Clare Torry performing with Roger Waters at Madison Square Garden in 1987. Photo: Richard Young/Shutterstock /Copyright (c) 1987 Shutterstock. No use without permission. Fame, at least lasting fame — the your-work-goes-down-in-history kind, often accompanied by fat royalty payments — is a club that thinks of itself as an unbiased meritocracy, blind to everything but aesthetic innovation and popular success. It’s never quite worked out that way. When we look at the past, we still see generations of great talents who never quite got their due critically or commercially, many of them left relatively unsung. In this ongoing series, our critics pick artists they feel remain underappreciated and tell their stories and sing their praises. Success in the music industry is a spurious concept. You can keep a low profile on the charts but stay afloat through ad placements and endorsement deals, as the rapper Vince Staples does creating lean, anthemic music that kills in clubs, movie trailers, and Sprite commercials. You can have an inescapable presence on TV and radio and still be functionally penniless, as the R&B singing group TLC revealed at the 1996 Grammys, where they won two awards for the multiplatinum 1994 album CrazySexyCool, then shocked journalists… Read full this story
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