You wanna know what I find awkward? When singers sing their own names in songs.
Has anybody else ever noticed this? When I hear an artist lovingly singing their own name, whether it’s amidst a long drawn out riff, or a random shout-out in the background of a song, I cannot help but feel my skin crawl. I don’t know, maybe something about it reminds me of the old Greek mythology tale of Narcissus, or the heeby-jeeby way I feel when people speak of themselves in the third person…whatever it is, it’s awkward, and I wish all those that exercise this strange, strange habit would just, well, stop.
The First Offender: James Taylor
The first time I experienced this phenomenon was a few summers ago while watching James Taylor on a hot summer night in concert at Jones Beach. It was a wonderful concert, don’t get me wrong, and James Taylor can still hold his own in a two-hour plus concert. However, I couldn’t help it. I cringed a little when he started breaking it down on his guitar while singing, “Baby James” over and over, as he shook his head in pure jamming mode. I squirmed a little, as I looked at everyone else in surrounding seats, happily singing along to his classics. Was I the only one noticing this awkwardness? I glanced back up at James Taylor on the huge stage, still improvising on his guitar. “Baby James’ he crooned again, this time with more emotion and conviction.
Hadn’t anyone ever told James Taylor that this was an awkward little habit? I imagined that anyone close to him probably felt too uncomfortable to point it out, and thus enabled ‘this thing’ to go on and on…
Anyway, after my James Taylor discovery, I suddenly started taking notice of other singers doing it. They seemed to be popping up everywhere which way I turned.
The Second Offender: Lady Gaga
Does this ring a bell?
Ga-ga-ooh-la-la! <–Um, yeah she just gave herself a shout-out while chanting in her song Bad Romance.
Now I love Gaga, people, so don’t get it twisted. She’s a good ol’ Italian gal, she loves Liza Minnelli as much as I do, and she sounds amazing live. But still, she has a penchant for belting out her own name.
Recently in an interview on Oprah, Lady Gaga’s mother was asked what she thought of her daughter growing up. Her mother responded something like, “Well, I always kinda thought she had a screw loose?” Uh, yeah, you think?
The Third Offender, and might I add, WORST Offender: Jason Derulo
Jason Derulo’s habit of doing this is by far the worst. He has multiple YouTube videos dedicated to this unbecoming habit, and even a Facebook page entitled, ahem, “Jason Derulo Sings His Own Name.” He thinks nothing of riffing his own name, or saying it all breathy at the beginning of his songs. I’m sure he just wants us to know who he is, but I have to ask myself, is this really the way to go about it? Eh, I don’t think so, but maybe that’s just me…
So, you tell me, has anyone else ever noticed singers crooning their own names?
Photos by boardwalkhall.com, idolator.com