Although authorities have said that actress and budding musician Brittany Murphy died of natural causes, many questions remain: what exactly led to a 32-year old to suffer cardiac arrest? Why did her husband attempt to stop her autopsy? This is surely going to be grist for the tabloid mill well into 2010, but we might get one more chance to see Murphy’s talents at work—some of her recorded tracks from her unfinished debut album may finally be released.
E! Online’s Marc Malkin reports that many music industry insiders are digging for Brittany’s tracks for a possible posthumous release:
“Obviously this isn’t a Michael Jackson thing, but people are definitely interested in Brittany and her story,” one music business insider told him. “Depending on what she may have recorded and what kind of quality it is, she could end up having a hit song or two.”
We’re not even surprised that people in the industry would begin seeing angles and dollar signs before Murphy’s even had a proper burial. It’s simply a fact of business life that sales of an artist’s recordings surge after their death, and especially after an untimely one. (See 2Pac, Aaliyah, Elliott Smith, etc. etc. etc.)
The fact that it’s standard practice to hunt for marketing opportunities after a star’s death doesn’t make it any less unseemly. In the case of Murphy, we admit to a little morbid curiosity: we are interested to hear the outcome of recording sessions with super producers Max Martin and Timbaland, especially since the one significant musical release to showcase her musical identity, the 2006 Paul Oakenfold collaboration “Faster Kill Pussycat,” showed real promise. (It also hit #1 on Billboard’s Dance/Club Charts.) Britt definitely had the vocal chops and clubland-ready sex appeal to make an eventual pop career work, and we suppose Murphy would be happy to know people eventually got to enjoy her creative output.
Oakenfold joins DJ Chris Cox, who also reportedly worked on Murphy’s debut album, offering his condolences via Twitter/Facebook: “Brittany Murphy was an amazing talent but above all, she was an amazing person. She will be greatly missed. Our deepest condolences go out to her family.” At least some people are showing a little respect in the wake of her passing.
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