This is something that’s bugged me for years, and was brought to my attention again yesterday by my friend Hilton Mashonga.
There’s a formulaic tendancy by some print journalists to refer to an artist/singer/band by their songs.
They’ll start the article by using their name, but in the next sentence will devolve into a bizarre sentence structure which references a song. Allow me to demonstrate:
The angry ‘cease and desist’ letter demands that the Thriller singer’s former doctor stop giving interviews to media, or face legal action – Daily Mail, 28 November 2013
The former Disney star was spotted with Orlando Bloom and the Baby singer’s best friend Alfredo Flores at Los Angeles International Airport on 20 October – International Business Times, 22 October 2014
The “Wrecking Ball” singer has been dating Patrick since early November – New York Daily News, 20 December 2014
Three examples there which I got simply by googling the names of songs by Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber, and Miley Cyrus.
What’s my gripe here?
No-one actually talks like that.