Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ricky Martin Comes Out !!

Puerto Rican pop singer Ricky Martin came out of the closet today on his Web site. But the story of real import may be this: What are the economic consequences of a male pop star coming out?

On his site, Martin writes that associates warned him about opening up his personal life because of the risk to his career and image. He wrote on his Web site: “Many people told me: ‘Ricky it’s not important’, ‘it’s not worth it’, ‘all the years you’ve worked and everything you’ve built will collapse’, ‘many people in the world are not ready to accept your truth, your reality, your nature.’”

Speakeasy decided to take a look at a few male pop and rock stars who have announced that they are gay to see how their careers fared before and after their public revelations:

Elton John

Before: A Grammy-winning pop star who sold millions of records world-wide.
After: A Grammy-winning pop star who still sells millions of records world-wide and also writes music for hit musicals like “The Lion King,” “Aida,” and “Billy Elliot,” and the movie version of “The Lion King.” And he’s Sir Elton now.

George Michael

Before: One of the biggest pop stars in the world, first as half of the pop duo Wham!, and then as a solo artist.
After: Post-coming out albums such as “Patience” (2004) haven’t sold as well as the releases of Michael’s heyday, such as “Faith” (1987), but he’s had success in Europe and elsewhere around the world.

Clay Aiken

Before: The vocalist finished second to Ruben Studdard on “American Idol,” but he far outsold the champ and his 2003 debut album “Measure of a Man” started out at number one on the charts, powered in part by legions of female fans who called themselves “Claymates.”

After: Some Claymates went public with their disappointment with the singer coming out. Aiken’s last album “On My Way Here” debuted at number four on the charts and didn’t generate anything approaching the interest of his debut.

Adam Lambert

Before: The theatrical rocker finished second to winner Kris Allen on “American Idol” in 2009 though many critics had predicted he would win.
After: Lambert sparked controversy after simulating oral sex and kissing a male band member during a performance on the American Music Awards. Despite the media furor, his first album debuted at number three on the charts, and his release has outsold Allen’s album by a wide margin. Lambert’s music has been featured in movies such as “2012″ and he’s a staple on the morning, afternoon and late-night talk shows .