Michael Bublé’s intent to retire is refreshing in a toxic pop culture

Photo illustration by Chris Ho/The Peak

Written by: Youeal Abera, Staff Writer

Hollywood is becoming a bit of an ego-fest. Between celebrities like Khloe Kardashian advertising a “Flat Tummy Tea” on her personal Instagram and Kanye’s short-lived political career, it’s refreshing when we come across an actor or musician whose fame hasn’t afflicted them with a penchant for narcissistic antics.

Recently, Michael Bublé has certainly been one of these breaths of fresh air, and one we should really appreciate.

Like other artists of his calibre, Bublé regularly used online platforms like Twitter and Instagram. When his son was diagnosed with cancer two years ago, though, Bublé took some time out of the public gaze, and his highly active Instagram, in order to focus on the health of his son and the well-being of his family.  Now, as his son’s cancer has (thankfully) gone into remission, Michael Bublé is gearing up to release his new album, Love, in November.

In an interview with The Daily Mail, Michael discussed how he sees narcissism as an inevitable part of the music business, and that it gets in the way of his art and his efforts to be a more genuine person. He claimed that his time away from the spotlight led him to question his career and identity, going so far as to ask himself questions like, “Why are we here?” He concluded by stating that that would be his last interview, and that he’s retiring from the music business.

Weeks have passed since this interview was published, and since, Michael Bublé’s team of publicists have issued a statement which expressed that, despite these claims, Michael would not be retiring from the music business. Whether Bublé proceeds with leaving or not, it speaks to how toxic celebritydom is that the most attention-grabbing thing he wished to do was just escape.

I’ve never drank from the fountain of fame and fortune, but it’s easy to imagine many members of pop culture having similar problems and desires to leave. We’ve seen the pitfalls of former child actors (Lindsay Lohan) or pop icons (Britney Spears), individuals who have fallen into crises as the public’s vast love and adoration ceased, and their sense of identity appears to have faded with it as well. This would be crushing to anyone, and yet our media is designed to sensationalize it.

In reading that one of the biggest artists on the planet feels a need to leave, it shows just how frivolous Instagram and fame can be. I can’t help but feel grateful that there are people in pop culture who understand that the glitz and glamour truly isn’t what it’s made out to be. Instead of genuine, emotional human beings, their personal lives need to be maintained like a long-running work of fiction.

It’s unfortunate that Michael Bublé came to this revelation through the horrific experience of his son’s battle with cancer. These are heavy experiences and heavy questions, but his recognition of how fame and popularity exist in popular culture is something to keep in mind. His reasons for leaving are something for all of us to keep in mind, both in how we love ourselves and how we look at those in the spotlight.