In the industry, there are certain qualities an artist must possess. Outside of being able to sing, some are able to dance, have the ability to engage the audience, & possess the ability to leave every fan in the audience amazed with their show. These are the artists that sell out packed shows to packed venues, & give people something worth sitting through opening acts for. And these are entertainers.
Now an ENTERTAINER is not to be confused with a PERFORMER. They are two totally separate things. A performer is able to gain your interest. And keep it. An entertainer grabs your interest, but then they also engage the viewer in the performance by keeping your visual senses amused & aroused. A performer rarely knows how to dance, but they are able to work the stage & evoke crowd participation. An entertainer uses the stage as a backdrop to create a musical experience to remember, complete with costume changes, back up dancers, & a live band. An entertainer doesn’t need to say, “Sing along with me!” Why? Because you will already be singing along when the band comes in with the melody.
There are some artists that are able to do one or both of these. For example, take Monica. Monica is a performer. I love her voice, & her stage presence. She doesn’t need numerous wardrobe changes to command your attention & give you a great show. She keeps your interest by working the stage & listening to the crowd sing along. Here’s an example of Monica performing “Everything to Me” live with a live band.
Beyonce is an entertainer in every sense of the word. She will NEVER be a performer. Even in her videos, she entertains. This is Beyonce performing “Single Ladies” at the 2009 Grammys.
Usher is one of the very few artists that is able to transition between the two. Check out Usher performing “There Goes My Baby” on The View & “OMG” on American Idol.
Whether an artist is an entertainer or a performer, neither can be created. To entertain is something natural. Not everyone has the ability to do it. Anyone can perform, but it takes a special person to entertain.
Which artists do you think are performers and/or entertainers? Do you agree or disagree? Feel free to comment. Let me know what you think
All videos courtesy of YouTube