Does scandal outweigh good talent?

By: Amanda Anderson

In the times when celebrity gossip blogs get more readers than legitimate news outlets, we as a society have become obsessed with the personal life of some of our favorite (and not so favorite) celebrities. A lot of us are guilty for this obsessive behavior as we can admit to close friends that scandalous gossip sites like MediaTakeOut and Perez Hilton are the first sites we visit daily. And although it may be a great way to pass the time on our less fulfilling jobs, haven’t we taken it too far? When it comes to real talent, does a celebrity’s personal life excite us more than their actual talent?

A decade or so ago, we would all rush to the magazine stands so we could read the latest interview from our favorite celebrities. Like in most interviews, celebrities only discussed the issues they felt comfortable enough to share with interviewers. During this time, celebrities had total control of their personal lives. One may hear a few whispers, but rumors weren’t placed on the Internet for millions to see.

Now, we know everyone’s business. And sometimes, it makes it extremely hard to just enjoy a celebrity’s particular talent. And you may think I am exaggerating, but let’s take Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz for example.

Alicia Keys is one of the most talented artists in the business right now. The woman can play the piano like no one’s business and she sings from the soul. She writes great love songs and also some of the most empowering songs that can make any sister do the fist pump.

This woman sang about being a “Super Woman” and she made us think about “Karma” in ways we never thought about before.

And now she is being accused of ending the marriage of a very talented Swizz Beatz. The producer married his longtime girlfriend Mashonda a few years ago. The two also have a young son and seemed perfectly happy for years.

While none of us know exactly what happened to make the marriage fall apart, a very vocal Mashonda had no problem telling anyone who would listen that Alicia Keys had an affair with her husband. A very hurt Mashonda used Twitter, the radio, and even the blogs to let the world know that Alicia Keys wasn’t the “Super Woman” that she has been singing about.

It wasn’t long before she officially adopted the label of “Homewrecker.” and supporters everywhere began to vocalize their disappointment in Keys. Even though her album did well on the charts, the truth is that her image has been tarnished. Most people don’t feel like they will ever be able to look at her the same.

And although Swizz Beatz has spent the last couple of months defending his new relationship with Keys, he isn’t helping the singer by blaming Mashonda for the end of their marriage. He claims she tried to make him choose between a relationship with another child he had before the marriage, and he felt the relationship suffered as a result. Even if this is true, it still makes the producer look as if he isn’t taking any responsibility for his failed marriage. He is also making statements that Mashonda wasn’t on his level career wise, and it caused him to lose a desire to sustain the relationship.

If he was trying to make fans more comfortable with his relationship with Keys, that wasn’t the best way to go.

The fact is, none of us really know what happened in that marriage to cause it to falter. The gossip blogs have given us possibilities, but not necessarily the cold facts needed to label anyone’s relationship. And although we don’t really have all the facts, it won’t change the new way that we see Alicia Keys.

And let’s be clear that I do not condone adultery or cheating in any way possible. If Mashonda is telling the truth, Keys and Swizz are wrong for their actions. Love or not, a marriage should never be taken lightly.

I don’t know about you, but I enjoyed music a lot more when I didn’t know the personal business of some of my favorite artists. I didn’t feel the need to label them back then, and it was all about the talent. I’m sure we weren’t sitting on our computers giving celebs the “side eye” when they made mistakes. I’d give anything to go back to the days when talent outweighed scandal.

But until then, it’s still a guilty pleasure. Enjoy at your own risk.

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