Cher in the City: No need to sacrifice dignity or class for art

Justin Timberlake proved he's a class act at the MTV Video Music Awards, where he took home the Video of the Year, Best Direction, Best Editing and Michael Jackson Video Vanguard awards Sunday night.

I was so very excited about the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, after all Robin Thick was scheduled to appear and wouldn’t it be great if T.I. and Pharrell Williams also made a special guest appearances when Thick performed his hit Blurred Lines? All week I watched the commercials for the VMAs, laughing at some, perplexed by others but none the less excited about sitting in front of my TV to see who would be picking up the coveted moon man statue.


Sunday finally arrived. It was time for the VMAs. I turned on the TV, a glass of pinot in hand, popcorn on the coffee table, and my favorite throw at my feet all settled in to enjoy the show. As the awards show began, initially I got treated to the huge pop phenom that is Lady Gaga. I thought her dramatic, somewhat exaggerated, performance was very entertaining and funny. I especially enjoyed the way she creatively did a number of costume changes right there on stage.

And then IT happened.

Let me preface this by saying, I’m a fan of most things creative and I find Miley Cyrus to be quite a talented young lady. The former Disney Hannah Montana star went from wearing less than nothing to wearing nearly nothing during her performance. I went from being excited to being dismayed and disgusted.

As I watched, Cyrus began performing her wildly popular hit single We Can’t Stop. Unfortunately, she also proceeded to grind on a foam finger and bend over and show the world her assets while twerking with a giant teddy bear. Kids today call the dance that she was doing twerking. Yes, I had to look it up – this is what an online dictionary says: “the act of moving/ shaking one’s buns/bottom/buttocks/bum-bum in a circular, up-and-down, and side-to-side motion. basically a slutty dance. derived from strip clubs.”

I’m not making it up, that’s actually what it says. What about that definition says … yes, do this dance in front of millions of your fans, on your father’s birthday while the young girls who look up to you are watching?

So distasteful was her performance, that when she began to perform with Robin Thick, I was literally unmoved by what is normally one of my favorite songs.

After the performance, I was shocked! Did I really just see this at one of the most respected awards shows in the country?

The best thing about the awards was the killer performance given by Justin Timberlake who performed his hit singles Cry Me a River, Suit and Tie and then, as if he were giving the audience his best gift, he put a bow on it with an ’N Sync reunion. Timberlake not only nailed it, but showed anyone who even doubted for a moment whether he was an appropriate recipient of the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award and a class act.

As forCyrus, at 20 years old she has a lot to learn about being an artist. Clearly she’s successful and makes plenty of money at her craft, but I hope that she will learn one day what I have known all my life. One does not have to sacrifice class and dignity for art. Based on her performance, she hasn’t learned that yet, perhaps she should watch and learn from Timberlake.

If you want to see some other class acts, you may want to check out the Kiss Family Reunion this Saturday, Aug. 31, at the Augusta Exchange Club Fairgrounds. The event will feature Avant, Marshall Thompson and the Chi-lites, Glen Lewis, Marquis Houston, Theodis Ealy and more. Tickets are $12 in advance and online at and will be $20 on the day of the show. Rest assured there will be no twerking.

Opportunities to hear live jazz popping up all over