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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist w/ over a decade of experience. Lover of good music, fringe movies, day baseball & chicken shawarma. Nerdy, but awesome.
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You, Me & Dupre – NYC’s Singing Hooker
Wednesday, March 19, 2008

By now most everyone has heard Ashley Alexandra Dupre, Eliot Spitzer’s paid for princess of the night, is also an aspiring singer. As soon as I found this news out I instantly thought of the classic Ari Gold line from the episode of Entourage where he almost let Lloyd sleep with a powerful gay producer just so the agency could sign him. Ari eventually rushed in to make the save, saying “we may be whores, but we’re not pimps.” In addition to that scene popping into my head I also thought about the old belief that everyone in the music industry is a whore in some way, shape or form. With these thoughts in mind it almost seems poetic that a hooker would want to be a singer. Heck, she already has the whore part down pat. Of course the question now is can she, or can’t she, sing (as a friend of mine rightfully pointed out, there’s a chance she could be talented). Today I’ll examine both possibilities.

Let’s start with the possibility that Dupre can sing. True, it’s hard to make it in the music industry, but if you can sing you probably shouldn’t be hooking. Yes, we live in a country where sex tapes can launch careers, but most of those people are already halfway famous before the tapes come out. The tape isn’t a launching pad for these people’s careers, it’s just a quick, temporary boost. Also, a sex tape doesn’t involve five G’s exchanging hands for the sex that’s going on. I guess the right publicist could spin this as a girl down on her luck willing to do anything, even Eliot Spitzer, to try to make her way into the music industry, but even that will be tough to sell being that it’s not like she did it once for the five grand and then worked on her music, she was clearly a hooker first, musician second.

One of my favorite artists, and someone who I’ve featured here, Mickey Avalon managed to work his past into a pretty amazing album, so I can’t automatically discount Dupre because of her past… or I guess technically present. Of course, Avalon worked the whole “look at my talent, I’m a fantastic emcee… oh yeah, I also happened to have a checkered past” angle versus Dupre’s “I’m a hooker, look at me… by the way, I can sing, too” way of attempting to get known. This is my initial problem with Dupre. Remember, even artists with closets full of skeletons became known first for their talent and then for any past indiscretions, not the other way around. In my opinion she’d have been better off covering up the scandal and only revealing it when she absolutely had to once she’d made it. Even if she has all the singing talent in the world this is a sticking point for me in regards to how I’d view her. Now let’s take a look at scenario B, what happens if Dupre can’t sing.

In the event that Dupre can’t sing you can bet she’ll still get a few minutes of airplay in NYC just for the kitsch factor of it. Everyone likes to laugh, especially on-air disc jockeys who need to find ways to break up the monotony of the 12-15 songs they’re paid to play every hour of every day for three months. “Hey, you know that slut that turned our former governor into a John? She thinks she can sing! Check this out!” They’ll get maybe a minute into the track then cut it off and laugh about it. The only bad part about this is she’ll still gain notoriety from this. Whether good or bad her name gets out there (and yes I know I’m not helping matters with this).

Back in the day there was this thing called “bad press.” When you did something wrong you were given your comeuppance in newspapers and magazines and it was a reason to feel ashamed. In 2008 shame, at least in entertainment, doesn’t exist. People get away with doing just about anything and sometimes do things just to get the bad press so people remember who they are.

I’ll be real with you (as I always am); Dupre is not talented enough as a signer to go places, at least not without the help of Paris Hilton-like Pro Tools work and a team of top songwriters and producers. I listened to both of the songs she posted online. The first one was terrible. She had no concept of rhythm and her vocals would not have had any of the American Idol judges saying “you’re going to Hollywood.” Her second song was slightly better, it’s kind of a Fisher Price My First Dance Club Song, but hearing a hooker tell me she’s all about “sex, money, drugs” is not only not surprising, but pretty boring.

All in all, Ashley Alexandra Dupre should be viewed much like a Rock of Love, or Flavor of Love, skank that gets eliminated within the first three episodes. Yes, we know her name. No, we’re not sure we ever wanted to, and her claim to fame is nothing to be proud of. If she ends up with a singing career from all of this, sadly I won’t be surprised, just disappointed that a lot of more talented artists, artists whose art is their life’s focus, will have one more obstacle to climb over in their quest to be heard.

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