Music Power Rankings: Why Coldplay edges out Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Alicia Keys
1) Coldplay: The British band warms up the charts with the third highest opening sales tally of 2011 as “Mylo Xyloto” sells 441,000. I still don’t know what a Mylo or a Xyloto is, although I suspect it’s Coldplay-eze for “Eat it, haters.”
2) Live Nation: It’s amazing what happens when you practice a little customer service. The mega-concert promoter is showing a $16.5 million profit for the first three quarters of 2011, compared with a $104 million loss in 2012. Part of the strategy to put more butts in the seats? Lower ticket prices and trim service fees.
3) Rihanna: She scores her 11th No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “We Found Love, soaring past Janet Jackson and Stevie Wonder. Wrap your head around this: 10 more No. 1s (which she could conceivably accomplish with her next two albums) and she will overtake the Beatles for the all-time leader. I love Rihanna, but that’s just not right.
4) Lady Gaga: Momma Monster gets the Thanksgiving music slot that Beyonce has gotten in the past. “A Very GaGa Thanksgiving,” which will be served complete with an interview conducted by Katie Couric, will air at 9:30 p.m. Thanksgiving night. We all need a little ham with our turkey.
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5) Kina Grannis: The singer/songwriter has long been building a big following through her YouTube channel, but she probably didn’t plan on jelly beans leading to her big breakthrough. Her adorable stop-action video for “In Your Arms” features 288,000 Jelly Belly jellybeans. We’re not sure who counted all of them, but the good news is in three days, the clip has already received more than a half million YouTube views. Check it out here and save the Green Apple and Kiwi-flavored ones for me.
6) Chuck D: Public Enemy leader becomes Universal Music Group’s Public Enemy No. 1 as he files a class action suit alleging that record label owes him royalties on digital downloads based on a download serving as a license instead of the same as a physical sale. A previous suit filed by Rick James’ trust and Rob Zombie also continues to go through the courts. With literally billions of dollars at stake, expect UMG to fight the suits tooth and nail.
7) Alicia Keys: Keys has turned into a world-class philanthropist. Her annual Keep a Child Alive benefit this week raised $3 million for AIDS relief in India and Asia and featured Usher, Will.I.Am, Norah Jones, and Richie Sambora, most of whom stuck to the theme of honoring George Harrison in song.
8) Brian Wilson: More than 40 years after the Beach Boys entered a studio to record “SMiLE,” the follow up to 1966’s “Pet Sounds,” one of the greatest unfinished albums in rock history finally came out...in a 5-CD box set, no less. That’s a lot of unfinished tracks. See our review here.
9) Amy Winehouse: The first posthumous album from the singer, “Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures” will come out in December. There is never such a thing as resting in peace anymore where there’s money to be made, is there? At least part of the proceeds will go to the foundation set up by Winehouse’s family with the rather amorphous goal of, according to Winehouse’s website, “benefit[ting] young people in theU.K. and around the world.”
10) Roger Waters: Waters announced plans this week to bring “The Wall,” his multi-media recreation of the classic Pink Floyd album, back to the U.S. in 2012. We don’t need no education, we just need good seats.