Communications and Society blog: By and for students in Marist COM 201

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The Swine Flu Has Become “Larger than Life”

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The swine flu continues to seep its way into media and entertainment through one of my favorite celebrities, at a landmark time in his 16-year career as a distinguished recording artist.

I was devastated when I heard the news of Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell’s recent diagnosis with the swine flu.  As a 15-year Backstreet Boys fan, I can’t bare to think of the disappointment my favorite band mates must feel as this epidemic hits them right in the soul, during the week of the release of their seventh album, “This is Us.”  The boys were scheduled to sign their CD’s yesterday at Time Square’s Hard Rock Cafe as apart of the Hard Rock’s Breast Cancer Awareness Event, “Pinktober.”  This meet and greet, as well as their “The Early Show” appearance scheduled for this morning were cancelled due to Litrell’s illness.  I’m still anxiously awaiting to hear the changes for the rest of the week, as the Backstreet Boys were scheduled to also  appear on The Ellen Degeneres Show, The Conan O’Brien Show, and Jimmy Kimmel live in celebration of their album release.

Through class discussion, we recognized that the swine flu is receiving immense coverage in the media through agenda setting.  I can’t remember the last time I watched the television news without hearing about vaccine distributions, new cases, or a confirmed death via the H1N1 virus.  This story of the diagnosis of a beloved celebrity is sure to appear on your flat screen or laptop this week.

The diagnosis of Brian Littrell is a serious medical concern, but it may also be a blessing for a band who is looking for publicity.  The news of the diagnosis within the same week of their album release may prompt past Backstreet Boy gurus to remember the joy they felt after listening to their #1 single “Everybody” (1998), and want to experience more through the new CD “This is Us.”  Fans often forget about artists until they are prompted by a major event in entertainment news (Michael Jackson, anyone?).

The distinguished characteristics of all of the Backstreet Boys that has kept me a fan throughout the years is the thankfulness and dedication they display to their fans.  Brian Littrell posted a video on the Backstreet Boys official website Monday, expressing his sorrow to the fans, the band mates, and the hosts of their promotional events in New York City.  The constant sincerity each Backstreet Boy shows to those who helped them become superstars is an important characteristic that keeps them so close to my heart and replaying on my iPod.

Brian’s video 10/5/09


Written by marissadeangelis

October 7, 2009 at 10:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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