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It's the music stupid, or how to exploit a pretty country singer

Country Standard Time Editorial, March 2001

When it comes to controversy, Mindy McCready probably ought to be listed as a definition. Such has been the case for the 25-year-old Floridian, who released three albums with her "Ten Thousand Angels" debut in 1996 by far her most successful.

She had a few hits, including the title track and her number one song, "Guys Do It All the Time."

The blonde bombshell also got a reputation for having a bit of an attitude, finding herself on the social pages seemingly almost as much as she was on the music pages.

When she failed to match the success of her debut, McCready found herself without a record label. Her last album stiffed big time.

Capitol Records eventually came to the rescue with new music due later this year.

But to tease the males among us apparently, Capitol spent who knows how much money on a pinup calendar of the beautiful singer for 2001 with photographs courtesy of Nigel Parry.

Such is the continued attempt to sell sex instead of music with some of the folks in Music City. January shows off her ringed navel.

A number of months in the calendar show off a good amount of cleavage as if having the right figure will really mean your music matters. If you need evidence, take a look at the July shot.

And then there is the August picture. The photograph has garnered the most publicity. McCready appears to be in a sitting frontal nude shot (she has said she is wearing a thong) with her legs covering her upper body and her hands crossed in front of her legs, resting on her feet.

This is the kind of shot one would expect in adult magazines prior to reaching the centerfold.

There was a good amount of publicity resulting from the August photograph in particular, in effect, questioning the taste involved.

One Capitol executive, Fletcher Foster, was quoted as saying that any publicity was good.

Too bad this series of photos is part of a misguided marketing plan to re-establish McCready. She can ill afford another album that fails.

No matter how pretty McCready is in these photos - and she is - does it really make sense to hone in on controversy involving McCready which has zippo to do with music?

It is the hope that the radio folks and more importantly the record buyers out there will want to hear music by McCready because she has put out a quality record, not because she knows how pose in front of a camera.

If the album fails, Capitol will deserve the egg on its face that it receives. And McCready isn't exactly to be commended either for once again being the pretty country singer who tries to capitalize on her looks instead of the hooks.

To paraphrase, it's the music stupid!