Marie Digby has been one of YouTube's greatest stars. She started posting videos of herself performing covers of popular songs. Just her sitting in front of the camera, singing away and playing the guitar. Soon her videos were getting millions of page views, and her popularity allowed her to get a track on iTunes.
This success endeared her to the internet, who saw her as one of their own. She was a real talent who had succeeded on the strength of her ability alone. She wasn't one of those creations of the recording industry's hype machine.
But an article in the Wall Street Journal
reveals that she actually was a creation of the recording industry all along.
a press release last week from Walt Disney Co.'s Hollywood Records label declared: "Breakthrough YouTube Phenomenon Marié Digby Signs With Hollywood Records." What the release failed to mention is that Hollywood Records signed Ms. Digby in 2005, 18 months before she became a YouTube phenomenon. Hollywood Records helped devise her Internet strategy, consulted with her on the type of songs she chose to post, and distributed a high-quality studio recording of "Umbrella" to iTunes and radio stations.
The record label devised the strategy of building buzz by posting amateur-style videos of her on YouTube, and her connection with the record label was hidden or downplayed.
Marie Digby, in response to the article, has apparently been claiming that she never hid her connection with Hollywood Records, but from the quotations in the article, it certainly appears as if she constantly presented herself as a "lucky nobody" who just posted some videos online and then got noticed.
Well, at least it was really her singing in the videos. (Thanks, Bob!)