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Tony Bennett Criticizes American Idol, Music, Marketing Process as "Cruel"

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When music legend, Tony Bennett, talks, people listen. That's why his comments on the process American Idol contestants go through have drawn attention.

Tony Bennett Bennett talked about reality TV bug that's sweeping the world - and in particular the ever-popular FOX contest, comparing modern day winners to pop's golden days.

According to the 80-year-old crooner, he and singer Rosemary Clooney paved the way for other singers by launching their careers on TV, laying their future in the lap of the record-buying public.

"You watch American Idol and see the talent these kids have now, the potential," he says. "Rosemary Clooney and I were the first American Idols; we got started on a show. But that era was different.

"Now you've got to make money right away. If the first record makes it, the artist has to spend a lot of money on promotion, accountants, lawyers, managers, agents. Then if the second album doesn't make it, they just set the artist down and go with the next overdog. To me, that's very cruel."

We'll see if Mr. Bennett is right or not. With seven Idols, including Clay Aiken and Taylor Hicks, coming out with records this fall, it should be interesting to note how they fare.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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