The Popularity of Death in the Entertainment Industry

As the administrator of a 90s R&B music web site, I’ve found an interesting connection between the amount of traffic artists receive and the event of their death. It actually is how I get my music news now. I just play a wait and see game. If an artist starts doing well, then they probably died.

To give you an idea, during May of 2007, my site received 600 visitors a day. June 4th, three days after the death of Tony Thompson of the group Hi-Five, the site received 950 visitors, and continued to receive those numbers for the next four days. On April 20, 2008, the site had been receiving 12-1300 visitors a day, when Orish Grinstead of the group 702 died. Three days later, the site reached 16-1700 visitors for about a week.

It’s kind of sickening but it seems like the best way to boost the popularity of my web site is by slowly killing off everyone who was ever involved in R&B music.

Of course, during these weeks of death, the artists that are most popular on the site are those related to the death. I never was able to understand why it is that it takes someone’s death to recognize and celebrate the work of their life. It seems the easiest way to learn to appreciate things is by waiting until they’re gone and then taking them in. It doesn’t stop with R&B music either as it seems to occur with every industry and with artists as well.

I guess what we need to do is adopt the notion of the living funeral. Rather than waiting until someone’s dead to appreciate their work, let’s try and do it while they’re alive.

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