When Lou Reed endorsed scooters for Honda and Eric Clapton sang for Michelob (not to mention Madonna and Michael Jackson for Pepsi), it was evident that even the most respected rockers weren’t above playing pitchman. Now a whole new crop of pop stars are plugging along Madison Avenue. Turn on the tube and you’ll catch George Clinton (right), complete with his rainbow-colored hair extensions, singing a ditty about Burger King’s new blueberry muffins. Switch channels and you could catch Clarence Clemons, Bruce Springsteen’s former saxophonist, who tooted his horn for Miller Lite. You can run to your radio, but you can’t hide-you’ll hear rapping ads for St. Ides, a new malt liquor, by hard-core rhymer Ice Cube, who slams ”sellouts” on his latest LP. A spokesperson says Ice Cube ”isn’t a big drinker.” As for Clinton, Burger King says only that he ”had no problem eating the product.” Meanwhile, even aging punk Iggy Pop (above) allows Hyundai to sponsor dates on his current tour. Of course, some artists find profit potential in staying out of endorsements. Heavy-metal meisters Guns N’ Roses have slapped K mart with a reported $2 million suit claiming the chain had no right to use the band’s name and picture in a Remco drum ad.
Posted November 9 1990 — 12:00 AM EST
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