THE BLOG
06/07/2010 11:22 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Despite Age Discrimination, There Is Still Beauty in the World

"I don't know how to get a 40-year-old woman on the radio. If she was 20,
25. This record would be incredible." This quote comes from a powerful record label
executive, just before she said no to signing me for my fifth album. And who
would fault her? Everybody knows that a 40-year-old female recording artist
is "geriatric."  While a 46-year-old president is the "new kid on the
block," a singer over 30 is just a few songs away from the nursing home of
music.   

The obvious remedies: Age defying crème, botox, face lifts, brow lifts, hair
dye, Perricone Promises, super foods and denial. Lying about our age was
once a quick fix, but Wikipedia has ruined that for everybody.  Cosmetic
touch-ups and diet discipline may take ten years off, but how do you go ten
years back? How do you sing songs that are relevant to teenagers and who are
you fooling if you try?

I am a single mother of three teenagers. My every day begins and ends with
them. Breakfast - school - teachers - grades - basketball - piano - tennis -
birthday parties - money - etc. The best part of the day is when they smile
or laugh, because when they're laughing or smiling, I know they're OK.  Even
if its just for a minute, even if I don't know what they're happy about,
it's a relief. My biggest goal is to keep them talking, because that's the
only way I know what they're thinking and what's going on, so the most
important thing I do all day, is listen.

Sometimes I feel alone and it gets me down. One of those times, I heard my
daughter laughing in the next room and it didn't necessarily make me feel
better, but I exhaled, because I knew then that we were ok. That night, I
wrote a song called "Beauty in the World."

There's a song on the album called "Kissed It" about staying in a bad
relationship because the sex is so good.  The first song on the album, "The
Sellout" is about compromise. "Real Love" is a duet with Bobby Brown that
talks about everlasting love. And "The Comeback" - about the day you realize
that you cannot be who you are not.  All of these are universal themes that
even teenagers can relate to, but according to music industry experts,
they'd much rather "Toot It and Boot It," pop champagne, love gangsters and
skater boys, wear the latest Gucci, and meet at the hotel lobby at 6 in the
morning.

With very few exceptions, the gatekeepers send these three messages:

1.   The younger generation has little substance

2.   The music needs of the older crowd don't matter...

3.   Once a female artist turns 40, she should go away - maybe learn how to
knit.

The truth is that as a mother of three teenagers, I can tell you that the
music industry drastically underestimates the souls of the young. And that
there are over 40 million women, in the United States alone, in their 30s,
40s and beyond, that are starving to be musically inspired and lyrically
represented.  While the fans miss out on great music because of age
discrimination, there is still BEAUTY IN THE WORLD."