YouTube killed the video star.
In 2007, while MTV plugged the umpteenth episode of "Parental Control" and the so-real-it's-fake tragicomedy,"The Hills," video sharing website YouTube raked in record numbers.
According to a Harris Interactive poll, 65 percent of American adults say they have watched a video on YouTube with 42 percent of the surveyed adults making regular treks to the site.
Major labels such as Warner Music inked a library-spanning content deal with YouTube this year, promising the site vids from the Warner vault. But the site's main selling point remained the guitar-strumming everyman and everywoman. These bleary-eyed rubes uploaded teary bedroom confessionals to an ever-growing legion of tubers.
In the spirit of giving, Manhattan Project has decided to dole out a few year-end awards to the best music moments on YouTube.
Best Deceptive Advertising By A Major Label
Hollywood Records' Marie Digby
Marie Digby's harmonically straightforward and cocksure cover of Rihanna's No. 1 hit, "Umbrella" raised a few eyebrows. It's raised almost 4 million eyebrows since its summer debut to be exact.
Framed in a lily-white bedroom, Digby plucks chords with a husker's ease. She's the girl next door, if your life resembled a Hollister advertisement. Call Digby "the Lonelygirl 15 of acoustic-pop."
In September, the Wall Street Journal suggested that Digby was a ploy in Hollywood Records' "astroturfing" campaign to deliver the singer to bigger masses through YouTube. In a blog entry, meanwhile, Digby wrote that the YouTube uploads were a response to a "desperate" lack of promotion from Hollywood Records.
Best Use Of Hand Flatulence
Gerry Phillips' cover of "Bohemian Rhapsody"
The manualism movement is worthy of a cover story in The Believer. Flanked by his hambones, internet "musician" Gerry Phillips was the unlikely YouTube celebrity of 2007 with his moist rendition of Queen classic, "Bohemian Rhapsody." In his fuzzy dark-blue sweat shirt and Hank Hill glasses, Phillips let it rip with a flawlessly spot-on take. In August, Jimmy Kimmel Live featured Phillips on the Internet Talent Showcase segment. Sadly, Hollywood Records wasn't behind this one.
Best Unintentionally Shameless Christmas Parody
The Kings College staff's Band Aid tribute
The Kings College staffers didn't intend to become YouTube sensations in 2007, per se. Their cynical take on the Bob Geldof's altruistic bombast anthem, "Do They Know It's Christmas" complete with mimicry of Bono's hubris, was like finding pixie sticks in our stockings come Christmas morning. It was completely unexpected and offered a satisfying jolt of energy.
Best Unintentionally Funny Performance
Fergie's appearance at Movie Rocks
Ya know ya did. If you've seen the Dutchess' nearly insufferable interpretation of Wings' "Live and Let Die" at Movie Rocks on YouTube, you're not alone. About 20,000 YouTubers watched the wretched four-minute clip, with Fergie's voice sounding like a cat suffering from a seizure. The song itself lurks from amped-up Slash guitar licks to drunken karaoke lounge singer ballads in the course of one measure. Fergie lags the background track, tossing off a thickly coated "Ya know ya did" a few seconds after the phrase is uttered by her backing vocalists. But all is forgiven in the name of the pyrotechnic gods who spray wisps of sparks to the irregular beat.