Idol Chatter

Why is it that James Legend thanks God for his Grammy and it fits him like his Valentino tuxedo, while Kelly Clarkson awkwardly sputters something about “Jesus, God and everybody who has supported me” and it sounds like a parody of someone who just won best casserole at the church fair? It’s got to be the same reason Kanye West takes “Jesus Walks” to the mic and the top of the charts while U2 has to dance coyly around Bono’s apparent fascination with Christian thought. Invariably, black musicians’ relative ease with spirituality is attributed to the intact connection between church music and popular music in the African-American community. From Aretha to Cece Wynans, African-American singers don’t have to choose between gospel or rock. But is this a stereotype cooked up by armchair ethno-religionists? Or is John Legend just cooler than Kelly?

In related news, the chattering classes are noticing that Clarkson managed to thank Jesus, but not “Idol.”

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