Singing for your Supper

2011-10-18 13:49
Life can be tough for musicians.

We often hear about how legendary South African musicians (Simon "Mahlathini" Nkabinde, for example) die poor after decades of being hailed as icons.

Most young musicians we know carry day-jobs to enable their musical pursuits. Up until Idols 7, Mark Haze had to work a regular day-job while pushing along a near ten-year music project called 12th Avenue.

Channel24's music editor, Anton Marshall, regularly tells horror stories of how contracts, venues and promoter deals can disadvantage artists.

But the situation isn't unique to South Africa or so-called "developing markets".

Legendary band UB40 have been having problems of their own, with several members declaring bankruptcy this week, mostly related to the failing of their own record label. 

Famously, of course, the band took the name "UB40" from the form used for unemployment benefits in the UK at the time of the band's formation.

You have to sometimes wonder whether artists who are at the top of their game should really learn to invest and spend wisely.

Some of the world's best-known artists have at one time gone broke: Billy Joel, Meat Loaf, MC Hammer, Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac), Toni Braxton... the list goes on.

Fortunately, many of them learned their lesson and recovered – probably with a closer eye on their funds, better managers, or just less excess.

Sometimes being a rock star isn't all it's cracked up to be.

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Local is very lekker!

2014-01-31 11:38
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