Each year, it seems that celebrities become more and more idolized and worshiped. From social media influencers to musicians, the public’s fascination with and standards for celebrities are at an all-time high. Musicians must recognize their responsibility to their fans and maintain a humble attitude toward their fame and success.

A recent example of the complexities of the relationship between artists and their fans is Frank Ocean’s 2023 Coachella performance. Despite being the most anticipated act of the entire festival, fans were disappointed that he came late, lip-synced songs and played a short and confusing set of remixes. This performance raised questions about the balance between an artist’s creative autonomy and their responsibility to their fans.

In 2023, there shouldn’t be much of an excuse for artists to have closed communication with the public and their fan base if they perform a live event. In the case of Frank Ocean’s Coachella performance, he did not inform anyone about the changes to his act before the show and has yet to make any public apology or statement regarding it. It is perfectly fine to be off social media, and I even encourage doing so, but it is inexcusable to not have the awareness that social media would be an extremely effortless way to show that you care about your supporters.

Frank Ocean’s performance is the latest example of an artist neglecting the power and influence they hold. The neo-soul singer is notoriously known as a figure who hides from the limelight to focus on himself and his art, which he has every right to do. However, there is a thin line that he continues to ride between forsaking his fans and maintaining his authenticity. By neglecting his fans through actions like this, he is further falling under the very thing he is known to avoid — being a stereotypical celebrity. After all, it is the mystery behind the private lives of the rich and famous that largely drives worship.

A move like this will not affect Frank Ocean’s reputation or streams. As people continue to forgive an artist for their mistakes, they will continue to buy tickets, listen to their music and sympathize with their behavior. And if their songs still sound good, the fans will stick with their artist through it all. In the case of Frank Ocean, there is the fact that he hurt his ankle and is still recovering from the loss of his brother in 2020. However, this has little to do with his lack of communication. It is hard to sympathize with the actions of someone who willingly signed up for a show, is paid generously and has yet to speak to all of the broken fans, many of whom spent their hard-earned time and money to see him. He is aware of what fans are expecting to see, especially his stature. This lack of communication and apology only furthers the divide between artist and fan. Fans should continue to appreciate the music an artist like Ocean puts out, but there is still a standard of decency for artists to follow when making these appearances.

It is important for musicians and other performers to have an understanding of why they are successful in the first place. They should think back to their love for the art they create. They can remember how music makes them feel and how they used to be a kid dreaming of playing in front of thousands of fans, people who likely made them successful and supported them thoroughly. Many celebrities who fail to understand this often find themselves depressed by the power and fame they hold. Ultimately, the relationship between artists and their fans is a two-way street. The artist is just as human as the fan singing their songs. By having a thorough discussion about situations such as this, we can create a more honest and open culture in music and entertainment.

Brandon Desvernine is a senior majoring in business administration.