By Jesse Sendejas
Sometimes in life, we normal human beings must shelve our own insecurities and recognize that some among us are simply good at anything they attempt. Like that song from the Annie Oakley play, they can do anything better. Some of us recognize these people with awe and admiration, while others choose to hate.
These are the prevalent reactions to Jennifer Lawrence, Billboard-charting singer. Her sing-song contribution to the Mockingjay Pt. 1 score is "The Hanging Tree," which entered Billboard's Hot 100 at No. 12, ahead of multiple entries by chart whores Ed Sheeran and Iggy Azalea. The seriously depressing tune from a movie about teen genocide came in higher than recent comeback attempts by Fall Out Boy and Fergie. The Oscar-winning actress's vocal turn has now charted higher than "Yellow Flicker Beat," Lorde's Golden Globe-nominated song from the movie's original soundtrack.
Lawrence has now joined the odd ranks of "Hide Your Kids, Hide Your Wife" Web star Antoine Dodson, the NFL's Chicago Bears and Irene "Granny Clampett" Ryan, who also all had Billboard-slotted hits. But those other folks were one-offs, whereas Lawrence is so good at being good there's probably already a pop album in the works for her (I hope).
That's an exciting prospect. Possibly because I saw her lip-sync "Live and Let Die" to perfection in that movie where Christian Bale rocks that terrible combover, I'm guessing La Lawrence will want her debut record written by the likes of Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi (for the rockers) and James Taylor and Carole King (for the ballads). Add in some all-star indie players to back her -- and for God's sake, keep her away from John Mayer and Chris Martin -- and you've got huge record sales, trust me.
It's clear from the Interwebs that many people will see this clearly as some unearned privilege hoisted upon Lawrence solely because she is a likable celebrity. What about her voice, they will yowl. What about it? If there are blemishes, let Pharrell clean it up in the studio. Or whomever produces Mariah Carey's albums. Story continues on the next page.
Scarlett Johannsen. Lindsay Lohan. Hilary Duff. Jennifer Lopez. That's a list I just created off the top of my head of actresses Lawrence has already outsung. She's better than Nicki Minaj and that girl who sings "All About That Bass," and they claim music as their chosen profession.
I do understand there are excellent vocalists who toil in obscurity, scads of 'em right here at home. Why am I, whose own kids are obscure musicians, advocating for a music career for a woman who already seems to have it all? Mostly because I've listened to Lawrence sing about being met at a hanging tree for weeks now and I can't get the song out of my head. Seriously, I want to hear her attempt at a happier song.
And, there's something admirable about someone who has talent -- even a little -- and isn't afraid to share it in a room otherwise overcrowded with audacious "entertainment" choices. In other words, if you're fine with Kim Kardashian nude and greasier than a turkey leg at a Renaissance Fest, or about 70 percent of what's on Youtube, then you can't argue against Lawrence trying to carry a tune.
She does everything well. She can act, make box-office millions, and dance -- you did see her trip the light fantastic in that movie where Bradley Cooper wears a garbage bag as a sweater, right? Lawrence even does being drunk better than almost any drunk I've ever seen (lots).
• BACKBEAT'S GREATEST HITS •
- 50 Photos That Prove Red Rocks Is the Most Beautiful Venue on the Planet
- Photos: Musicians Buying (Legal) Weed in Denver
- The Ten Most Underrated Guitarists in the History of Rock
- 50 Ways to Support Your DIY Music Community