First, what exactly is "selling out" in the music industry? Selling out is "the compromising of integrity, morality, or principals in exchange for money or "success" (Source). Now I believe, back in the day when you had to be original to stand out in the industry, artists would sell out, to get money and fame. Now a days, I feel like that's not the case. Hear me out on this.
Two examples of bands I can think of off the top of my head, which I feel are great examples are Green Day, and Black Tide.
Anyone who is alive and listens to the radio knows at least 1 Green Day song, I can guarantee that. Back when their American Idiot album came out, a lot of people pointed fingers and said that they had sold out, since it was a different style and a different message aimed at a different audience. Let's analyze this.When they first started out, they made fun, goofy, not so serious, screw authority type music. Which for their age, and the audience they were aiming to was appropriate. Now the band is in their mid-30s, and have taken on a more mature sound. Let's face it, no one wants to hear a 30-some year old sing about bringing down authority, and smoking pot. As their main audience grew and matured, they grew and matured. And as you grow, your tastes change as well. Another thing a lot of people don't really thing about, is that in this age of music your label will make you change your style and sound so you can make them money.
Now for Black Tide. I just recently discovered these guys. They are amazing. They were signed when they were all about 14-16 When they were first signed to the label, they had an old school metal sound, to me they sounded a lot like Iron Maiden. They are all now in late teens and early 20's. The lead singer is my age, 19. Just by looking at pictures from back then and now you can see they have changed, also their sound has changed drastically. Again, people are pointing fingers and calling them sell outs. I don't know about you, but in that 3 year span, I'm pretty sure Gabriel and the rest of the bands tastes changed from the metal/rock they grew up with, to the more new school, post-hardcore sound they have now. They even have a few acoustic songs that are beautiful. "Into the Sky" is a real tear jerker. And also, again with the label. Now I don't know if they changed labels, I know bands sometimes do a lot, but I'm also sure the label had something to do with the new sound. Though I'm betting more on just a bunch of kids trying to find their niche.
To me, if you are a big fan of a band, and they change something about them, be it their clothing style, music style, whatever, if you are a true blue, ride or die fan, you will embrace the changes, unless it's really weird like...your favorite rock band goes polka or something. When you hear a band "only you" know about on the radio, don't throw a fit and say "ugh all the bands I like always go main stream!" Be happy they got their big break and have a chance to live the dream!
The bands. Then and now.
Green Day then:
Green Day now:
Black Tide then
Black Tide now