Eminem sold 741,000 copies of the aptly-named “Recovery,” making it the highest seller since AC/DC’s “Black Ice” debuted in October 2008. Plus, there was more good news for the rapper: his stadium dates with Jay-Z in New York and Detroit sold out so quickly that more concerts were added. No slump here.
1. Eminem (No. 3, last week): “Recovery” outsells its nearest competitor 7:1 and lifts a sagging music industry, even if just for a moment. Talk about a stimulus package.
2. Vans Warped Tour (not ranked): The longest-running touring festival in the U.S. returns for its 16th iteration, drawing 12,000 fans to the first of its 42 dates. Bolstered by a reasonable ticket price and 90 acts to choose from, the festival continues to set the standard for how it’s done.
3. The Sound Strike (not ranked): The initiative started by Rage Against the Machine’s Zack De La Rocha to boycott performing in Arizona is picking up steam. The movement protests the passage of a law that makes it mandatory that police stop residents they believe may be undocumented. The latest artists to join the cause are Nine Inch Nails, My Morning Jacket, Maroon5 and Ben Harper. De La Rocha said this week that Sound Strike is considering a series of protest concerts this month. Not attending? Gov. Jan Brewer.
4. Lucian Grange (not ranked): Haven’t heard of him yet? You will. The former head of Universal Music International moves stateside this week to start his reign as co-CEO of Universal Music Group with co-CEO Doug Morris before Morris steps down for good in several months. Meet the new king.
5. Warner Music Group (not ranked): The label group, home to such acts as Linkin Park, Michael Buble, Jason Derulo, Flaming Lips, Metallica and others, inks a deal with MTV Networks to have the music video outlet handle ad sales and marketing for Warner artists’ clips across a range of platforms. Plus, according to the Wall Street Journal, MTV Networks promises WMG preferential treatment across its channels, which might mean something if they played videos anymore.
6. John Lennon (not ranked): The beloved Beatle’s post-Fab Four output will be digitally remastered and re-released in October to commemorate what would have been his 70th birthday. Additionally, expanded versions and new collections will be included. Widow Yoko Ono will oversee the initiative. Imagine.
7. Katy Perry (not ranked): She spends her fourth week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 making it the biggest hit of her young career. I guess she doesn’t have to wish we all were “California Gurls.”
8 Brad Paisley (not ranked): The country superstar knocks the presumtive CMA song of the year, Miranda Lambert’s “The House that Built Me,” out of the top spot with “Water,” his 15th No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. Jason Aldean, whose “Crazy Town,” gets stuck at No. 2 again prays for a drought.
9. Pandora (not ranked): The online radio station that recommends tunes based upon listeners’ preferences is declared by Forbes as the future of music. The songwriters and publishers Pandora paid a collective $30 million to in royalties last year wholeheartedly agree.
10. HMV (not ranked): Given that music sales are tanking, we have to really hand it to British chain HMV, whose profits soar 18% by expanding its offerings and pushing CDs into a little bin in the front. We kid about that last part…sort of.
What do you think?
Music Power Rankings appear every Friday in The Beat Goes On on HitFix.