How to Win Fans and Alienate People
Electro-pop band La Roux is playing to a sold out 9:30 Club tonight [Ed. note: Show's been postponed!], a sure sign that audiences love the duo made up of lead singer Elly Jackson and musician Ben Langmaid. However, La Roux — more specifically, Jackson herself — is known for being a bit of a... well, bitch.
Despite her continual success on the charts and ever-growing fan base with songs like "In For The Kill" and "Bulletproof," Jackson is known for speaking out of turn and straying from politically correct statements. The Quietus reported that she "blast[ed] what she sees as America's ignorance of electronic music." In the same article, while attempting to defend her feminist beliefs, she suggested that women who prefer to dress in a more sexual manner — in contrast to her own androgynous style — probably deserve whatever bad things men do to them. "That's what a real woman is, when you've got the sex eyes. I think you attract a certain kind of man by dressing [provocatively]. Women wonder why they get beaten up, or having relationships with arsehole men. Because you attracted one, you twat."
Jackson, though, is just one of many stars who rail against, you know, the people who pay for their music. Prince, however beloved by his rabid and faithful fans, has taken legal action against his online followers in the past. Back in 2007, lawyers for the Purple Rain star sent warnings to three of his fan-built Web sites, demanding these sites remove all lyrics or likenesses of his image — even those photographed by fans personally at concerts or images of tattoos that devotees had inked of the Purple One. In an unusual turn, fans of the three sites united together in order to protest in defense of the man they loved — despite the fact that he was the one taking legal action against them.
Perhaps the most temperamental of music stars is the ever-evolving man himself, Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses. To be fair, fans aren't Axl's only choice targets for physical or verbal attack — security guards, other musicians, photographers, and technical engineers are also in his repertoire. Perhaps his most famous incident was at a concert in St. Louis when, after noticing a fan taking pictures, Axl leaped into the crowd and took matters into his own hands. Shortly afterward, he left the stage in a huff before his set was up, blaming security for the infraction.
Despite these musicians' sometimes-heated interactions with their critics and fans, their popularity abides. Perhaps the La Roux frontwoman put it best herself: "You're not buying their personality, you're buying their music. Of course it's never nice when you're into an artist and you discover they're horrible, and, yes, it would be disappointing if I suddenly found out that Annie Lennox was racist. But you'd still love the music. It wouldn't matter what I heard about Michael Jackson or Prince — you can't just stop liking a song."