Billboard.com’s been having daily articles for the past month talking to different artists who have had #1 chart-toppers since the inceptions of its chart back in 1954.

It’s been quite interesting to hear the stories from the artists themselves as they talk about what it was like to have the most-played song in the country.  Many of them never guessed that their song(s) would get that high up on the charts, and many of them didn’t know how or why a particular song of theirs became so popular.

Today, I saw the interview they did with Shaggy, where he talked about his number 1 chart-topper, “It Wasn’t Me.” As the story goes, he almost gave away the song to another artist altogether!

Why? When he originally recorded it, everyone at his record label said it wouldn’t be a hit.

At the time, he actually bought into what everyone was saying, and decided it would be better to give the song to another artist.  He even went so far as to get vocals for the track from various other artists who were popular at the time.  It wasn’t until a new A&R came to his label and heard the song – upon which he said, “Dude, that’s a HIT right there!” – that Shaggy decided to finish up the track and release it!

The point I’m making here is simply this: if you are a new artist in the music game, it’s very easy to want to listen to others who have been in it for a long time. However, you must remember that, while what others tell you can, at times, be helpful, you should also trust your own instinct at times.  If you’ve had any kind of musical success, it means that, on some level, you know what it takes to reach an audience and convince them to like your stuff.

Don’t be fearful that your instincts may be wrong. Everyone has had to fall on their butt at some point on the road to success… but you have to get into the practice of being able to make your own decisions and realize they’re the right ones. The music industry is one that likes to follow, not lead; yet, the catch-22 is, it always needs new leaders to follow.  So don’t be afraid to do things that everyone doubts at first – those same doubters will become followers later one once what you’re doing proves to be successful.

Anyway… that’s all I have to say. Just a lil’ rant of encouragement from me to you 🙂

-A.P.T.

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