Last week he beat out the much-heralded return of KISS for the top slot on the album charts. This week, the Canadian crooner Michael Buble slam-dunked the biggest phenomenon in all entertainment: the Twilight series.
Tragic as it was to witness the heartbreak as the Buble uprising ripped out of Gene Simmons' painted hands the Billboard trophy he had labored his whole life to earn, we took solace believe it was a mere aberration, shortly to be corrected. But there was no surer thing in recording history than the soundtrack to New Moon, the second film in the Twilight series. The album which features tracks by the biggest bands of our times including Muse, Death Cab, Thom Yorke and The Killers was an event before the artists even entered the recording studio.
But all that was not enough to beat out Buble, whose collection of standards Crazy Love sold almost double the New Moon total.
To indie nation, this is a stunning blow. Hadn't we all locked hands and agreed that popular music now exists on a spectrum that runs from Arcade Fire through Lady Gaga to Miley on the bubblegum end? Sure now and then we'll let a golden oldie like Streisand take a final victory lap around the charts, but for Michael Buble to become the biggest recording star on Earth? Who asked for this?
Certainly not America's press corps, the music writers of which sacrifice vast forests to write paean to the latest Arctic Monkey release but can barely see fit to acknowledge Buble.
So who is this Buble? And how did he come to rule us? Some bullet points on the rise of giant of showtunes.
• The Buble march to destiny began in 1975, when he was born in British Columbia, the son of a salmon fisherman.
• After singing as a young boy, at age 18 Buble achieved his first taste of the greatness that was to come when he won the Canadian Youth Talent Search.
• After a long struggle to breakthrough, Buble finally stepped onto the world stage when he scored a gig singing at the wedding of Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's daughter. On the Mulroney's before the power elite of the world his Mack The Knife caused one guest to sit up ramrod straight in his chair. That guest was David Foster. And Buble's recording career was born.
• After success abroad, Buble's second studio album It's Time reached #7 on the Billboard charts. While America slept, the album went on to sell 3.2 million copies. His second album put away 1.9 million.
• One can never ignore in all things American the power of the Oprah, who had Buble on the show two weeks ago, fueling this latest rise up the charts.
• Buble also speaks to an older demographic, who are still tied to that quaint tradition of buying albums instead of just stealing them off the internet.
• And hipsters everywhere should take heed. Buble's success demonstrates the enormous power of that not-yet-banished sector of entertainment consumers: uncool people. While their tastes may account for zero percent of the stories America's hipster-obsessed music press writes , they still control a vast swath of the actual music spending dollar.
• It's interesting, as a little thought experiment, to imagine what might happen to dying newspapers if they covered the entertainments that the greatest numbers of American people actually consumed....Now say if you were a newspaper seeking to not die by attracting readers and you knew there were millions of people interested enough in Michael Buble to spend money on him versus dozens of people willing to shell out for the Arctic Monkeys, wouldn't you think that writing more articles about the big-following artist as opposed to lots of articles about the tiny following artist would lead to more readers? Naaahhh...that there is just crazy talk.