The other night a proud music producer played for us a new recording of his latest protege, an enormously talented diva who could sing like Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, and the Mariah Carey, among other songbirds. Not only could she hit the high notes, he assured us, his latest discovery had tremendous stage presence, movie starlet looks, and nearly perfect pitch.
And, oh yeah, she was only 11-years old.
We listened to this lassie’s debut CD with interest — which quickly transformed into mild queasiness, and then disgust.
Nearly every song the pre-pubescent girl sang was of the “you’re the best man I’ve ever had, baby” variety. We heard emphatic declarations of “you make me feel like a natural woman,” and “give it to me one more time.” (We were assured that her proud parents supervised the young chanteuse’s repertoire.)
Nevermind that a pre-teen singing about feeling like a natural woman is as ridiculous as a yet-to-live-life frat-boy crooning “My Way.” The overt sexual message of these songs could only appeal to pedophiles and those unfamiliar with the English language, innocent listeners who might imagine all the apoplectic warbling was about a really neat skateboard.
We recall a spin-off of the show “American Idol” broadcast over the summer. It featured kids in makeup and high heels dancing in the faux copulation style made famous by “artists” on MTV and VH1. Like child beauty pageant contestants, these kids were gussied up to look like miniature versions of the adults they one day hoped to become, only with less cleavage and more ingenuousness. It was nauseating.
We’re all for developing young talent. And lord knows we’re all for sexual freedom. But pimping off an 11-year old to sell record albums offends even our libertarian sensibilities.