Bai Ling
Credit: Bai Ling: Getty Images/VH1

Honesty, Bill Joel once sang, is such a lonely word. But it’s also a beautiful one when it describes celebrities discussing their musical endeavors without any sugarcoating or icky spin. Here are four intriguing examples. Unfortunately, only one can be named Quote of the Day.

A. ”When we put the Love & Life album out, it was a dessert, because I don’t believe I was being as honest with my fans as I normally am. I wasn’t being honest because I had record company people in my life saying, ‘No, don’t sing with that much emotion. Don’t do this, don’t do that.’ I’m thinking, ‘Oh, OK. Don’t do that? OK.’ Turns out, that little feeling you get inside of you saying, ‘Don’t do it’ — I didn’t listen to it. The people are not stupid. They know when I’m for real and they know when I’m being pushed for something else.”
–Mary J. Blige, talking with about being disappointed with her 2003 CD

B. “I’m a businesswoman. The music industry has changed. There’s a lot of competition, and the market is glutted with new releases — and new thises and thats. You must join forces with other brands and corporations. You’re an idiot if you don’t.”
–Madonna, explaining to Billboard why “Hung Up” debuted in a TV spot for Motorola’s iTunes-enhanced ROKR mobile phone

C. “I was singing off-tune because when I was lying on stage, I couldn’t hear the band. I was basically deaf the whole performance. And I watched the next day and thought, ‘I’m out of my f—ing mind!'”
–Bai Ling (above), talking to EW’s Nicholas Fonseca in this week’s issue about her performances on VH1’s But Can They Sing

D. “I want people to say, ‘Carrie’s easy to work with. She follows directions and she pays attention.’ I want people to say that about me, so that years down the line, when some girl says, ‘I grew up listening to Carrie Underwood,’ somebody can say, ‘Oh, she’s great.'”
American Idol Season 4 winner Carrie Underwood, telling USA Today why she avoids showing a diva attitude

So which one is it gonna be? Click the jump link for my answer.

While I respect Madonna and Bai Ling for not dodging uncomfortablequestions, I’m throwing my weight behind Mary J, because it’s rare tosee an artist accept responsibility for a critical or commercialmisstep. As for Underwood, while she sounds like a nice enough youngwoman, she seems to be aiming for qualities you’d seek in a GoldenRetriever, not a pop star.

Who gets your vote for Quote of the Day?

addCredit(“Bai Ling: Getty Images/VH1”)