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‘Where honour and ridiculousness collide’: in praise of karaoke’s inventor, on his death at 100 | Pop and rock

Received wisdom holds that haughty music critics, grinding our axes on fans’ beloved pop stars, are nothing more than failed musicians. This has always struck me as slander – not of critics, who certainly can be bitter and mean, but of supposedly failed musicians. How, after all, does one fail at music? To suggest success rides on certain technicalities, like talent or a career, gravely underestimates music’s draw, and nowhere is the lie more spectacularly exposed than in karaoke.Here is an arena of musical greatness in…