Sinead vs Kim – Rolling Stone Smackdown

July 15, 2015


This morning while doing my obligatory its-too-cold-to-get-out-of-bed-yet Facebook flick, I happened upon a picture that made me say “yaaaasss” out loud. A still of Kim Kardashian’s baffling Rolling Stone cover, accompanied by the words of singer/open letter writer/professional curmudgeon Sinead O’Connor delivering an epic smack down. The words “What is this cunt (“I don’t smile much because it causes wrinkles”) doing on the cover of Rolling Stone? Music has officially died. Who knew it would be Rolling Stone that murdered it? Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh can no longer be expected to take all the blame. Bob Dylan must be fucking horrified. #BoycottRollingStone” peered up at Kardashian’s bust and asked the question that I have asked myself. Sure, my language was less salty, but the sentiment was the same – what is Kim Kardashian doing on the cover of Rolling Stone?

I shared the article on my page and the likes started rolling in almost immediately, as did the comments ranging from “this is nothing new” to “Sinead ain’t speaking for me and what she said is fucking horrific and to agree with it is both pretty gross and deeply misunderstands what Rolling Stone is about, imo.” Most of the arguments against Kardashian’s cover seem to be pegged on Rolling Stone’s rock n roll pedigree; who could forget the iconic Annie Leibovitz cover of John and Yoko? Or Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72? Or all of those incredible writers, and musicians, and photographers who cut their teeth there? Or all of those artists who haven’t made it there yet, but still (whether they admit it or not, this writer included) hold a Rolling Stone cover as a testament to their own success?

After an hour or two of marinating in my own cleverness, I realised that Sinead, myself, and everyone else who agrees with her statement are a bunch of hypocritical assholes.

It is easy to forget that Rolling Stone is not just a musical institution, but an all-encompassing pop culture octopus with tentacles reaching from music, to art, to science, to TV- and yes, even reality TV. Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton have graced the cover, so has murderer Charles Manson and Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, so have judges from American Idol and The Voice, and countless other flash in the pan artists are who have faded into relative obscurity.

O’Connor may have fingered Rolling Stone for killing the music with this cover, but Kardashian is not the first nor will she be the last visage to grace the cover under fire. Kim Kardashian being on the front cover of the Rolling Stone will have less of an effect on an ailing music industry than say, illegal downloading, or shitty pop-by-numbers songs released by some 15 year old coughed out of a TV talent show.

Like it or not, Kimmy K has every reason to be there. Her name alone brings up 185,000,000 results when punched into Google, and while she is (in my opinion) odious, Kim has influenced pop culture more than any other television personality, model, actor, writer or photographer in the last 10 years. She turned the release of a sex tape (whispered to be leaked by her own people) into a one of the most watched shows on television, a chain of clothing stores, a video game worth millions, careers for her entire family, a 325 page book of selfies called Selfish, and a net worth estimated at a cool $85 million or so. While Kardashian’s lack of talent is widely mocked, it is impossible to argue that she does not have a sixth sense for self-promotion.

Even those of us who stay as far away as possible from the Kardashian bubble can name almost all of the family members (pick a name that starts with “C”, replace that “C” with a “K” and you’re on the right track). Whether we want to or not, we have read the articles in the trashy magazines or on gossip websites. We have watched an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, or one of the half dozen spin offs. We hit like on the Kimye wedding photo when it popped up on Instagram. We are all guilty of creating the empire, so who are we to howl in disgust when it naturally spreads?

So, Sinead, to answer your question that Kunt is on the cover of Rolling Stone because we as a society put her there. You want musicians to take prevalence on the cover again? Kill your reality idols and go to a gig.


See Maddy’s other posts here and share your thoughts below.


  1. Barry Paul

    July 15, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Kim Karttrashian
    Is not a cunt
    She lacks both the warmth and the depth to be a cunt !

  2. Daniel Jones

    July 16, 2015 at 5:53 am

    Kaboom Barry.

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