Who is the real Marie Digby?

Who is the real Marie Digby? A rising music star created by posting music videos on YouTube and iTunes or the product of a carefully planned campaign by a Major Record Label? The answer turns out to be a bit of both.

Marie Digby, you may have heard her song ‘Umbrella‘ (opens in iTunes), was signed by Hollywood Records (a Disney label) in 2005 with the idea of using social media tools to build her career. After a lot of work, music videos, and social networking, Digby built herself a large and loyal fan base. Her mistake was waiting until that point to announce that she had been signed by Hollywood Records. Now, many of her fans feel burnt, and rightly so, since Digby and her label violated their trust.

So much about music is an emotional connection with the material. That’s just not going to happen if in the back of your head you remember this incident. For instance, is her "Ugly Betty" song truly a heartfelt creation or deliberate cross promotion (or in Disney speak ‘Synergy’).

This is very similar to the LonelyGirl15 scenario which recently ended with her character being ritually sacrificed to appease fans. But at least the show still had fans. Digby and her record label need to do some damage control here and perhaps her career can be saved.

Frankly, I had been hearing a small bit of buzz surrounding Marie Digby the last few months. Her music isn’t necessarily that original, but she has budding talent that is well represented in her music videos. I hope she’s able to over come this serious faux pas and build a long career.

For more on this read "Church of the Customer", the Wall Street Journal article where the lie was revealed, and Digby’s response to that article. BuzzFeed is also tracking this story.