Gay favourite Bette Midler takes a swipe at MTV generation of pop stars

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The Divine Miss M, Bette Midler has lashed out at MTV for ruining young pop stars who are now incapable of connecting with audiences.

Midler said “Video really did kill the radio star,” The New York Daily News reported yesterday.

Without naming individual pop stars, the legendary Midler said of today’s music stars:

“They don’t speak. They don’t talk to their audience.

“They may say, ‘Hello, New York’ or ‘Hello, Las Vegas,’ in the beginning, and ‘Thank you’ in between songs, but they don’t talk.

“They don’t tell stories or take the time to make a connection, build a rapport. There’s no emotion.”

At age 62, Midler, who kick-started her career crooning in Greenwich Village’s gay bath houses in the early 1970s, is renowned for running the gamut at her live shows from sheer hilarity to intense emotion using everything from a mermaid’s costume and a wheel chair to just belting out classics like The Rose, and The Wind Beneath My Wings.

Midler, who is currently in the middle of a two-year, five performances per week run at Las Vegas’ Caesar Palace, said that MTV, which launched in 1981 when Midler’s star was rising rapidly, ruined the live music scene because helped build audience expectations that every show should be perfect, thereby forcing new acts to lip-sync to studio recordings.

“After MTV came along, people were seeing their favourite singers in videos, and suddenly there was a certain vision of a song—how it should sound, how it should look.

“Then (in concert), there was no room for improvisation—everyone wanted an exact replica,” Midler told the Daily News.

© 2008; All Rights Reserved.