Sold Out.

Back in the day, companies had original product jingles for radio and television written by their advertising agencies. It was unheard of to have popular music playing in the background on advertisements for everything from computers to cars to cleaning products. When bands started selling the rights to their music for the purpose of marketing things to the public, it was considered selling out. Of course, money talks (as does exposure!) so over the past couple of decades jingles have become more extinct and pop music, either well-known or not-yet-discovered, is the soundtrack of choice. Musicians are no longer accused of selling out; it’s a point of pride to be in a commercial.

One musician who always stuck to his guns was Prince, and before I go on I should say that I’m no expert on him. I know lots of general facts just from being alive during his incredible career and, of course, being a fan of his music. My sister and several of my friends can answer any questions you have if you want to do a deep dive on the details of his life.

That said, what I DO know without a doubt, because almost everyone knew, is that he would never ever ever have allowed any company to use his song in a commercial to shill lunchbox snacks, toothpaste, paper towels or credit cards.

Every time I see the current ad and hear Prince’s music behind it, I am enraged on his behalf. His family estate has sold him out since his untimely death and it is incredibly disappointing.

Of course, this is yet another thing over which I have no control so instead of continuing to rant I guess I will listen to my Prince playlist a little more this week and honor his memory by appreciating his art without being sold something at the same time.

This letter is housed at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. (www.rockhall.com)

 

 

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