Contributed by MusicHomme:
If they base on record sales to determine an artist’s future, then they have to be seriously mistaken. Every single artist experiences diminishing record sales after a smash album. Britney’s ‘Baby One More Time’ sold 23 million copies but ‘Britney’ only sold 4.5 million copies. ‘Stripped’ might have only hit the 3 million mark (her debut album sold 9 million copies) but it’s a mega hit by all means. If you think that it’s because they are bubble gum artists, what about Dave Matthew’s album ‘Under The Table and Dreaming?’, which sold four times more than the latest one? What about Radiohead’s ‘Hail to the Thief’ that barely moved one million whereas ‘The Bends’ sold a lot more. What about Nirvana, or even Santana? Are they over because they don’t sell progressively more with each album release? Santana’s album sales were virtually in slumber until he released ‘Supernatural’ and his latest ‘Shaman’ is not selling as many as ‘Supernatural’. And what about Eminem, pop’s biggest vigilante against pop music (ironic? Yes) also sold less with each new release.
I think Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera have the biggest and longest drive to succeed in the long run, simply because they are INTERESTING. Whether it is their personality or music. True that they are not the top-notch musicians but who would think that the same girl who sang ‘Baby One More Time’ would be doing something as funky as ‘Me Against The Music’? And Christina… which Christina do you want to talk about? the ‘Dirrty’ Christina or the ‘Beautiful’ Christina. These two ladies have a couple of personalities all wrapped up in their little bodies..
In short, the only people that determine the longevity of the artists is not even the artists themselves but the audience. If the audience want more, they are here to stay.