The VMA's brought a few thoughts to mind about the current state of music.

In particular, the performance by Miley Cyrus.

It was awful, but awful with a purpose, and the purpose was achieved.

The goal with Ms. Cyrus' performance was to make certain no one had any breath leftover after blasting her sad and obscene strip act to speak of her truly terrible singing. She had to do something that would take minds off her weak, pedestrian, amateurish vocalizing. In a word, she sucks. Her handlers knew it would be best if people were chattering about something else. Hence the dance, strip etc, and ensuing outcry. Not a word about how she can't sing.

On the other hand, Rihanna. She was sitting in the VMA audience, with a look of unrestrained contempt on her face. It's no wonder. Listen to her latest hit, "Stay." This woman girl can sing. She must have been wondering why so much attention and production value was being lavished on such an inferior performer as Miley Cyrus.

I cite her recording "Stay" as evidence of her superiority because it is a tour de force vocal performance. Accompanied by only a piano, and the occasional whisper of a wind effect, she carries the song entirely with nothing more than her voice. It is a superb performance in every nuance. Rihanna doesn't need to act up, act out to distract from her singing. She is not Miley Cyrus.

Rihanna, to be sure, has her episodes of acting up. But don't forget most of that has been a reaction to being victimized by boyfriend Chris Brown (he beat her face to a pulp).

All of this illustrates my old rule from my days in the music business. If you like an artist, don't try to get to know him or her. You'll just be disappointed with the real person.

Just enjoy the music.

And listen to "Stay" from Rihanna. It will all become clear.

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