Randy Jackson responds to Betty Buckley’s defense of Broadway singers

Recently, Betty Buckley tweeted in defense of singers that American Idol judge Randy Jackson deemed “too Broadway.” For many, the label appeared to diss singers who sounded like they would be at home on a Broadway stage.

Today, Randy Jackson responded to Betty through whosay.com:

“Just for the record; @bettybuckley I love you, I also love broadway, I am a huge broadway fan. There are tons of broadway stars that are dear friends of mine. I have the upmost respect for all broadway actors and singers. To me the greatest thing in life is a true thespian. One who can be a great actor, singer, and great dancer. The all around performer. Last I checked, America is land of the free, home of the brave, and freedom of speech is still allowed. But what I was merely saying to the singer, or any singer who wishes to be in popular music is that you have to be able to have control of your vibrato and have amazing talent. A lot of people who sing broadway, do not have control of their vibrato, which does not easily lend itself to singing other styles of music. The wide open vibrato doesn’t work everywhere. Was not dissing anyone, and if you know our show carefully, we have been using the words “Too Broadway” for 11 seasons now, and we have all said it. FYI: If you are a fan of the show, then you would know, we had a giant win with a broadway singer named Adam Lambert. One of our greatest contestants, 4 years ago, And yo Betty the dawg ain’t got nothing but love for you. Ever since eight is enough. I want everyone to realize their dreams.”

My thoughts on this:

1. Thank you Randy for addressing the issue and saying you have respect for Broadway actors and singers.

2. While you and other judges HAVE been saying “too Broadway” for 11 seasons, what you have NOT made clear is that it was not dissing Broadway. Many times on American Idol singers have been dismissed with a simple “too Broadway” and that was it.  To many viewers this gave the impression that having a “Broadway” sounding voice was a bad thing.

Perhaps, Randy, if you have the respect you say you have for the talent and discipline of Broadways performers, you could have been been clearer by saying “great voice, and I can see you succeeding on Broadway, but I don’t think your voice is suited for the pop music industry.” While you may have understood in your head that that’s what you MEANT, that’s not what you have been saying.

Here’s to clarity in the future.