Did it ever occur to you that ever since (roughly) the Rolling Stones, lots of contemporary mass-market music has been just deliberately ugly, with the singing in particular something you’d be embarrassed to do in the shower? You and me both. If you’re like me, you felt a little tentative about that perception; maybe the stuff really was beautiful in some way you and I were too old-fashioned to hear? Guess not:
Nowadays people don’t want you to sing good. They want you to sing sloppy and have a good beat to your songs. That’s what angle I’m going to shoot for. That’s where the money is. So just in case about three or four months from now you might hear a record by me that sounds terrible, don’t feel ashamed, just wait until the money rolls in because every day people are singing worse and worse on purpose and the public buys more and more records.
— A letter from Jimi Hendrix to his father, reprinted in today’s New York Times Magazine, p. 25.