Songstress Erykah Badu took her talents to the middle of Times Square in an effort to make a few dollars. Although the soulful R&B singer has not released an album in a while her voice is very distinct, yet she went largely unnoticed. This was just another strategic method of enhancing her elaborate collection of publicity stunts.
The Grammy Award-winning singer crooned while people passed by with an outstretched hat in her hand. This panhandling venture was just another one of Badu’s tricks to humor herself and her fans. The singer released an iPhone video from her publicity stunt where she lets everyone know that her efforts resulted in a mere $3.60. Badu stated:
In reality, life is a lot harder than this but with some initiative, you can make money.
Badu is arguably one of the most interesting people in the industry and one of the most influential women in R&B. Although she is a legend with her neo-soul and bluesy sound, for this generation her antics may actually be more famous than her actual music. Here are a couple of her more notable stunts which have continued to keep her in the spotlight:
Walked naked through Dealey Plaza
Dealey Plaza is an iconic landmark in Dallas. While filming the video for her hit song Window Seat Badu removed her clothes and took a stroll through this historical and cultural portion of the city. Her fan base shared mixed responses to the video and Dallas officials fined her $500 for disorderly conduct.
Kissed NYC reporter during a live segment
Badu slid Mario Diaz a kiss during a live segment he was filming about an actor’s recent arrest. The singer, while wearing a large white hat, caught the reporter off guard as she quickly leaned in for a kiss.
In her most recent publicity stunt, as opposed to singing the songs she is well-known for, Badu is basically begging for money. After learning of her earnings some of her fans complained that her voice is unmistakable and New York could have treated her better. However, one New Yorker named Adam argued the contrary, he said:
The average New Yorker, or city dweller, walks by dozens of performers, pan handlers, and street artists every day. Some are great, some are terrible. But ultimately one learns to block them out because sometimes you just want to get from A to B without stopping to appreciate the transcendent beauty of unsolicited performance. This doesn’t make New Yorkers bad, it’s makes them mammals who cannot respond to every god**mn stimuli that’s thrown at them every second of every day.
This whole publicly stunt is dumb and disingenuous and of such a small sample size that the only thing one can gather from it is that this country should do a lot more to fund the arts in a formalize fashion so this gimmick can finally go away once and for all.
Another New York resident said:
This is why the more private celebs choose to live in NY; they are left alone, whether or not they’re recognized. As for Erykah being one of the best voices of an R&B generation, the only difference between her and countless gifted vocalists in New York City is she got a record deal. That’s it. She’s no prettier, talented, or gifted in any shape or form. Singing is the LAST thing you’re gonna wow someone with, in NYC. There are plenty of brilliant, talented, broke singers everywhere you look.
In another effort to gain the attention of her fans, Erykah Badu stood in the middle of Times Square posing as a panhandler. As unique as her voice is the Grammy Award-winning artist left with only $3.60. The singer has not released an album in a while and some believe this was another ploy to stay relevant in the fast paced entertainment industry.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)