The answer to that may be yes. Grand, who was christened America’s first out country artist after his self-funded video ‘All American Boy’, launched a Kickstarter campaign at the end of February 2014 to fund his own album. It took less than 24 hours for him to raise his stated goal of $81,000. 40 hours after the Kickstarter launch, Grand had $125,000. As of this writing, with still 17 days to go, Grand has raised $183,000. So, he has the funds, but does he have the musical stamina?
Thus far Grand has released two follow ups to ‘All American Boy’, ‘Stay’ and ‘Back to California.’ ‘Stay’ has about 775,000 views as of this writing, compared to the 2.5 million for ‘All American Boy.’ ‘Back to California’, has been up only two weeks as of this writing, so it’s hard to judge how that will do in comparison.
The three songs show that Grand has the capacity at a range. ‘Boy’ and ‘California’ are both ballad songs, while ‘Stay’ is more of a fun, upbeat, party tune. And no one would deny that Grand is certainly nice to look at. His buff body is the kind that you don’t mind watching no matter if he’s singing ‘Happy Birthday’ or something like Martina McBride’s ‘Valentine.’ But will we get tired of looking at him? And will we get tired of hearing him?
As David D’Addario notes in his Salon.com article ‘A gay country music star plays it (relatively) safe’ there have been other out artists who have moderate success and may have a loyal core fan base, but who aren’t as readily accessible to your lips and memory as an Adam Levine, Kenny Chesney, Maria Carey or Barbara Streisand. Is this because we tire rather readily of our own or because being a gay or lesbian artist limits their appeal to a wider audience?
We as a community always manage to throw our support and devotion behind our divas and a few dudes, too, but are we not able to have that same kind of capacity for one of our own? While we may pushing Steve Grand over the top in his fundraising efforts, when the time comes will we be able to and remember to push him to the top on the charts.