Tony Lucca... Finally

My blog posts are always about my run-ins with the world (hence the “I Always Have A Story” title). But just this once, I want to rant for a moment about a reality TV show, specifically The Voice, and more specifically one of the contestants: Tony Lucca.

American Idol started this crazy trend of “reality” talent shows back in 2002. The show was a huge hit, entertaining, and has produced some major stars. One reason for the success of these shows is the “coming-out-of-nowhere” aspect of the contestants. You haven’t heard of them before, they are underdogs, and their back-story is touching (dad just died, they are going broke, they are working as a dishwasher, they overcame a horrific disease, etc). Who doesn’t love to cheer for the underdog? It’s as American as apple pie and road rage.

Which brings me to Tony Lucca, current top 4 contestant on NBC’s The Voice. For those of you that don’t know, Tony started his career off as a teenager on the Mickey Mouse Club. Fellow castmates included many future stars like Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Keri Russell, Ryan Gosling and current coach on The Voice, Christina Aguilera. Obviously Tony didn’t become a mega-star like the others, but he has been a successful singer-songwriter, touring the country and releasing a dozen or so albums over the past 15 years. Being a “struggling musician” myself, I find his level of success extremely commendable. Don’t confuse fame with success. His CD sales, his song placements on several television shows, his collaborations with major acts, his acting career and his dedicated fanbase nationwide has made him more “successful” than literally 99.9% of every self proclaimed “musician” in the world.

You may have never heard of Tony Lucca before, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t great. And it also doesn’t mean he hasn’t been successful (did I mention he also has a beautiful wife and two adoring children?). I know America wants to see a “nobody” win The Voice. And many people don’t think it’s fair that somebody like Tony, who has had some national success, a previous record deal, and some celebrity fans pulling for him, should have the opportunity to compete on a talent show that is supposed to find the countries best unknown talent. But really, who more deserves national attention than a guy who has dedicated his life to his craft, paid his dues 10 times over, and just hasn’t had the right opportunity or luck to let the world know about him until now. Tony Lucca is exactly who should be on The Voice, and exactly the type of guy that should win. But win or lose, Tony has made it far enough (top four as of the moment I’m writing this) to achieve massive notoriety that should boost his career higher than he ever thought possible.

Someday I will write a book on the many levels of success in the music business (I find the topic extremely interesting). Tony has been hanging out on a particular “rung” on the musical success “ladder” for quite some time. It’s hard to climb up there, but even harder to reach the next rung. There are hundreds of guys out there that are equally talented and deserve wild fame as well (see Tony’s TFDI bandmate and my old buddy Jay Nash, Ernie Halter, Martin Sexton, Mutlu, Justin Jones and a many, many more). But the glamour of fame doesn’t come without a little luck, a lot of talent, and sometimes a show like The Voice to put you over the top. In the few times I have met Tony over the years, I didn’t get the impression that he cares at all if he is famous. He is a legitimate nice guy and lacks the ego that many others of his talent level posess. I think he just wants to make music, entertain his fans, support his family, and do what he knows best. Tony didn’t choose music as a career… music choose Tony. Now we shall see if America does as well. Good lucky Tony, you deserve it.

Watch The Voice on NBC on Mondays at 8pm and Tuesdays at 9pm.

Tony performs "How You Like Me Now" on The Voice.

Tony performs "Pretty Things" in NYC, April 2012.

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