You won't hear Shawn Colvin's newest song on the radio or a CD. But you can catch it on TV, in a Hallmark commercial. Yep, that's the three-time Grammy winner best known for 1996's "Sunny Came Home" singing the sentimental "Rememberin'" as a dad cherishes a card from his daughter. Airing in time for Father's Day (June 16), the ad is one of five spots that will feature the song throughout the year.
A simple ballad that showcases Colvin's lush voice, "Rememberin'" sounds like a cut from her latest album, Whole New You. But it was written by Hallmark's ad agency, who chose Colvin for their $30 million campaign. While fan reaction to the pairing has been mostly positive, critics have accused the singer-songwriter of selling out.
"Would I prefer to have platinum-selling records?" says the 46-year-old, who recorded four albums before earning that status in 1998. "Yeah. But I have the right to make a living. I don't need to apologize for singing for a corporation." Or for a TV show either: Her "Nothin' on Me" was the theme song to NBC's Brooke Shields sitcom Suddenly Susan.
Colvin who has also done ads for Tropicana, Disney and Johnson & Johnson freely admits that these projects are financially appealing. Pragmatically speaking, she may be making a smart move. These days, artists are under tremendous pressure to deliver hit records or risk being dropped from their labels.
"The music business has gotten more corporate," Colvin explains. "It has become less lucrative to be a fall-through-the-cracks artist, one who's not selling millions of albums. Artists have to look at other viable ways to make a living." Looks like money not only talks, it also sings.