For any artist hoping to get the attention of the short-attention-span-afflicted masses, Twitter always seems like an excellent idea. It’s a direct conduit between artist and fan, allowing the star to interact directly with what his or her audience is talking about. But as many artists have found, sometimes Twitter can become a burden. Chris Brown is the latest artist to abandon the service completely, following the precedent set by Miley Cyrus and Lil Wayne.
Brown’s exit came after a week’s worth of Twitter-based ranting about stores not stocking his new album Graffiti. The singer was convinced that there was some sort of conspiracy, and that either his label or the retail outlets were blackballing him. In one of his last screeds, he talked about going into a Wal-Mart in Wallingford, CT, and discovering that there were no copies of the record to be found. The idea that Brown has been blackballed because of his legal difficulties (he plead guilty to assault stemming from his beating of Rihanna in February and is currently serving a service-based sentence) was refuted by a store manager at that particular Wal-Mart, who asserted that the reason why Brown couldn’t find any copies of his album was because they had sold out of it soon after its official release.
Only a few hours after that revelation, Brown issued his finally tweet: “I wanna thank my fans for all the support,” he wrote. “Goodbye!” The old address for his Twitter page now leads to the dreaded “Sorry, that page does not exist!” screen. That image is familiar to any devoted followers of Miley Cyrus’ Twitter page, which she shut down earlier this year in an effort to bring more privacy into her life. The same goes for Lil Wayne, whose account mysteriously disappeared several months ago, well before his legal troubles started to heat up. And though he hasn’t officially abandoned the service, Jay-Z has only tweeted once in the past six months (meanwhile, his wife Beyoncé has never used the service, despite the fact that there is a placeholder account that has nearly half a million followers). Transparency is good, but as many stars are learning, sometimes it’s good to take a step back.
What do you think? Does Twitter help or hurt artists? Leave your thoughts in the comments!