?

3. It appears that Adam is the one of the (maybe the only) current new singers that has cornered the “cougar” market segment. How would he be able to take full mileage of this unique fan base? A fan base that is consistence, loyal, not subject to fashionable music and most importantly, able to buy as wish. For example, will RCA consider to produce a “remix” of Elvis Parsley? That it may only appeal to certain fan base? I think SONY has purchased the Parsley song rights.

4. What would your advice be to Adam for opportunity in Grammy and Emmy?

Many thanks for spending your valuable time with us in nymichael.com.


The only award that’s excluded from winning another award is the Emmy — its own show can’t win Emmys. The Grammys, Tonys, Oscars telecasts win Emmys all the time. I think Adam has strong Grammy potential, but only a few “Idol” stars have won that award so far: Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson. It’s funny about Adam’s cougar appeal. Don’t know what THAT is all about, sorry.

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Re: Tom O’Neil answers your questions!
Posted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 5:46 pm

by pippy18

And 80smom asked a question above: is America ready for an openly gay leading man?

Glamberteena, just as an aside- I recently read that Neil Patrick Harris (openly out) has been signed to play in a major film where he is cast as part of a heterosexual, married couple. Neil also has has a recurring role in one of the funniest, raunchiest comedy franchises in recent history - the “Harold and Kumar” movies. Neil played a bizarro fictionalized version of himself- and absolutely nothing in either of the two films was mentioned or even alluded to in terms of his sexual orientation. He was just flat out crazy funny.

My feeling here is, if Neil can do it, Adam absolutely can. You’re right. This won’t hurt. Adam needs to release lots of stuff now that he’s hot. As long as this recording is aces, it’ll only showcase his aristry all the more — it’s a good thing.

Adam Lambert: “A Worldwide Star” — Simon Cowell “Iconic” — Paula Abdul May 19, 2009 at 10:52 pm

Wow! Here’s what Simon Cowell said tonight about Adam:

“You have been one of the best, most original contestants we’ve ever had on the show. And the whole idea about doing a show like this is that you hope you can find a worldwide star. I genuinely believe with all my heart that we have found that with you. Congratulations.”

Incredible performances. As Paula said, “Iconic.”

Hope everyone is as excited as we are! We have over 100 people texting and calling at the party, hope you’re rocking the vote too!

Best, Michael

Adam Lambert one of the hottest commodities in entertainment right now March 21, 2009 at 11:56 am

Hi TW (and friends), I’ve been reading your messages about Adam and your concern. I’m very careful on the message boards because I work in entertainment and represent celebrities but have been fascinated about the posts and have been sharing some of them with my colleagues.

Your points may be right about Adam’s middle America appeal, but ultimately his urban and international appeal are where he’s going to succeed… if he tries to be someone he’s not it won’t work. If you look at the red state/blue state presidential map, that’s somewhat a parallel… while every state is important and I think Adam will ultimately appeal everywhere, even if he only carries “blue states” that may still put him over the top as the winner. And as so many have stated, having some controversy is not a bad thing… the goal is to gain recognition and a fan base… often people get more responsive when they feel there’s an “injustice” or “prejudice.”

He’s one of the hottest commodities in entertainment right now. The amount of passion and buzz he’s receiving is incredible as you’re seeing on these boards and all over the internet. And it’s deserved; look at the range from Brigadoon to the Israeli performances to what he’s done on AI. I’ve been on conference calls this week with US, UK and Japan entertainment executives, and all have been really impressed with Adam and have no doubt he’s one of the most marketable contestants AI has ever had. In a sense, he’s accomplished his goal… he now has worldwide recognition and familiarity and his future is incredibly bright. I have so much respect for the opportunity AI provides to artists, it really is the world’s most valuable franchise and deservedly so.

I also want to continue to stress that I think all of these contestants deserve respect and admiration, to have made it this far is incredible! I see strengths and futures for all of them, and what’s great is they aren’t going to be competitive after AI… each unique artist will have their own opportunities and material that fits them. (E.g. we won’t see the same music from Danny as we will from Adam.) And that’s great! So I agree with the comments that say let’s encourage and support all the contestants who are working so hard and giving so much to do their best.

Of course we’ll all have favorites and that’s how it should be, but to disrespect or denigrate anyone will only unnecessarily upset those people’s fans, and as the competition continues remaining contestants will need the support of other fan bases to succeed.

I can only imagine how much Adam and his family appreciate all the enthusiasm and support, while you can read forever about what this experience means there’s just no way to really understand it until you’ve been in the bubble. I noticed a Melinda Doolittle interview where she was in Zambia with Mrs. Laura Bush and Melinda was recognized there because they saw AI, she was blown away!

That’s just the tip of the iceberg… these talented contestants are destined for success no matter when they are eliminated.  I think that’s what Paula meant when she said, “No matter who goes home, you’re never going home, because you’re all changed people and home is a whole different place for you now.”

So cheers to Adam and all the contestants! Can’t wait to see Adam’s Motown performance and to keep supporting him as an artist regardless of the choices he has to make on AI (between clearances, picking from a hat if more than one artist wants a particular song, etc there are a lot of reasons certain songs end up on the show).

Respect and congratulations to the amazing fans in this forum, it’s great to see all the enthusiasm and you can be sure the entertainment industry is reading along and recognizing how strong his fan base already is.