As the world’s eyes are, appropriately, on the horrific events in Japan, we take a light-hearted look at some of the movers and shakers in the music industry this week. Spending her second week at the top is Adele, who has excited fans and critics alike with “19,” the first bona-fide success story of 2011.
1) Adele (No. 1): Her new album goes gold, selling more than 500,000 copies in three weeks to make it the top seller of 2011. The Daily Beast crowns her the queen of “pop’s new beauty standard.” Why don’t we keep her looks, and any other artist’s looks, out of it and just have it be about her astonishing talent alone?
2) Warner Music Group (not ranked): Bidding turns up at least five legitimate suitors for either the recorded music division or the publishing company or both. Have these folks looked at what’s happening to album sales lately?
3) Odd Future (not ranked): The Los Angeles-based rap collective lead by 19-year old Tyler, the Creator lands on the cover of Billboard. Are they the future of the music industry or just the latest flavor-of-the-month that we won’t remember by 2012? Is it possible to jump the shark if only .01% of the public knows who you are?
4) MOG (not ranked): Pandora has stolen the spotlight lately, but this music streaming service is making big moves, including this week’s deals with LG Samsung and Vizio to be part of new internet-ready televisions and BMW’s Mini line.
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5) Lady Gaga (No. 3): She ends her short-lived partnership with Target to sell a deluxe edition of “Born This Way” after she feels the retailer has not made enough strides in its support of the gay community. Just like Springsteen’s Wal-Mart exclusive that he lived to regret, maybe Lady Gaga should look a little more closely before she leaps.
6) Jennifer Lopez (No. 4): Her resurrection as an artist continues as “On the Floor” rises 9-5 on the Billboard Hot 100, making the song her biggest hit in 8 years. Jenny’s getting more than the block this time around.
7) South X Southwest (not ranked): The music and film conference turns 25, making it officially older than 85% of the artists who play the event.
8) Blake Shelton (not ranked): After toiling for 10 years, Shelton has gone from middlin’ artist to country superstar. In the last several months, he’s won his first ACM and CMA awards, become tabloid fodder and now will be a judge on Mark Burnett’s new talent show, “The Voice.” We wonder if they know what they’re getting themselves in to. Have they ever read his tweets? Have the censors ready.
9) Gwyneth Paltrow (not ranked): Will she or won’t she? The Oscar-winning actress is talking to labels, or at least Atlantic, about inking a record deal to release her own album. What does Holly Holiday think about that?
10) Bob Dylan (not ranked): The Bard gets clearance from Chinese authorities to play his first ever shows in Beijing. Last year’s shows were canceled, reportedly because the Minister of Culture disapproved of his protest songs... or because of a financial dispute with the promoter. Your call.
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