Could Woman in Spitzer Scandal Become a Star?
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Could Ashley Alexandra Dupre, the aspiring singer embroiled in the prostitution scandal that toppled New York governor Eliot Spitzer, have a music career?
Top talent scouts are weighing in on her chances after the 22-year-old racked up millions of MySpace views and launched much-sought-after new songs on priced-by-demand Web site AmieStreet.com since the Spitzer story broke.
Before Dupre's MySpace page was deleted Thursday, it had received 4,612,397 views and her song "What We Want" touted 711,334 plays. According to The New York Times, two tracks Dupre released to AmieStreet.com this week received thousands of listens, and their prices rocketed from free to the maximum price of 98 cents Thursday.
The number of blog posts mentioning Dupre also rose more than 750 percent in the last 48 hours according to Nielsen BuzzMetrics.
Here is what some major A&R (artists and repertoire) executives told Billboard.com about her prospects:
"I think her song is absolutely terrible. If people are interested in signing her, then they shouldn't be in the music business. It'd be a shame to exploit her talent based on the unacceptable reality that she was involved in. Most importantly, it destroyed multiple families. I don't think the scandal will help her at all. In fact, I think the public is a bit smarter than we think they are. Even though she's had over a million hits on her MySpace, I think people are just going there to see her pictures and laugh at her attempt to pursue a music career."
-- Chris Anokute, Capitol Records senior A&R director
"The funny thing about this is that I read the story this morning, about (Dupre) wanting to be a singer, and I thought to myself that I really wanted to reach out to her. I'd be interested in what the music sounds like. I sit around hours and hours every day trying to figure out ways to break new artists. Right now, she has a platform to reach the masses, which is the toughest thing for a new artist to attain. Whether it's a good platform or a bad one, either way she has it. It all comes down to the music at the end of the day. If the music is good, she'll be able to get it heard."
-- Brian Bergen, Atlantic Records A&R manager
"As an A&R (person) I wouldn't be interested in her music solely because of ... Spitzer. But people do say any publicity is good publicity and her recent headlines would help get her some exposure. She has a platform; its just a matter of spinning off negative and making it positive. Part of being good (at) A&R is knowing where the talent is, regardless of background. If the music is good, it's enough for me to keep my ears open and follow the story. Who knows, maybe a year from now she'll be in a completely different place."
-- Conrad Dimanche, A&R consultant for Bad Boy Records