Can art be separated from the artist?

R&R: Musical Potpourri

Pop Culture.

Art vs. the Artist – Musicians behaving badly

Can art be separated from the artist?

Some musicians have made a living touting the “bad boy” image, but is there a consequence for their actions? Should there be?

Investigate musicians and their alleged crimes. Does that affect how we interpret their music? Should it? Do famous musicians get a “pass” from society and their accountability?

Suggested topics are Michael Jackson, R. Kelly, or pull from the Disgraceland podcasts as well as online sources.

There are many ways you can explore this topic (i.e. focus on one artist or provide an overview of the issue in general). Using the following resources (as well as your own research), consider the following questions:

  • Who is this musician/band and what is the issue with this artist/band?
  • What are various viewpoints? Are they fact based?
  • Audio/video example (music or interview) that supports research.
  • Based on the information, what is your opinion?

In General:

  • Can art be separated from the artist?
  • Are there other artists who are facing issues?
  • How does society react – does it look the other way when it comes to some performers or are they judged in the court of public opinion without due process?

An engaging presentation starts with a visually interesting display of information. Let your recorded words give us information. use graphics & music to support the information, and use minimal text on the slides.


“When allegations of sexual abuse by Michael Jackson involving young boys surfaced in 1993, many found it hard to believe that he could be guilty of such unspeakable acts. Filmmaker Dan Reed’s two-part documentary film Leaving Neverland explores the separate but parallel experiences of two young boys, James “Jimmy” Safechuck, at age 10, and Wade Robson, at age 7, who were both befriended by the star. They and their families were invited into his singular and wondrous world, entranced by the singer’s fairy-tale existence as his career reached its peak.” (

Using the following resources (as well as your own research), answer the following questions:

  • What is the basic overview of the Michael Jackson story?
  • What are both sides saying?
  • Based on the information, what is your opinion?

Tips for Effective Slideshows:

  1. Text: Use bullet points & keep text to a minimum; your narration should give us the majority of information. Make presentation visually appealing and representative of the style of your chosen topic.
  2. Music samples: To avoid technical difficulties & frustration, it is recommended that you download video clips for your presentation and edit (clip) your audio samples (shorten) to highlight the best part of the music & prove your research connections. Linking videos directly from YouTube into PowerPt is NOT recommended due to the ads which distract from the presentation (& lose points for you).