Unless you’ve been hiding out in a cave, you’re aware that the American Music Awards aired Sunday night. I’ll be the first to admit that award shows aren’t what they used to be. They usually leave us wondering why we invested the time in front of the tube instead of cleaning the oven. Not to mention asking the questions , what’s happened to the music industry and why don’t they bring back so-and-so. This year I was excited about the AMA’s because the lineup included so many of the entertainers that we knew could and would deliver.
Now that the awards are said and done, the whispers around the water cooler, the internet, and the ever eager to destroy entertainment news is that there are a few diva’s that need to retire. Or as some have so bluntly put it, “they need to go sit down somewhere”. I was there on my couch with the rest of America and no, I’m not in denial. The energy may not have been as high for one. And yes, I saw J-Lo fall. How many mothers of two do you know can get back up that quickly? I would have laid there, waddling until my back up dancers propped me back up. So I say go J-Lo. But let’s be honest, we’ve seen some lackluster performances from the young, “supposed to be all that”, “I shake my hips because choreography is out of the question”, Lil Whoevers, and “how in the world did she get a record deal” crowd as well. Their sorry performances are what made us want to see the back in the day crowd to begin with.
Can you tell that I am a bit more than peeved about the commentary I’ve heard? Why am I so upset? Well, I can assure you that I have not drank the potion and turned into a celebrity blogger over night. What’s got me hopping mad is the fact that these performers, trailblazers in their own right, have something in common with myself and most of you that are reading this page (I know who you are, I see you). We are the undeniably grown crowd. We are that generation that ushered in hip hop, changed dance, and we’ll continue to cut new paths in every field we touch, entertainment and otherwise, if we don’t throw in the towel too early. As much as we hate to admit it, the opinions of others, pop culture and pop sentiment affects us. It not only lands on our ears, but it can trickle down into our psyche and manipulate our feelings towards ourselves. And if you’ve joined in on the “go sit down somewhere” bandwagon, stop and think for a minute. Just what message are you sending to yourself? So here’s what I want to make sure that all of my sisters (and brother, I see you too) remember: Don’t let others tell you when to throw in your towel. Don’t give up on life, yourself and no matter, what don’t stop dreaming. Just because we have one foot in and one foot out of the key demographic, doesn’t mean we don’t have a lot of living left to do. Don’t give in to the feeling that because you didn’t achieve your dream at 20 or 25, that it’s over for you and you should join your parents in a rocking chair. You’ll be alone if you try, because many of us have parents that are baby boomers and they are still out there living.
Here’s what I think is important for us all to remember, whether we sing, work in accounting, or pick up sticks for a living:
- Don’t compete with anybody but yourself.
- Don’t try to copy the younger set. Learn from them the way you learn from everyone else, but always be you.
- The fact that you know more now, is an advantage. Use it.
- You may need to tweak, upgrade, or in some cases downsize your dreams. You may need to reinvent yourself. But don’t stop. Keep pushing.
- When you live your life authentically, with passion and confidence, you encourage others to do the same.
- We all stumble at times. J. Lo wasn’t alone the other night and neither are you. Need I remind you that you can surf your way to any celebrity blog and see the most talented of current entertainers (y’all know who) take a fall. Shiny panty hose, wonder weave, stilletos and all completely upside down and no one is encouraging her to hang up her leotard. Do you know why? She’s fabulous and so are you. Get up and keep it moving.
Some of us have squandered our talents and missed opportunities, but it’s still not too late to dust off our dreams. If one of the most talented vocalists of our generation can pick up the pieces of her life and take center stage, why not you? She may not be where she was 20 years ago, but honestly there are many current artist that can’t out sing her today. On my best day in the shower, I can’t do what she did Sunday night.
Here’s another twist on this, why is it that once people get wind of a woman being 40, she should retire, but a 40 something year old man can rap, bounce and strut around like a reheated teenager and they call it swagger (there’s at least two of them and yes I’m talking about both of them)? If they can do it, I say more power to them, but am I hearing the empty echo of a double standard? What do you think?
A few quotes that I think are fitting.
“It ain’t over. The party’s not over.” Teddy Riley
“Age ain’t nothin’ but a number.” Aaliyah
“Keep on moving, don’t stop.” Soul II Soul