Dunno why sales figures and audience numbers have to come into this kind of talk / topic. I know perfectly well that artists are people like you and me and have to eat just like you and me and havre to earn $$$ to live just like you and me, BUT music is ART basically and ART needs TALENT, NOT sales and audience figures, record sales and the like:):). Let me put it this waY: I can dig a "commercial" artist (e.g. Outkast) if they have TALENT...and Outkast DO...and they sell a lot too....who cares, they have TALENT nonetheless....I dunno if my message is getting thru. .....perhaps we will have to define the word "TALENT" first:):):)!!!
sales figures surely do have something to do with it.
art and talent are secondary to sales. if 50 million people buy gaga songs then that means 50 million people like it. you and i might disagree with them but the number of people who like and buy your record is all that matters. im not sure about chuck's sales in the 50s but when the stones, beatles, animals and kinks did his songs in the 60s they sold alot of records and chuck's songs were often highlights of their early concerts when they would work up the audience into a frenzy.