Today is the 19th birthday of Mia Rose, a blandly pretty U.K. singer whose karaoke versions of hits like “Breakaway” have caused quite the YouTube stir; her channel has reached No. 4 on the site’s all-time musicians’ chart (she’s right behind OK Go, “Weird Al” Yankovic, and a Wisconsin record label) a mere four weeks after its debut. Pretty impressive, right?
Well, maybe not.
We first heard about Mia earlier this week, when a post calling her “YouTube’s next diva” showed up on the popularity wire Digg. It was written in a particularly noxious press-release style that set off a red flag, particularly because it went to great pains to praise Mia’s “authenticity.” As it turns out, we weren’t the only ones unconvinced by the guitar-wielding singer’s ability to draw fans from all over the YouTube universe. The video linked above is from a user who went through some of Mia’s 34,316 subscribers and found a common thread among many of them: They hadn’t watched a single video on the site–not even one of Mia’s, even though their subscription to her channel would suggest at least a vague interest in checking at least one clip out.
So what is behind Mia’s sudden rise to popularity? Are people just going to YouTube to give her blind support, or did her managers hire a popularity-inflation company like FakeYourSpace, which supplies friend-starved users of MySpace and Friendster with readymade pals? And if her popularity was a creation of some management company, don’t you think they’d be savvy enough to pick a name that hadn’t already been used by a porn star (very NSFW) and an air freshener.
Mia Rose aka Lonelygirl15 EXPOSED! [YouTube]